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Educating young people who are blind or vision impaired

Science

In Science, experienced teachers build on existing knowledge, enthuse and inspire students of all ages throughout New College Worcester.

The Science department aims to develop practical skills, scientific understanding, an appreciation of the history of Science, and the application of Science to the world around us.

The challenges for students with a vision impairment include:

  • Gaps in knowledge due to limited incidental learning
  • Carrying out research using internet searches
  • Accessing tactile and large print diagrams and relating these to 3D objects and real situations.
  • Plotting graphs
  • Learning to use modified apparatus in all three Sciences
  • Using non-scientific and scientific calculators which may have different button arrangements

Head of Department:

Will Stark, Head of Science
Mr William Stark

Examples of adaptations for vision impaired students

  • Diagrams are used in conjunction with 3D models and in context, to ensure students can relate abstract diagrams to ‘real-life’
  • Use of tactile (swell) paper to produce diagrams with print or Braille labels
  • Use of large backlit TVs for students with low vision to be able to use microscopes and access animations and other forms of visual learning
  • Use of an extensive range of modified resources to enable students to carry out practical work including talking thermometers, colour detectors, voltmeters and ammeters, modified syringes for measuring liquids, tactile markings on glassware in chemistry and many more
  • Each student is encouraged to complete practical work independently – this improves the learning experience through practical work
  • We use large numbers of 3D models and due to the small class sizes each student has one to use exclusively rather than needing to share
  • Students use tactile graph boards to produce tactile graphs on tactile graph paper which makes the analysis of graphs accessible for all students
  • Year 9 and 10 students go to Birmingham University to take part in special revision quizzes with schools from all over the Midlands.

Courses

A-level:

  • Physics – OCR A
  • Biology – AQA
  • Chemistry – Edexcel

BTEC Level 3 – Environmental Sustainability

This course is offered to Sixth Form students who want to continue with their science education but do not want to study for a traditional A level. It is 100% coursework and involves modules including wildlife populations and sustainable transport.

GCSE:

  • Science Trilogy – AQA
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