Scaffolding learning in science

Resources team
19th November 2019
Science, secondary, newsletter, scaffold, support, resource, guide, revision, SEN, KS3, KS4, GCSE, post-16, A-level, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12, Year 13

Supporting materials to help struggling students make sense of topics in biology, chemistry and physics

The subject of science plays host to a multitude of theories and laws that explain why and how natural events or processes occur. While some learners thrive on getting to grips with these notions, they can be enough to put others off.

For those that struggle to get their heads around some of these ideas, we’ve picked out a selection of resources to support learning in different topic areas. Why not get started with these visual cards, created especially to unravel some of the trickier concepts in all three sciences?


7D classification unit for SEN

Contains pupil booklet, powerpoint, outline lesson plan (rough), pictures to cut out for cut and stick activities, organisms pictures which ideally could be cut out and laminated for students to sort into groups in lesson 2. You'll also need dolly mixtures for lesson 5 :)

the living/non-living cards have been removed by TES due to their origin (sparklebox) so i'm afraid you'll have to make your own until i can get round to doing it(!).
By alexharrison101

Support cards for OCR Core Science.

A set of visual cards each covering a key idea that I have found students struggle with.
Each card has images and information boxes that summarise the key information.
Cards include; Natural clones, artificial clones, genetic key terms, immunity, white blood cells, fractional distillation, P and S waves, wave calculations, Intermolecular forces, inverse square law, DDT, Chlorine, Sustainability and environmental impact, Genetic testing of a fetus, Blood pressure, Antigen and antibody, Redshift, Patterns in chemical names, General model of radiation, Pollutants, Catalytic converters and Polymer modifications.

I use them during independent study and DIRT time as a support resource. They couls also be used for differentiation to support students. I use them when students are responding to feedback to rewrite exam questions they got wrong.
By DrBiffy

Reflex Arc Foldable - two versions/differentiated

Just one sheet of A4 to print out. Pupils cut along all the dotted lines and fold down the middle. They then stick the key words onto the outside to give the pathway of the reflex arc. It includes stimulus/receptor/sensory neurone/synapse/relay neurone/synapse/motor neurone/ effector/response.

There are two versions, one has an example on the other side so they can put it into context. Pupils can also colour in the key words if they want to.
By mwyre

Natural selection lower ability

Worksheet I have made using giraffes to help pupils understand natural selection better. To be used in conjunction with textbooks. Credit to Longman's worksheet where I adapted it from.
By itegallagher

Planning mat

An A3 mat to help students independently plan investigations upto GCSE level. Contains key words, connectives and other top tips for students.
By simontwhite


Acid and Alkali - SEN Booklet

This booklet is designed with SEN pupils in mind. Cut and stick activities, pictures, ICT and embedded together
By mearley054

Properties of Subatomic Particles Puzzle

A different way to revise the properties of subatomic particles. Print the Triangles with words in them on an A4 sheet (and laminate if you want to increase lifespan). Cut out the individual triangles. Students must then match the answers ‘proton’, ‘neutron’ or ‘electron’ to the descriptors regarding relative mass, charge, location in the atom or how to calculate the number of the particle from the periodic table, in order to reassemble the puzzle. The blank triangle slide is provided to show the shape that students are trying to achieve overall. This is quite tricky as a puzzle, even if students know all the facts, so to speed things up you can tell them where the middle triangle that has all 3 subatomic particles fits into the puzzle. You can also have students simply race to make as many pairs of triangles as they can, rather than complete the whole puzzle. There is a lot of rehearsing of the facts needed to solve the whole thing! Most useful for KS4 physics or chemistry revision.

By MrsMiMo

Combined Science Quiz and Flashcard Maker

An easy-to-use spreadsheet that lets you make knowledge quizzes and flashcards for the entire of Edexcel Combined Science.

Read the yellow instructions boxes on each page to find out what to do.

The workbook can be edited if you want to add any more questions or if you spot any horrible mistakes.

All sheets are protected to prevent accidentally breaking it, but there is no password, so please feel free to delve under the covers if you are of a nerdy bent.

By MrJDField

Free Matter, Structure and Bonding Key words & Scrabble Game

This resource is a set of key words and scrabble game on matter, structure & bonding.

Thanks for looking

By chalky1234567


SUVAT Equations KS4 KS5

Basic notes on SUVAT, how to derive it from the basics. A quick guide for the students.
By wdavies93

Matter calculations support sheets

5 printable worksheets to support students with calculations on specific heat capacity, latent heat and density calculations.

The first three sheets are designed to get students using the equations and following a logical set of steps towards getting an answer, with lots of scaffolding that is gradually withdrawn.

The last two sheets are designed to get students using their intuition to work out what kind of calculations they should be doing, without thinking about it in terms of an equation, as this scares some students.

The numbers used on all sheets are sometimes not close to real values for specific heat capacity etc. I have made the numbers smaller so they are easier to work with for lower ability students.
By AndrewJCN

Discovering Forces and drawing force arrows - Cartoon Text and Activities

Suitable for KS3 and SEN GCSE students.
Learning Targets - to name some forces, draw suitable forces arrows, describe types of forces
There are three parts to the resource,
- a comic strip explaining what forces are and how to draw force arrows
- a newspaper template for students to complete, with instructions
- a comic strip type activity to demonstrate that they are able to draw force arrows, name forces and describe them.
This type of resource presents information in a more student-friendly manner than textbooks, so very suitable for the reluctant reader.

By heelis

GCSE Physics Revision Quiz

50 Question multiple choice revision quiz for GCSE Physics. Ideal class activity testing knowledge and understanding of content from across the specification. Suitable for students who have completed or nearly completed the course as part of a revision lesson and helps with developing memory recall skills. Contains some higher tier questions which can be edited for lower ability groups. Fully editable with ‘Ask me’ to give all students opportunities to answer.
The quiz makes use of a 15 second timer to encourage quick thinking and improve speed of knowledge recall, after which the question is covered, only leaving the possible answers. Incorrect answers chosen are highlighted red to provide instant feedback to the students during the quiz and allowing for opportunities to discuss the correct answer.
When playing the presentation, the quiz is navigated by on-screen buttons to encourage students to answer all questions rather than skipping through to ensure that they are familiar with these topics and consolidate their learning across the course. This also provides opportunities for students to identify areas of weakness where they need to focus their revision.

By jdlangford1

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