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Challenging the more able learner in science at KS3
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Challenging the more able learner in science at KS3

One-day course for secondary science teachers


Date: 18 March 2020

Location: London

This one-day course is designed to give classroom teachers practical ways to create a learning environment of high challenge and high aspiration. Delegates will be explore research-informed approaches to develop students’ command of key ideas, mastery of processes and skills and an ability to combine these in a variety of ways to respond to challenges. The role of practical work and the development of literacy and numeracy will also be covered.

Also running with a focus on KS4: find out more.

Book now


Attendee Price
Book now


Attendee Price
Book now

Led by NACE Associate Ed Walsh, this course is aimed at secondary science teachers and heads of department who are keen to ensure more able learners are adequately challenged throughout KS3. Delegates will explore key concepts, skills, approaches and practical strategies to inform department-wide provision.

This workshop is aimed at:

  • Heads of department
  • Secondary science teachers

9.00am: Registration and introduction

Session 1

Role of key ideas

  • How do we identify the ‘cornerstone concepts’ that a KS3 course should develop and what do we expect of able learners in relation to these?

Processes and skills

  • What is the role of processes and skills in KS3 science and how should they feature in provision for able learners?

Designing a high-quality learning experience

  • What are the features of a rich learning experience? Are able learners challenged by a greater pace of delivery, more complex terminology or more complex ideas?


Session 2

Role of practical work

  • How should practical work play a role in the course? Should able learners be doing the same practicals, or doing them in a different way or doing different activities?

Role of literacy and numeracy

  • What should the role of literacy and numeracy be? Can we assume that able learners in science will have a better grasp of these and what should the teaching of these skills look like?


  • Different teachers use questioning in different ways – what will support able learners more effectively and how does this relate to assessment practices?

12.45pm: Lunch

Session 3

Assessment and feedback

  • Students should know how to improve and assessment should also provide feedback to teachers about which aspects of provision are effective. How can this be done so that it is useful without being onerous?

Action planning and next steps

  • Identifying how ideas gathered and developed can then be used to make an impact upon practice

3.30pm: Close

  • Understand key concepts and skills at KS3 and how these relate to more able
  • Explore a range of approaches to ensuring high-quality challenge
  • Role of practical work, literacy and numeracy in context of more able
  • Effective uses of questioning to support more able learners in science
  • Assessment and feedback that works for both learners and teachers
  • Identify next steps for your own practice and wider department
  • Workshop leaders

    Ed Walsh
    , NACE Associate

    Experienced science practitioner and consultant, with experience as a head of science and in regional and national advisory roles.

    View profile

    Praesent Erat Ligula, Dignissim
    Learn More