Meeting 1

Meeting 1

Download the agenda.

What do we mean by academic literacy in science?

We started by looking at the language issues our students have which affecting their ability to access challenge in learning and developing a working definition of academic literacy for the science classroom

What do we mean by giftedness in Science?

Key questions:
  • What does expertise/subject thinking look like in science?
  • What is distinctive about teaching and learning which develops learners’ scientific thinking?
  • What does a good lesson look like for this?

Using Key Visuals

Manny Vazquez provided a wide-ranging view of how to model and use visual planning tools to support language development, through three kinds of key visual:
  • Explanatory. How do we convert a series of ideas or a process into a visual narrative?
  • Evaluative. How can we use visuals to identify how much the learner understands?
  • Generative. How does visuals enable the learner to expand their language capability?
  • Key Visuals PowerPoint
  • CD of key visuals guidance and blanks, produced by Hounslow Language Service (one copy per school)

Colleagues wishing to look at other ideas might also wish to download another REAL tool, 10 ways to support and challenge advanced learners, which provides a view of the wider scope of classroom strategies.

Practical ideas for thinking

Pat O'Brien introduced three different thinking tools:

  • what am I?
  • tell the story of the graph
  • six degrees of separation


Ideas from the Bright Ideas Time

Helen Wilson outlined her work on previous AstraZeneca funded projects, including the Bright Ideas Time from Challenge in Primary Science. This session shared ideas on three of the elements of the Bright Ideas time:
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • PMI (Positive, Minus and Interesting)
  • Odd One Out. 

As a follow up activity colleagues were asked to:

  • complete a pen portrait for a student who represents the issue most closely from the school's perspective
  • identfy a target group of learners from Year 5 or Year 8

An exemplar of a completed pen portrait can be downloaded here.