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GUIDANCE

CURRICULUM

·

TEN

·

TEACHING SCIENCE
TO PUPILS WITH
SPECIAL
EDUCATIONAL
NEEDS

NATIONAL
CURRICULUM
COUNCIL

1111~li'llljlillllllll~I~~II"1
N16640

NCC is grateful for the help of a team of teachers and advisers in producing this book. All
of the classroom material included in the book is drawn from their experience of teaching
pupils with a wide range of special educational needs.

£6 rrp
ISBN 1 872676 88 X
First published 1992
Copyright © 1992 National Curriculum

Council

Reproduction, storage, adaptation or translation in any form or by any means of this publication is prohibited without prior written permission of the publisher, or within the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Excerpts may be reproduced for the
purposes of research, private study, criticism or review, or by educational institutions solely for educational purposes without
permission providing full acknowledgement is given.
Printed in Great Britain
The National Curriculum
National Curriculum
Chairman:

Council is an exempt charity under the Charities

Council, Albion Wharf, 25 Skeldergate,

David L Pascall

Act 1960.

York Y01 2XL.

J ~ I CONTENTS Foreword 1 1 Introduction 2 Science and pupils with special educational 3 Planning 4 for differentiation Examples of activities and case studies needs 2 4 6 KS1 Properties of materials Reflection of light Case study: Shushma 7 12 17 KS2 Recording the weather Growing plants Case study: Angharad 19 23 28 KS3 Salt Food science Insulation Case study: Sean 29 34 38 43 KS4 Electricity Metals Case study: Gordon 44 49 54 5 Planning 6 Evaluation checklist 55 57 .

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NCC is also particularly concerned to ensure that all our guidance is helpful and meets specific needs. David PascalI Chairman. therefore. Council has identified as part of our ongoing programme of keeping the National Curriculum under review. I should. It draws on good practice in schools with pupils with special educational needs and shows how teachers can use a variety of approaches to involve those pupils in science work. NCC is grateful to all those who have contributed to the development of this project.FOREWORD The National Curriculum Council acknowledges its responsibilities to ensure that the National Curriculum is available to all pupils including those with special educational needs. a particular priority to review how accessible the National Curriculum is in practice for pupils with special needs. National March 1992 Curriculum Council . be interested to receive your comments on this new publication. This book supports Council's objective. Now that the statutory framework for the foundation subjects and Religious Education is largely in place.

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The book is for teachers of pupils with SEN in mainstream and special schools. It does not cover all possible combinations of SEN at all key stages but the planning process used in the book can be applied to all areas of the science Order for all key stages. This book gives examples of such planning for all four key stages and for a range of SEN. they must not be denied the opportunity of scientific experience'. Further information and advice on differentiation and other planning issues is given in Science Non-Statutory Guidance (Nee. Science and Pupils with Special Educational Needs (Nee INSET Resources. Section 5 of this book contains details of planning science work for these pupils. It states that: 'Although pupils with severe learning difficulties may not understand the more complex concepts underlying scientific activities. 1991). June 1989 and December 1991). Activities should be differentiated to match the needs of pupils. A full description of the differentiation possible in AT1 is beyond the scope of this book.All pupils are entitled to a broad and balanced science curriculum. Nee has also published Curriculum Guidance 9: The National Curriculum and Pupils with Severe Learning Difficulties. They may find the information and activities linked to particular sections of PoS useful in developing their own planning for science teaching. Some teachers in special schools will be seeking guidance on how to plan from science programmes of study (PoS). The science activities described in this book can be modified to alter the demands made on the pupil in terms of complexity of ideas. Progression in skills is described by the PoS and statements of attainment (SoA) in attainment target (AT) 1 and that in knowledge and understanding by the PoS and SoA attainment in ATs 2-4. 1991) and Science Explorations (Nee INSET Resources. . Teachers can take opportunities to present pupils with challenges which bring about progression. knowledge and skills. Each case study demonstrates how a particular pupil is helped by the approach taken in one of the science activities shown. commentaries and case studies teachers can consider their strategies for helping different pupils. Through reading the planned activities. Some teachers in mainstream schools will be seeking guidance on how to help pupils with a range of SEN to participate in science activities. The pupil with special educational needs (SEN) can participate in science activities which are appropriately planned.

