Get It & Get It Across: Science
A Social Language Scheme for
Get It and Get It Across (GIGIA) is a
scheme to help pupils understand language concepts
underpinning core subjects and to communicate what
they’ve learned – to teachers, family and friends!
It is designed for pupils aged from around 4 up to
13+. It is suitable for pupils with a range of
special needs from the those who are more able with
specific needs such as ‘High Functioning’ Autism
Spectrum Disorders/Asperger’s syndrome or Specific
Learning/Language Difficulties to those with more
general, mild to moderate learning difficulties. I
have also designed it to appeal to pupils who have
become ‘disengaged’ with learning perhaps because of
emotional- behavioural problems.
GIGIA draws upon the ideas of the linguist David
Crystal who identified the importance of teaching
related vocabularies in sets or categories and the
linking of concepts the child already knows to learn
new ones. It incorporates a metacognitive approach
(knowing what you know) so that pupils appreciate
the purpose of activities and also conceptual links
within and across themes including 'chaining' to
help pupils understanding more difficult or abstract
concepts; this gives them a fuller understanding of
the subject as a whole.
GIGIA incorporates interactive games, picture
sequences and cartoons to up the fun. Teachers can
use GIGIA with individual pupils (the social
component is then between teacher and pupil) but it
is best taught with pupils in pairs or small groups.
Each scheme includes an assessment so that you can
check for gaps in the pupils' understanding and use
of language for each subject and monitor their
GIGIA Science covers the
following themes and concepts:
& Living Things – Humans. Body parts out &
in, body needs, processes and systems: digestion,
food & nutrition, breathing,
circulation, urinary system, movement, senses and sensing,
reproduction. Changes to the body over time:
growth and development.
Life Processes & Living Things – Other animals.
Animal categorisation, needs and body processes.
Processes & Living Things – Plants. Plant parts;
Seasonal changes to nature; concept of
temperature across seasons
Sound and Light. Concept of pitch and loudness,
concept of light and dark, transparent,
translucent & opaque.
Matter. Recognising/identifying common
materials, concept of liquid, solid & gas, atoms
and particles, reversible and irreversible
measurement, density, concept of sinking and
floating, colour and colour shades.
Energy. Concept of a force, types of forces, how
things move/change, concept of speed,
electricity, gravity, how things stay still.
Planets and the Concept of Space. Concept of
Earth as a planet, other planets, position and
movement of Earth in relation to Sun
Each theme is followed through to a level that is
appropriate considering the pupil’s development and
What’s different about GIGIA? GIGIA emanates from
Wendy’s earlier work Language Concepts to Access
Learning and incorporates strategies from her work
on organisational language/planning. Both of these
have been commented upon favourably by Ofsted as
improving standards and they have proven effective
children who have special needs at primary and
secondary school, including students who have
remembering or who have struggled with more
difficult Science concepts for a number of years.
on going assessment in line with teaching targets
showed substantial progress maintained at the end of
year period. Children developed their understanding
and use of concepts, from concrete to abstract;
finding and planning abilities also improved.
Because GIGIA focuses more on the language concepts
linking these to Scientific concepts and processes
it has helped pupils with special needs understand
more from the practical aspects of Science and
Scientific experimentation. The emphasis on
communication to others reviews and extends the
application of skills included in the Social Use of
GIGIA Science comprises the following components –
you can click on the heading below to see more:
Teaching Manual and lesson records
Picture books in colour
Book of interactive focus games to start each
Concept stories (when you buy GIGIA for primary
Picture Plays (when you buy GiGIA for secondary
Assessment Manual, Assessment Picture Book, record
booklets and summary profile
for the GIGIA