Literacy for Science


This three-hour workshop has been designed to help teachers in Key Stage 3 meet the literacy demands of the sciences. There is a focus on the role of vocabulary and scientific language, and the journey from informal speech to formal writing.

The Education Endowment Foundation Guidance Report for improving secondary science highlights a clear link between literacy skills and attainment in science. This workshop will help science teachers and literacy leads ensure they have the strategies in place to ensure no student is left behind.

Still unsure if this course is for you? Read Amanda Fleck's article on science vocabulary to find out more about the importance of robust strategies to embed learning.

About the course

  • Identify research-based approaches to developing literacy in the sciences

    Explore what we mean by literacy in science and consider what literacy skills students need. Compile a toolkit of tried and tested strategies.

  • Learn to use specific active reading strategies (e.g. DARTS) with science texts

    Access classroom-ready activities to help engage students with texts and help them secure their understanding.

  • Build a toolkit for developing vocabulary

    Look at Tier 2 and 3 words and explore ways of introducing them, and unpick the ways in which scientific vocabulary differs from other subjects, including an exploration of exam command words.

  • Translate reading and vocabulary strategies into writing outcomes

    Follow the journey from talk to writing, looking at different text types and the formal vs. informal styles.


Workshop structure

Introduction: objectives and outcomes of the training

  • What do we mean by science in literacy? Exploring the research

Exploring vocabulary

  • Using practical approaches to help vocabulary retention
  • Morphemic awareness and word roots in scientific language

Reading and writing in science

  • Identifying and understanding different text types
  • Moving from talk to writing
  • Using exam questions to explore command words and appropriate discourse markers

Practical applications for use in lessons

  • Range of activities to try in class
  • Using National Literacy Trust resources
  • Sharing findings with colleagues

Training availability

Owing to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, delivery of face-to-face training has been suspended. Please explore our online training opportunities. If you have a specific query about our face-to-face Literacy for Science course email Marlene Vasquez-Cain.