so helping concentration. • group and individual activity plans. Teachers should be aware of safety demands of science activities. open-ended investigation provides the opportunity for motivating pupils and differentiating tasks and outcomes but they may require much more time to complete. Particular schemes of work can then be designed to incorporate a range of curriculum areas. • Working in groups can encourage participation and interpersonal communication. cognitive and emotional development and needs of their pupils. • Working on a variety of activities allows pupils to share their strengths and help each other. Choosing familiar contexts and providing appropriate activities motivates and stimulates pupils and may help them gain a better knowledge and understanding of the world around them.Every pupil should have the opportunity to learn science. sensory. cooking activities can stimulate discussion of environmental issues such as those related to food production and the use of agrochemicals. work involving economic and industrial understanding (EIU) of a science-based industry can promote understanding of science concepts. • class schemes of work. The cross-curricular themes and dimensions provide many opportunities for doing this.2). The science curriculum should be planned initially for the whole school. Putting science into everyday contexts can help pupils to understand scientific ideas. and Safety in Science Laboratories (DES Safety Series No.g. • Science activities can capture the imagination and may help reduce behavioural problems.g. Some pupils can be isolated from their environment and their peers. e. Activities in science have characteristics which will help pupils with SEN achieve success. In constructing schemes of work a variety of activities should be incorporated to match pupils' needs. • They are about first hand experience. Different activities will make different demands on time. Teachers should be aware ofthe physical. e. Reference should be made to such publications as Be Safe (ASE). • Knowledge and skills can be developed in small steps through practical activity. Planning for pupils with SEN needs to be addressed at three levels: • whole school policy. On the basis of this assessment they can set objectives and plan appropriate science activities. not only by sensory and physical .

Figure 1.problems. When the skills and concepts in the schemes of work have been taught. These points are described in Section 4 of this book. . teachers will need to consider the pupils' levels of achievement. The SoA and examples should be used to help plan schemes of work. The planning sequence used in this book Programme of study (PoS) The PoS provide the basis of what is to be taught. making reference to the skills. understanding and knowledge to be used and developed. teachers should take account of relevance of content. A scheme of work should be planned with regard to progression. Ways of developing and using schemes of work are discussed in the non-statutory guidance for Science Non-Statutory Guidance (NSG) (Nee. Specific scientific activities Attainment targets (ATs) and statements of attainment (SoA) When planning specific scientific activities. but also by intellectual and behavioural difficulties. Section 5 on page 55 includes more detailed guidance on planning science for pupils with SEN. continuity and differentiation. Wellplanned science activities can help reduce this isolation by providing regular opportunities for children to work in groups. 1989). materials and methods of teaching to the pupil with SEN. The Nee INSET pack Science Explorations (1991) gives more information on planning investigations. Teachers will need to record pupils' achievement in terms of the ATs and SoA. Schemes of work Schemes of work should set out the activities planned for pupils. For some pupils progression will be within level one. and this should be reflected in the scheme of work.

g. e. • matching the demands of the activity to pupil's level of attainment. in written form. • planning activities appropriate to class. • employing active learning strategies giving pupils first experience selected from or reinforced by everyday examples. • using visits as stimuli for work and to reinforce concepts taught in school. e. • helping pupils overcome learning difficulties. Planning for differentiation can involve: • ensuring that pupils' strengths are used to build their confidence and maintain motivation. • allowing time for pupils to reflect on their work. • ensuring that the pace of the lesson takes account of the differing work rates of individual pupils.g. step by step approach which promotes a gradual development of concepts and skills. hand . • using a multi-sensory approach to give pupils the opportunity to learn effectively in a way suited to their abilities. understanding and skills. video and audio tapes. • using jargon-free. involving a tetraplegic pupil in observation and recording of results while others carry out manipulation of equipment. including the knowledge. unambiguous language starting from the pupils' own language and introducing words as needed. by simplifying the language of instructions for pupils with reading difficulties.g. simple. especially to express a concept. • explaining new words to pupils regularly to ensure they understand them and can then use them. • including the possibility of pupils' work and reports being recorded in different ways to suit their capabilities. • allowing sufficient repetition to consolidate skills.g. • providing a range of activities which will ensure the participation of all pupils (differentiated by task). Effective teaching is supported by: • defining the objectives. e. on computers.There is a wide range of methods that teachers can use to provide differentiation for pupils with SEN. • using a clearly defined. dissolving as opposed to melting. e. and/or • providing similar work for the whole group but allowing different outcomes for different individuals (differentiation by outcome). group and individuals. • providing opportunities for the assessment of pupils' progress and responses and giving feedback to individual pupils.

methods. including speech.• using material which is free of gender bias and uses the different cultural and ethnic background of pupils to enrich teaching and learning. writing.g. e. • organising some work to be done in groups or pairs so that pupils are able to demonstrate to each other what they can do. enlarged print. clear uncl uttered illustrations. • using a range of communication picture/diagrams. • making effective use of classroom helpers and technical support whilst maintaining pupil control of the work. simple and consistent language. . • having a consistent presentation for written material and a format for practical work which will avoid anxiety and encourage confidence and participation. • using adaptations of communications for the particular special educational need. • ensuring safe working conditions and the use of appropriate equipment and aids.

