Differentiation;creating different resources for different students


I hear that teachers are having to prove they are differentiating for students by creating a different resource for different students. Worse still some are allocating the resource based on data.

Here’s how I mainly differentiate:

I teach to the top. At key stage 4 all students have access to A* material. I get them to write for me. I mark it quickly. I then see who needs some support. It’s usually in the form of a writing frame/sentence starters.

That’s it.

I don’t look at their data to decide whether they need to support, their work tells me. I don’t make any extra resources. I expect them to all to work towards A* work.

This has worked my entire career in teaching GCSE and A Level. So why are some leaders requiring teachers to spend timing creating different resources that are allocated to student based on target grades?

I have no words.



5 thoughts on “Differentiation;creating different resources for different students

  1. I would like to dance around this yelping with delight. So sick of being told that my teaching lacks differentiation. My time, my marking, my questions, my pairing of pupils, my use of further extension.

    I was once told I should create different worksheets, different colours for different pupils. Heart sank. Hate work sheets and hate insinuating to anyone ‘you can’t do that work – you are not able to’

  2. I would say that it is something that is easier said than done in primary schools where we have children who cannot read and those that can!! It’s not possible to ‘teach to the top’ in the same way, although it was always what I aimed for. When it was not possible I was in effect teaching a load of mini-lessons. I agree with what you say but I think that this is one where we could usefully have dialogue, experience of observing each others classes and school set ups. While I believe that we have the ability to come up with a solution, we can’t do so in isolation of each other.

  3. This is the norm at my school. I’ve found a good way to get around it (in most lessons anyway): I set out a challenge (intended for everyone to achieve), a super challenge, and a mega challenge. Children choose what level they will work towards, and as a year 3 class, all of mine push themselves to the mega challenge. This of course won’t work for everyone but it’s a nice way to show differentiation without having to necessarily make separate resources.

  4. Pingback: And the results are in….. Reflections on two years of GCSE | missdcoxblog

  5. Bravo! This, this and more this. The only time this shouldn’t be the case is when the children can’t read the text. Honestly think the more ways you try to split a lesson the more inefficient it becomes.

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