Differentiation in science

This set of resources supports Heads of department and classroom teachers in developing strategies for differentiation in science.  These resources accompany the Triple Science Support guide to differentiation.

The Triple Science Support intervention guides and supporting resources are packed full of ideas and examples of evidence-based good practice, and will support you in going beyond short term, bolt on interventions to look at issues such as progression, tracking progress and how best to structure learning so students gain a deep, long term understanding of the science.

Links and Resources

Putting differentiation into practice in secondary science lessons

This article, by Andy Piggott, looks at various approaches to differentiation and how they can be put into practice. 

The enrichment and extension activities for the electrolysis lesson described on page 70 can be found here:  https://www.stem.org.uk/rxx9e

publication year
2000 - 2009

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The Use of Velcro in Special Needs Science Lessons

Some students find it difficult to take in information from a static display, and so teachers at Forest School use Velcro to make versatile displays. Other strategies described include using pictures to help sequence lessons and the use of large number lines to help students analyse data.

publication year
2010 to date

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The Use of Cameras in Special Needs Science Education

The case study which goes with this film gives a range of ways that a camera can be used to support SEN students.

publication year
2010 to date

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Using frames to support learning

Helen Walker and Karen Ashforth from Birley Community School share their ideas to assist students with special educational needs in their understanding of key science lessons through a structured and visual approach.

The department developed an A3 laminated writing frame which would overlay an A4 picture to stimulate discussion and guide writing. A template for the frame is provided in the appendix together with some practical tips.

publication year
2010 to date

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Enriching School Science for the Gifted Learner

There is a good section on curriculum compacting starting on page 11, plus many more ideas to aid differentiation for more able students.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Supporting Access in Science

This ASE resource includes guidance and ideas, including useful differentiation ideas specific to science. The guidance was produced considering the key areas of special needs that may create barriers to learning. The five areas include: communication and interaction, cognition and learning, sensory and/or physical needs, behaviour, emotional and social development as well as medical conditions.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Equipment Flashcards

These flashcards provided by ASE can be used in a variety of ways to help students familiarise themselves with the names of scientific equipment. The flashcards show the name, a coloured photograph and a two-dimensional line diagram for the main scientific equipment that you will find in a science laboratory.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Diagram Maker

Students who struggle to draw diagrams can use this resource to produce high quality results independently.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Word Banks and Keywords

This ASE collection of science wordlists has been developed with a view to supporting students' progression in science. The resource has keyword lists of new vocabulary encountered each year of secondary science. The wordlists are based on the National Curriculum, including some vocabulary that would have been covered in primary science. The lists are presented in a variety of formats that can be edited to suit your own needs.

The word banks can be displayed or given out to students. New words in a lesson can be marked off on the list, ensuring the students understand their meanings

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Chemistry for the Gifted and Talented

Chemistry for the Gifted and Talented is a refreshingly challenging educational book containing a wide range of differentiated activities for use in schools and colleges. Primarily designed to meet the needs of more able chemistry pupils working in a mixed ability student group, the book provides a valuable resource of learning with different approaches to activities, encouraging students to think about and evaluate the chemistry they learn.

Activities include Su Doku puzzles, Chemistry Olympiad questions, concept cartoons and mind maps. The aim of the book is to spark interest, challenge and excite gifted young chemistry students and is an essential resource to teachers hoping to differentiate more able students within a student group.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Children with communication difficulties in mainstream science classrooms

This article, by W. and J. Wellington, explores some of the problems that children with communication difficulties face in learning science, its vocabulary, and its own particular language. Practical ideas and strategies are suggested for helping to overcome these barriers in mainstream schools.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Catering for Dyslexia - how others benefit

Dyslexia affects a significant proportion of the UK population and can be a barrier to learning in science. There are a number of techniques teachers can employ to alleviate the problems dyslexic students face with both practical and written work in science. These have been found to improve learning conditions for dyslexics, but also represent good teaching practice and can be of benefit to all learners in science.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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Let's Investigate

These ASE resources illustrate an approach to investigations for students with specific, moderate or severe learning difficulties in a special school. The ideas described here are used to help individual students progress and can be applied to any mainstream or special school situation.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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