Science for All
Since 2010, Science for All has brought together science teachers and teaching assistants with expertise in special educational needs with curriculum developers from the Centre for Science Education (CSE) at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU).
This collaboration has developed a range of resources to help support SEN students in their engagement and enjoyment of science.
These diverse resources aim to make science learning more accessible and effective for students with complex needs and differing learning styles. Alongside this work with the four project schools, Science for All is also working in partnership with the Autism Centre at SHU, who have helped with grounding the project's work in theory and provided an analysis of how the project resources help to address barriers to learning and motivation in science.
This project is funded by the Astra Zeneca Science Teaching Trust.
A report was produced on this project by the Autism Centre at Sheffield Hallam University, which analyses the case studies produced for the Science For All Project to identify those parts of each study that may have particular relevance for students on the Autistic Spectrum in relation to teaching and learning.
The report gives an insight into how the schools who took part in the project addressed some of the issues which can affect students on the autistic spectrum, including motivation, attention, self-esteem, visual learning and multiple learning requirements.
This can be viewed here.
This project worked with four schools to consider share strategies for teaching science to students with special educational needs. The case students include:
Kinaesthetic Foodweb: Sarah Williams and Matthew Bailey, from King Ecgbert School in Sheffield, share their experience of creating an interactive activity to help students with special educational needs to understand food webs and the flow of energy in food chains.
The use of cameras in SEN education: Patrick Organ and Barbara Watson, from the Forest Special School, share their ideas on using photography to support teaching and learning. The case study aimed to tackle how to record individual progress and achievement when teaching students with severe and moderate learning difficulties. A number of uses of cameras are described, including capturing a moment, sequencing, student centred reviews, communication and modelling good behaviour.
The use of velcor in SEN lessons: Students with moderate or severe learning difficulties can find it difficult to take in information from a static display, and so teachers at Forest School use Velcro to make versatile displays. Other uses described include using pictures to help sequence lessons and the use of large number lines to help students analyse data.
Using frames to support learning in science: Helen Walker and Karen Ashforth from Birley Community School used a structured and visual approach to learning. The resources aimed to encourage literacy and help non-science staff deliver the content. The department developed an A3 laminated writing frame which would overlay an A4 picture to stimulate discussion and guide writing.