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A range of literacy skills

There are range of literacy skills which students will need to draw on in order to be successful learners in science, such as information retrieval from books and the internet, producing visual and oral presentations, scientific reading of articles and scientific writing. As with mathematical skills, student’s literacy skills also need to be taught, and it’s a good idea to look at the scheme of learning to identify opportunities for developing literacy skills within a scientific context.

Some key questions to ask are:

  1. Do you include literacy based intended learning outcomes in some lessons?
  2. Will you identify key vocabulary for each topic and opportunities for application within lessons?
  3. Are there opportunities to develop scientific writing through the use of model answers, scaffolding, connective mats and free writing?

A useful collection of resources is SEP: Learning Skills for Science 14-16, which aims to enhance the quality of science teaching and learning by providing teachers with activities which develop students’ scientific communication skills.

Discuss

What has been the most successful strategy you have used to support learners in developing their scientific literacy skills?

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Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre

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