starting with a section from the PoS. At the end of the examples for each key stage a case study is outlined which shows how one pupil can be helped to take part in and learn from a particular activity.. After each set of activities for a key stage. They are reprinted in the book and signalled by the logo: PoS KS AT .This section gives a series of activities planned from PoS for each of the four key stages. four different activities are described. a case study is provided to demonstrate how participation in one of the science activities has been improved for pupils with particular SEN.. Particular activities may be more suited to pupils with particular SEN. In some cases alternative communication and recording techniques have been suggested. The examples of investigations and experimental work in the activities have been selected to show how planning can improve learning and participation for pupils with different SEN. The same logo is used on the pages which follow each section ofPoS. methods. For each key stage parts of the PoS have been selected as examples. use of language. • a commentary on the choice of methods. questions posed and equipment used. Each example consists of two parts: • a description of the activity which may include pupil material. Each key stage has the activities set out in the same way. These pages contain an activity which is an example of how the part of the PoS might be taught. rationale of the activity and a consideration of the needs of individual pupils. . Teachers can discuss how the pupil described in the case study can benefit from approaches used in other examples given.

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KEY STAGE 1

CASE STUDY: SUSHMA
Sushma is 7 years old; she is a lively member of her class, enjoying school
life.
In class the teacher discusses any changes to the layout of learning areas
in the classroom with Sushma, to ensure her safe mobility as she has
limited vision. This half-term the class is involved with work on reflection. Sushma has been collecting reflective materials to bring into school
for a display. Display material is clearly marked using a thick black felt
tip on yellow paper. School staff and Sushma's parents encourage Sushma
to look at any displayed material from more than a metre away.
When working on reflections with a friend, Sushma (see page 16) had
large luminescent yellow shapes placed on the back of her head. Sushma
had little difficulty in seeing them using large mirrors in a well-lit area;
she reinforced her vision by touching the shapes as well as describing
them. On occasions Sushma uses large print books, a computer with a
'pen down' program, and an opticon is also available for her use. The highlight of the term was a visit to a hall of mirrors. Sushma enjoyed the trip
immensely and the school practice of walking in pairs with linked arms
ensured she experienced no mobility problems.
Sushma works in a tidy classroom. All pupils take responsibility to return
furniture and equipment to its correct place. This practice helps Sushma
and ensures all the class enjoy a well-organised and visually uncluttered
learning environment.

Discussion
Which of the activities in the 'Properties of Materials'
would best provide for Sushma's needs and abilities?

section (pp. 7-11)

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she becomes restless and at times disruptive. She is happier when working on practical tasks than she is when reading or working on written exercises. Angharad has made a full contribution to the class activity. Discussion Which of the activities in the 'Growing Plants' section (pp. She responded well to recording weather on the large frieze. When faced with tasks which restrict Angharad's movement and require her to sit for extended periods at a table. By working alongside her peers. This activity provided her with opportunities to use a camera. She has also been encouraged to observe the weather and take part in whole class and small group discussion before recording these observations on the chart. In discussion she was able to describe her own part in the making of the chart. She has difficulty in learning and using language and shows discomfort in unfamiliar surroundings. 23-27) would best provide for Angharad's needs and abilities? . to paint pictures and to assist another child with making a collage in order to record the weather of the previous week. This activity has provided her with opportunities to undertake a variety of tasks in different locations. During this term's project on weather she has been involved in all class activities.KEY STAGE 2 CASE STUDY: ANGHARAD Angharad is 10 years old and attends her local primary school. and the visual and practical nature of the tasks have provided her with an immediate record of what she has done.

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Discussion Which of the activities in the 'Salt' and 'Food Science' sections (pp. He has a deteriorating condition which is making him progressively weaker. and uses a compu ter/word -processor competently. sessions to the record To ensure that Sean is able to work effectively in science it is necessary to make sure all experiments are able to either fit on the table he carries on his wheelchair or on the adjustable height table he uses when in his standing frame. he retains excellent finger control.KEY STAGE 3 CASE STUDY: SEAN Sean is 12 years old and attends a school for pupils with a physical disability. colour. Wherever possible the practical work is related to Sean's experience. though if asked he will always affirm that he would like to be even more involved in science than he is at present. 29-37) would provide for Sean's needs and abilities? . With support from both teacher and classroom assistant he makes contributions to all his lessons. He is no longer able to walk and uses an electric wheelchair. He has daily physiotherapy sessions and uses a standing frame for an hour each day. he has always been given a responsibility in another aspect of the group or class work. Though his arms lack strength and he is unable to reach or lift. Though he could not make the tea when the class did the tea making activity. The greatest barrier to participation is finding appropriate apparatus and materials which he can use safely and easily. Sean has a moderate learning difficulty and poor general knowledge resulting from his lack of early experiences rather than any intellectual impairment. Sean has been working recently on a project about 'Heat' with the rest of his class. He successfully completed the insulation experiment involving gloves as described on page 40 and when questioned afterwards it was clear that he had not only enjoyed the work but had understood most of the underlying concepts. he made an effective contribution to the discussion based on the knowledge of insulation he gained from the glove investigation. On those occasions when it has proved impossible for Sean to do the practical work. He enjoys science but much prefers the practical keeping and written work. He is able to write.

