Teaching & Learning in Science Issue 1 - november 2018


This newsletter is aimed at developing teaching and learning within our department, with this in mind the newsletter will contain links to blogs, teaching and learning strategies/resources, useful tools in the classroom and more!

Developing learning through collaboration

The newsletter serves as a guide for good practice and ideas to be shared. If you find something that you think we would collectively benefit from then please do share it so that it can be included in upcoming issues or within our department meetings.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have released a report on improving secondary science, their main findings are summarized in the image on the right.

The report covers a wide range of strategies to aid the development of science teaching in a secondary context. While its main findings are for improving science provision for disadvantaged pupils, many of the findings can, and do, translate to improved outcomes for all students.

The report highlights 7 key areas across science, from build on the ideas that students bring to lessons through to using structured feedback to move learning forwards. It is definitely worth a read for any teacher to help make marginal gains in their classroom and further engage students in a subject that we are all passionate about.

You can read the full report here and visit the EEF website by click on the button below.

In our department meeting at the start of term we discussed retrieval practice and looked at the work of The Learning Scientists. We looked at a few different strategies and resources that we could develop in lessons to get students retrieving, such as the challenge grid below. The templates for the challenge grid are available in our MS Team and on Mark Anderson's blog here. You can read more about the grids on a blog written by Kate Jones here.

Template available in MS Teams

There are other strategies we can employ to get our students retrieving such as structure strips (see image below), using mini whiteboards, Kahoot, Quizizz, Quizlet or simply quick fire 10 question tests. An example of a structure strip used in class is below, once the student has answered all the questions they can from memory we then go through the answers. After checking they then highlight the spec points they either didn't remember or those they got wrong and voila, instant and purposeful feedback!

Structure strip prior to marking

This has now developed and there is a team of us across three STEAM subjects working on retrieval practice, spaced practice and home learning as a part of our CSI. This will bring about some fruitful research and developments looking ahead to the rest of the year and beyond. In the mean time, please keep getting our students to retrieve their prior learning.

November's Recommended Websites

For all things focusing on the science of learning and educational research, the first recommendation is The Learning Scientists. This website has great resources on many strategies that help with learning, revision and memory for our students.

The second recommendation is the blog and website of the ICTEvangelist, Mark Anderson. He writes with passion and authenticity on all areas of education. A personal favourite, as it its a great selection of books to read when taking CPD into your own hands, was his recent blog titled 'The Periodic Table of educational books to read today'.

New #edtech Equipment

Curiscope Virtuali-Tee

Bring the human body to life with this Augmented Reality t-shirt using our department iPads! The app has already been pre-loaded onto all our iPads, it's called Virtuali-Tee.

There are resources on the skeletal, digestive and circulatory systems here (just scroll to the bottom of the page). To see a live demo of how they work, watch this video.

November's Recommended Blogs


Why do so many educators rate Rosenshine's research so highly? Is it because much of teaching and teaching practice overlaps regardless of the subject we specialize in?

On a daily basis many aspects of teaching are analogous, such as: questioning, developing schema through knowledge, repetition, practice and modelling to name but a few. These are all common themes in every classroom so much of what Rosenshine says stands the test of time, context and are as true today as they were when his paper was first published six years ago.

"The most successful teachers spent more time in guided practice, more time asking questions, more time checking for understanding, and more time correcting errors." Rosenshine 2012

Read the full paper here.

A great read on this subject is Tom Sherrington's article 'Why Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction is THE must-read for all teachershere.

Office Lens

Microsoft Office Lens is a free app that we can make use of in our classrooms, at least those with an Apple TV in currently. It allows you to scan and take a photo of any document or whiteboard, which you can then make notes on for all to see.

We can utilize this in Science, while we wait for visualizers, by taking photos of student work and then providing instant feedback. Amazing! If you'd like to know more or like a quick demo please come and see me.

This newsletter was written by Olly Lewis

Created By
Olly Lewis


Created with images by Hal Gatewood - "untitled image" • Samuel Zeller - "VR" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • Elevate - "untitled image" • WikiImages - "astronaut space shuttle space walk" • Jonas Svidras - "Intel 8008" • andrew jay - "untitled image" • Sophieja23 - "blog blogging wordpress write blogger web design" • WikiImages - "rocket launch smoke rocket take off side" • Agence Olloweb - "Création graphique - Agence Olloweb"

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