The Inclusive Science Group – Meeting 1 (Differentiation)

In the absence of a proper home for these notes, I’ve decided to host them here so that they get picked up by search engines and are accessible to a wider range of teachers. Background The inclusive science group is made of interested educators from all phases and sectors who have an interest in teaching …

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The frustration that comes with the wrong assessment method

I’ve mentioned before that I train with a dog group.  The class is divided into classes from one to four, with dogs moving up a class when they are proficient and pass a test. My dog has special needs and is extremely nervous around strangers, to the point she runs away from people she doesn’t …

Why the new GCSE specs are making me reconsider my future as a science teacher

I’ve loved teaching science in a special school.  Having left mainstream teaching many years ago (anyone remember Salter’s science?) I started teaching our students entry level and then progressed to GCSE/BTEC qualifications. Being in a small school has given me the flexibility to teach how I want to using the methods and resources I want …

#ASEchat – SEND special

Following the publication of my article in the ASE’s EiS (Education in Science) magazine and on their website, I was offered the chance to host #ASEchat on Twitter with a special needs theme. @viciascience opened with questions about specific needs which led to a discussion about visually impaired and hearing impaired students.  @cleverfiend raised the …

SEN students and GCSE – how we achieved success

As a special school teacher I’ve taught GCSE before but changed to BTEC for many years, thinking the assessment suited our learners.  Recent changes including higher targets, variable attendance and a change in the performance tables all contributed to a move to GCSE. I moved to teaching AQA Core A GCSE, and to do this I …

Target setting for children with special needs

You can’t get away from data these days. CATs, FFT, RaiseOnline, departmental targets, yearly targets – the list goes on and on. Working in a special school means that I only teach children who are statemented (hold a statement of special educational needs) and have a variety of needs. Until recently there wasn’t much of …

Teaching science to SEN students – ideas and strategies from #ASEchat (on Twitter)

Tonight the focus of #ASEchat was on teaching science to SEN students.  (If you want to know more about #ASEchat on Twitter read this).  The full text of tonight’s chat on Twitter can be found here (in my unofficial archive) or on the ASE site here. The chat session started off discussing the P-levels and …

Using data logging technology with special needs students

Many departments have small numbers of data loggers, stuck at the back of cupboards with flat batteries, neglected because no-one really knows what to do with them.  Perhaps they don’t get used because you haven’t got a class set or because the teacher lacks the confidence to use them in front of a group of …

Pepping up teaching the electromagnetic spectrum for SEN students

We’ve been looking at the EM spectrum this week which is difficult with SEN students who find the idea incredibly hard to grasp. To make this topic more hands on we’ve done a series of practical lessons looking at different types of waves.  Perhaps you’ll have time to squeeze a few of these in – …