The following links will be useful to teachers looking for support in teaching primary science and maintaining primary children’s awe, wonder and interest in science.
From September 2017 children in Year 6 will have been following the 2014 curriculum since the beginning of their Key Stage 2 studies. The current curriculum requires that children should gain essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science through direct interaction with all aspects of the Programmes of Study. Evidence suggests that children’s interest in science is shaped before they leave primary school; it is therefore essential to ensure that primary-aged children do not lose that interest, along with their enthusiasm for learning, and the science that underpins it.
Programme of Study for Science
Science is a compulsory subject at Key Stages 1 and 2 and is split into various topics as set out in the National Curriculum Science Programme of Study document. Each topic is underpinned with the requirement to learn and understand the nature, processes and methods of science, collectively known as “Working Scientifically.” The Working Scientifically part of the curriculum is not expected to be taught separately, but rather incorporated into the day to day teaching of the various science topics.
Self-Assessment Framework for Schools
Assessment has a strong influence on teaching and learning and it is essential that there is congruence between what is intended to be learned and what is assessed.
The TAPS (Teacher Assessment in Primary Science) Pyramid is a superb resource developed by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) in Association with Bath Spa University. It provides a structure to help schools evaluate and develop their assessment processes.
It provides support for valid, reliable and manageable assessment, which will have a positive impact on children’s learning.
Access the TAPS tool here: https://pstt.org.uk/resources/curriculum-materials/assessment
Click on the “Focused Assessment Database” tab to access lesson plans that incorporate a particular assessment focus.
Sources of support
STEM Learning. Browse over 3000 freely available resources to help with teaching across all topics in science. Includes ideas for practical activities and demonstrations and lesson plans.
ESERO-UK. A website that provides free resources, support and information for teachers to enhance the teaching and learning of STEM subjects using “Space” as a context.
PhET Interactive. A site offering free interactive maths and science simulations which engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment, enabling students to learn through exploration and discovery.
Hamilton Trust. Website packed with resources, lesson plans, videos and worksheets organised on a year by year basis and topics within each year group. Take and use wholesale or adapt lessons to suit your own needs.
Planet Science. NESTA funded collection of resources and teaching ideas to use in the classroom. Each section contains a mini investigation that can be done easily with pupils and will bolster their Working Scientifically skills.
BBC Bitesize. Archived content but still really useful for Key Stage 2 teachers. A selection of learning modules organized into Living Things, Materials and Physical Processes topics. Each module contains a game style learning session, a set of reading scripts and a quiz. There are also links to the older BBC interactive Bitesize content too.
RSC – Learn Chemistry. A collection of resources to support your subject knowledge and teaching of primary chemistry, including links with cross curricular topics.
Millgate House – Concept cartoons. A book containing simple cartoon-style drawings that present learners with their own misconceptions and generate discussion and argument. Ideal for formative assessment and can be used before and after teaching a topic.
Plickers – a brilliant and freely available resource to assist teachers in assessing learning using a simple voting system where results are gathered instantly using an iPad/Android app.
Provides information about a host of upcoming CPD events across the country, including those where bursaries are available to fully or part fund the cost of the CPD
Nottingham Science Learning Partnership
Lists all CPD courses available through the Redhill Teaching School Alliance to teachers in and around Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. Both primary and secondary CPD courses are available
Association of Science Education (ASE). The UK’s largest subject association with a website packed full of information for all those involved in teaching, and supporting teaching of science at all levels in the UK. www.ase.org.uk
State of the nation: report of UK primary science education -This report explores the nature of science delivery across the UK and captures baseline metrics prior to the campaign’s full implementation in autumn 2017.
A review of Ofsted inspection reports: science -This document describes Wellcome’s review of how Ofsted school inspections comment on science. It places the review in the context of Ofsted’s own Maintaining curiosity report in 2013 (a survey into science education) and a follow-up exercise by Ofsted in 2016 in which inspectors took a closer look at science in primary schools.
Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM). PSQM is an award scheme to enable primary schools across the UK to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their science provision.
Bursaries for STEM teaching. Part of the STEM Learning website detailing bursaries available to support CPD, raising achievement and partnership working.
STEM Ambassadors – Invite a local STEM specialist into your school. Bring science alive through a network of local specialists who volunteer to come in and meet children for free.
Schemes of Work
Snap Science. Specially designed for the 2014 curriculum, Snap Science is an ASE approved toolkit to help with science delivery and covers all aspects of scientific enquiry. Lessons include ongoing formative assessment opportunities in every lesson plan.
Kent Ed. Another scheme of work designed for the new curriculum and highly recommended by teachers. 28 units of work with assessment lesson plans, resources and assessment grids.
Science Bug. A scheme of work designed by Pearson, also ASE approved with built in differentiation and assessment opportunities.
Nottingham City Council can broker support if schools are interested in individual packages.