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Discussion in 'Primary' started by brendaelizabethhicks, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. brendaelizabethhicks

    brendaelizabethhicks New commenter

    Hi, I have heard that the Gov are not looking for differentiation any more and this was due to stop this year. Does anyone have any information regarding this ?
  2. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    ‘The Gov’ are not looking for anything in particular.

    Nothing was ‘supposed’ to stop at any particular time, but more and more schools do not talk about ‘differentiation’ any more and haven’t since the 2016 curriculum. Indeed, many now use schemes where everyone is taught the same thing, at the same time...
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Don't believe everything you hear.
    afterdark likes this.
  4. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Maybe one day teachers will be able to teach in a way which meets the children’s needs and encourages endeavour, creativity and aspiration. Yes, I think there needs to be a framework/curriculum but it should be drawn with broad brush-stokes, allowing professional teachers to paint in the details.

    I don’t think current practice and the labelling of children is helpful at all. We should stop jumping on bandwagons and changing horses mid-race. An academic year without new buzz-words, acronyms, and teaching strategies would be refreshing.
    afterdark, Sally006 and Caro D like this.
  5. fartyowls

    fartyowls New commenter

    In a mixed class I hate differentiated worksheets. It takes the children the whole of 5 seconds to realise who is doing what and start labelling each other thick and clever.

    Why can’t we set one task to challenge all. If too difficult lower and help. If finished, extend and stretch.
  6. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    "Differentiation" is a bit awkward because it tends to mean different things to different people. On the whole, I would tend to agree with fartyowls that all of the class should be doing more or less the same thing, but different levels of support can be put in place. We could also think of some ways to take the task to a higher level, if there are some very able students.
  7. FriedEggs

    FriedEggs New commenter

    No, the government have not banned differentiation. How could they when children are clearly different?

    The closest you will get is in the Ofsted Overview of Research that underlies the new inspection framework. This has a lot to say about teaching and learning, but the bit you want is page 14:

    afterdark likes this.
  8. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Lead commenter

    That is differentiation.
    ViolaClef likes this.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I think that Stilitskin is correct, but of course giving your students differentiated worksheets might mean an awful lot of extra work for you, their teacher. Perhaps it would be okay to give them all the same worksheet, if there are some easy questions at the beginning, slightly harder ones half-way through and then some blooming impossible ones right at the end. I also find that flashcards can be used to support weaker students, as well as keeping the more able busy in the last ten minutes of the lesson.

    A great extension activity is to ask your more able students to come up with their own questions (and you might have a go at answering them!)
  10. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    I use a layered challenge system with my class. I teach the same thing to all, let them choose what to do, and expect them to try at least three different layers - there can be five or six options. It’s easy and no one gets labelled. Or I get them all to do the same task but support the weaker ones with resources, word lists, apparatus, whatever, with different personal targets, and accept differentiation by outcome.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    In the front of his / her exercise book, each student has a list of targets, some hard and some really quite easy. I also have a large collection of flashcards, linked to the targets. This is a good way of giving individual challenges to students of different abilities. Having these targets can be helpful for motivating some of the weaker students.
  12. alicedow

    alicedow New commenter

    I believe the use of differentiated worksheets etc given to set groups of children is a method that's being moved away from and that mastery teaching to the whole group, choice by the children and scaffolding to allow those who may struggle to access the same material as the rest of the class are all techniques that are being viewed as a more positive approach to teaching. It is important that children are not 'boxed' into sets and only attempt work set at that level as achievement across different topics within the same subject can vary drastically and the idea of all children being given the chance to aim for the same level of attainment is a more positive method and can really impact the moral of the children.
  13. FriedEggs

    FriedEggs New commenter

    This is true, apart from the 'choice by the children' part. I think in the 'Teaching for Mastery' approach, the teacher makes the choice of how to move on the child in response to observation and assessment in the lesson, in order to deepen their understanding (rather than to new content).
  14. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    If you give the students a choice of what to do, some of them might take rather a long time choosing and then go for whatever looks the easiest. (Does that sound a bit cynical?)

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