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What if teachers had a better understanding between scaffolding and differentiation?

Scaffolding and differentiation are educational concepts that I regularly see confused in our schools, especially when it comes to supporting learners with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities).

What not to do…

I have heard of some teachers suggesting that pupils need ‘exposure’ to their year group’s curriculum, regardless of suitability to their actual need. This school of thought is both damaging to pupils’ self-esteem when they are unable to achieve objectives and wastes valuable learning time.

These pupils could have been working on a small step target more appropriate for their needs through a personalised curriculum. Conversely, pupils may be provided with a differentiated objective when actually, they would have achieved the same objective as their peers with the correct scaffolding. Limiting learning is the last thing teachers want to do.

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