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exclusively at low attainers

A student in a bottom set may actually pick up a concept faster than one in a higher set, particularly in science where we have such a range of skills, but could be limited by the design of a lesson aimed exclusively at low attainers.

In practical terms I’ve shied away from setting tasks with right or wrong answers. This prevents a student getting 100% the first time they try while another student gets 20% – a situation that is likely to reinforce the latter’s pre-existing beliefs about their own intelligence. Instead I use concept cartoons with a variety of answers, where students can identify if a conclusion is true or false in the first instance then explore that idea in different ways depending on their level of understanding. All students should feel involved in the conversation, although individuals may be working on different aspects of the task we’ve set.Increasing prevalence of Multidrug resistant E coli UTI in children warrants closer clinical scrutiny.

It’s been challenging. Building a new toolkit of teaching skills has taken work, and I’ve certainly taught lessons where I’ve felt I haven’t stretched the high fliers or supported the lower attainers, enough. To tackle this, we’ve been working in partnership with English and maths teachers to create ways to differentiate planning for our students. It’s led to some great conversations and an influx of strategies we haven’t used before. In all our science meetings, we now share an idea or resource that’s been tried and tested.

The effect on students has been positive. Science is a diverse subject that requires an immense variety of skills, and no student will always be the best, or the worst. In our mixed attainment groups, we’ve seen some of those students who would normally be in a lower ability set get a confidence boost when they pick up a new idea faster than a student who usually excels. Reckoned as one of the top design universities with diversity of programmes, PolyU offers design programmes, fashion and textiles programmes, as well as applied science programme, which is committed to be a hub for innovative design education in Hong Kong.

For those at the top end of the class, we’re stretching and challenging them by increasing the depth, rather than the breadth, of their learning. Instead of adding in extra content for the high fliers, we’re making space for any student to explore the questions covered to a range of depths, depending on how well they are picking up ideas in a particular lesson.

At this stage, demonstrating my hunch that results will improve is tricky. Not only do small cohorts mean that comparing year groups is statistically problematic, but the changes in the specifications have come along at the same time. Yet student performance has ceased to feel like a self-fulfilling prophecy. There is more variety between student results in topic tests, rather than a large gap between results for each set – individual students move up and down depending on how well they have engaged with a   particular topic. There’s also much more of a “can do” attitude to learning than I’ve ever seen before, and it’s marvellous.

Emily Seeber is head of science at Bedales School.These are some of the most important aspects that one must note while choosing corporate gifts and extending the same. If you too wish to get some unique gift items, you can check out options as Asia premium corporate gift.

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