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Subject Spotlight – Physical Education and DocsPlus

22nd May 2024

In a recent conversation with a secondary school, we discussed how DocsPlus could be used to support learners in PE. We focused on how to assist students when reading or writing PE-related content, both in lessons and in exams.  

Using DocReader to access reading materials

To begin with, we discussed how teachers and learners can use the built-in DocReader to open PDFs or Word documents and have them read aloud. The DocReader reads out highlighted sections of the text which supports fluency and comprehension. The split screen function enables the student to view both the document and the word processor at the same time, which makes answering questions or making notes easier and more user friendly. 

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Collating ideas in a visual organiser

After reading a text, learners can think about how to take this information and create a piece of writing or complete a written task. We explored a range of WorkSpaces, which are a great visual organising tool, perfect for planning out ideas or for revision. They enable learners to organise their thoughts and ideas in a clear and accessible format. A learner can create their own from scratch or they can use a pre-made WorkSpace available on LearningGrids

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WorkSpaces can help students to scaffold different writing styles. If your PE students need to write a piece promoting participation in sport, advising on the benefits of physical activity, or persuading their audience of the importance of a balanced diet, these sets provide a valuable framework to fit each writing genre. 

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From planning to writing

Following on from this, the learner now needs to take their ideas from this planning stage into the writing stage. To do this, we focussed on the core support tools in the DocsPlus Document, which are useful for learners who struggle with getting their ideas and knowledge down onto paper. 

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Voice Notes can be invaluable for students who can verbalise their understanding but need support when writing. The learner can listen back as many times as they need to whilst creating their piece of writing. 

DocsPlus’ realistic speech feedback encourages learners to review and self-correct their work. The talking spell checker enables the learner to correct spelling errors and maintain their flow of writing.  

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The intelligent predictor suggests words based on the context of the learner’s writing, speeding up writing productivity. It supports those with poor working memory by reducing how many words they have to physically type out. 

Wordbars provide subject specific vocabulary, organised in topic tabs or alphabetically, which can be inserted by a click or a tap. They sit beneath the document and encourage learners to use a wider range of relevant vocabulary, as well as providing structure to their writing. Wordbars are easily editable, so you can add or remove words to suit specific learners or topics as well as including any tier vocabulary you wish the students to include. 

Within the Science subject area of LearningGrids, you can find Wordbars for topics such as the skeleton, muscles, circulatory system, respiratory system, and diet and nutrition. 

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Creating your own Wordbar

It’s easy to make your own Wordbar – simply copy and paste text from a web page or document into our Wordbar generator to quickly create a bank of vocabulary for your learners to use. This enables you to create a resource which exactly suits your students and their writing goals for a particular topic. This could also be something your more able learners generate for themselves! Check out our DocsPlus for Students videos which are a great guide to help you get your students started using DocsPlus. 

Want to know more?

The beauty of DocsPlus is that it can be used to support literacy across the curriculum, in any subject. If you want to find out more about how you can use DocsPlus and the amazing resources available in a specific subject or topic area, contact our Customer Experience team by phone at 01604 671691 or by emailing

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