Science, Language and Social Learning

We had an ‘explosive’ day at Maplecross Primary School, UK, on Thursday 5th January exploring approaches to science with staff. The focus was on engaging children in their learning and structuring their thinking with a heavy focus on developing the language for learning. In addition, the school also looked at embedding its agreed ‘generic social learning attributes’ into the teaching of science.

This approach reflects the Centre’s view that the language for all learning needs to be;

  • known and understood by all the children and the staff,
  • used consistency within and beyond the school community by all learners,
  • made visible and explicit within and beyond the formal curriculum,
  • developed through practical activities.

If you would like to find out more about what this school are doing visit their blog.

Developing Science Journals

Developing a Science Working Wall

The school has also been working on developing a wider range of speaking and listening opportunities for the children across the curriculum to help them articulate their learning including;

  • A/B talk (A talks to child B, B listens to A and then B reports back to the teacher or other children. Child A is then asked if they wish to add anymore. This is then repeated; B talks, A listens and feeds back)
  • Hot seating
  • Consensus seeking in collaborative group work
  • The smallest theatre in the world
  • Reader’s theatre
  • Talk for writing

These strategies are not curriculum specific and therefore can be used in all subjects areas and more importantly from the Centre’s perspective can be used in classrooms to explore and develop the child’s ability to reflect upon and manage their learning now and in the future.

3 Replies to “Science, Language and Social Learning”

  1. The ‘explosive’ day at school has continued this week. The staff have all been passionate and enthusiastic to drive science but use this as the vehicle by which to enhance learning skills.
    The key, and important next step, is to look at how we link these skills together to ensure the children’s learning opportunities are capitalised. Developing as a questioner is not unique to science and will only seek to enhance all learning.
    As leaders it is vital we ensure the message gets across – it is the process not just the outcome.

  2. Following on from your visit, it has been good to see how the science journals are now being used by both staff and children alike. Some pupils are learning together in 2s and 3s developing their collaborative and science skills.

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