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who is a 16-year-old pupil. Each group made labelled diagrams of each. who has developed good relationships with many of his peers. which were displayed on the wall as sources of reference. His limited access to language has significantly affected his reading ability. 49-53) would provide . He is a sociable and amenable pupil. He is an enthusiastic member of his class and is more than willing to take an active part in all practical activities. Gordon referred to his results using the work he had produced. Gordon took an active and constructive part in the accurate recording of each tested appliance. An employee of the electricity board was invited to talk to the class. His report of the experiment included the video recordings of his work with the meter. His speech is intelligible to the trained ear. Gordon's group investigated the amounts of electricity used by different appliances. has had a moderate hearing loss in both ears since he was 5. He later entered all the class results onto a database. The class has worked on the topic electricity. Working in small groups the class followed the worksheets easily read and understood helped by instructive diagrams. During end-of-lesson class discussion. which were Fully aware of how the meter worked. They have looked at domestic supply and power generation. The appliances were brought in by the pupils from home as 'real' examples. She brought in several different types of electricity meters which the pupils were able to examine.KEY STAGE 4 CASE STUDY: GORDON Gordon. Discussion Which of the activities in the 'Metals' for Gordon's needs and abilities? section (pp. The reports of other groups helped Gordon's understanding. from which further work and ideas were generated. and also drew graphics and tables. She also provided the class with posters and photographs which were referred to during later class discussions. He recorded his results on video.

communication and learning needs. Good practice for pupils with special needs is good practice for all pupils. • Avoid walking around the room when talking. layout which • Avoid unnecessary • Store equipment in a logical way in clearly labelled locations which are regularly described to pupils. are clear and uncluttered. • Be aware that hearing-aid cause loss of vision. room changes which can confuse pupils.g. OHPs. and make sure that wheelchairs can be put into position under tables and other surfaces. ROOM LAYOUT • Ensure clear access to the room with a straightforward will not impede pupils with poor mobility. Braille. • Ensure good access to work surfaces. Makaton. • Look directly at pupils when speaking to them. • For the visually impaired pupil. It reinforces the strategies recommended in earlier chapters. with a COMMUNICATION • Ensure that all diagrams and illustrations. • Do not work with a bright light or window behind the teacher. When addressing the needs of pupils in science activities. teachers should consider the layout of rooms. as some pupils may be unable to see or hear what is being said. . • When introducing pupils understand batteries including deteriorate those used on e. Bliss symbols. • Help the pupil with a visual impairment to become familiar room by exploring it and by use of a tactile plan.The purpose of this section is to provide a list of ways of assisting pupils with special needs to participate in science. • Check the lighting conditions in the room to ensure that pupils with visual impairment are seated in the optimum position. reinforce materials on a blackboard or screen with clear diagrams (tactile where needed) or large print text. signing. • Try to use the pupil's own medium of communication. • Keep sentences and langage as simple as possible and avoid jargon. and dirty spectacles for technical words explain them several times until their meaning. • Investigate the acoustics of the classroom and check that the hearingimpaired pupil is seated in an appropriate position. this is essential pupils with hearing impairment.

LEARNING • Avoid introducing several concepts at the same time. use non-written forms of recording. e. • Check the work of pupils with special needs regularly to ensure that they understand the work. • Do not assume that concepts have been understood and provide opportunities for repetition and reinforcement. developing skills and are remaining on task.g. • Be aware that pupils with special needs can take on school and class responsibilities and that this can improve their self image. • Where necessary.• Ensure displays are lively and stimulating but uncluttered and that they are not overpowering in their provision of information. • Plan work in small steps to ensure success at every level. photogra phs/tapes/videos. . • Ensure consistency of classroom routines to avoid anxiety.

Nee would be pleased to receive feedback from teachers on the usefulness of the material presented in this book. Photocopies of these pages or letters with your comments may be sent to Curriculum Guidance 10. Albion Wharf. 25 Skeldergate. Chapter 2: Science and pupils with special educational needs Chapter 3: Planning for differentiation Chapter 4: Examples of activities and case studies . York YOl 2XL. Nee.

.Chapter 5: Planning checklist How was the material used? How many teachers were involved? What was the general reaction to the package? Any other comments? NCC would also be pleased to receive other examples of ~ork which illustrate different approaches to teaching science to phpils with special educational needs.