Primary Science Enhancement Award for Early Career Teachers

Information and resources for early career teachers taking part in the PSEA scheme

Welcome to the Primary Science Enhancement Award scheme for Career Teachers 2023-24

We are delighted that this scheme is being supported by The Ogden Trust.

We hope you enjoy taking part in the scheme and that you find that it is beneficial for your professional development in primary science education. This scheme is based on the Primary Science Teaching Trust’s scheme for initial teacher education. The students who have completed this scheme report increased confidence with planning, teaching and assessing science, a much greater awareness of where to find high quality supporting resources, and a fuller understanding of the role of the science subject leader. Click here to go to the webpage for the ITE version where you can view two videos of student teachers talking about their experiences of the scheme.

All the information and resources that you will need to take part in the scheme are on this page. If you have any questions, please deal directly with your facilitator from The Ogden Trust.


Here you can download key documents such as the process document, Primary Science Enhancement Scheme for ECT outline, teacher portfolio and portfolio exemplars.

This PDF gives a detailed breakdown of the PSEA for ECT process from start to completion.

This document is for Odgen Trust tutors as well as teachers. It explains the aims and principles of the scheme, and what is required from tutors and teachers.

This is the basis of the student portfolio. It includes instructions about how to complete it, with proformas for the reflective activities. When you download the PSEA portfolio template, please save the Word document as follows (as this is how you will need to upload it once it is completed): [Surname First name] PSEA for ECT 2024.docx

For example, ‘Taylor Amara PSEA for ECT 2024.docx’ or ‘Malik Jamal PSEA for ECT 2024.docx’

These are anonymised portfolios from student teachers who took part in the ITE version of the scheme last year (both assessed as meeting the standard) to give you a clear idea of the expectations for your own portfolio. Annotations have been added to support you to develop your own reflective writing and to construct a portfolio that demonstrates how your knowledge, skills, practice and attitudes have changed over the course of the PSEA scheme.

Choose an article from the Association for Science Education publication, Primary Science, that describes a particular strategy or approach. Try this with a group/class of children. Reflect on the outcomes, with reference to the article.

Teachers are encouraged to look for an article themselves; any article that presents an approach or strategy for teaching science can be chosen, and scheme tutors will be able to provide advice about whether or not a particular article would be suitable. Alternatively, the list of articles included here would be suitable for this task and are available to download.

Developing Talk in the Primary Classroom

Primary Science (2020) 1590, 12-16

This article outlines different techniques to develop talk and higher order thinking within science lessons including Odd One Out, What if…?, True or False, Cloze text, Ordering a text, and Meet the expert.

Big Books or Little Books

Primary Science (2020) 1590, 47-51

This article explains what floorbooks are and how using them to record children’s learning in science can support effective teacher assessment of practical science skills and conceptual understanding, and models the collaborative nature of science.

Moving a Wow to an Understanding: Demystifying Science

Primary Science (2019) 159, 9-13

This article discusses some of the possible pitfalls of commonly used wow moments in science such as making a volcano, making a larva lamp, squealing balloons, dancing raisins, and floating ping-pong balls. For each activity there are suggestions for how to ensure meaningful learning.

Could Using Frames Make Science More Accessible for Children with Special Learning Requirements?

Primary Science (2019) 159, 29-31

This article introduces the Frames for Focus approach (placing an object in the centre of a paper A3 frame and adding instructions in the corners). The benefits for children with special learning requirements are discussed.

Grab a Bucket, We're Taking Science Outdoors!

Primary Science (2020) 161, 33-35

This article describes Bucket School as an approach for exciting outdoor learning.

Learning about STEM Careers through Science and Drama

Primary Science (2020) 163, 14-16

This article explains how drama and role-play can provide a context for children’s learning in science and broaden their awareness of STEM careers.

Choose a free PSTT resource from the list below and try it with a group/class of children. Reflect on the learning outcomes and in particular on the questioning you used.

  • Why and How? Challenge from the PSTT Newsletters – practical science challenges that can be done with a small group or whole class.
  • An activity from Science for One – Activities that have been designed for doing practical science while maintaining social distancing.
  • An activity from I bet you didn’t know… – Practical science activities using real, cutting-edge science research as a stimulus.
  • An activity from City Science Stars – Lesson ideas that are linked to football and to space (many can be done outside).

Interview a science subject leader who has recently completed the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) to find out how they identified the priorities for their school and the steps they undertook to address these.

It is expected that this activity will be carried out near the end of the programme after most or all of the other activities have been completed. Scheme tutors and PSTT will liaise with PSQM to make the arrangements for interviews which could be face to face or virtual. Interviews might also be done as a group where teachers work together to carry out the interview.

Teachers should choose at least 3 from the following:

  • Development of subject knowledge in one or more relevant areas
  • Observation of a science specialist teaching a science lesson
  • Delivery of an extra-curricular activity, e.g. after school science club, family science event
  • Presentation at a network meeting, conference or other science education event
  • Trial of a Teacher Assessment in Primary Science TAPS focused assessment task
  • Writing of an article for publication – journal or teacher magazine
  • Trial of an Explorify activity with a group/class of children – see the Explorify website and watch the Explorify and the Primary Science Enhancement Award video
  • Critical review of a lesson plan/activity from a science scheme of work (free or commercial)
  • Engagement in other pedagogical development or action research activity – to be agreed with the tutor/facilitator

Further details and links to the resources and organisations that are recommended for these tasks are in the PSTT Primary Science Enhancement Award for ECT Outline, pages 9-11.

The following documents are interesting and may help teachers decide which of the optional activities they wish to do.

NEW VIDEO ADDED FOR OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES – Interested in trialling an Explorify activity with a group or class of children for your portfolio? From hundreds of classroom activities to teacher-focussed planning support sessions, Explorify can help teachers introduce children to scientific thinking and talking. Learn how to get the most of Explorify in the Explorify and the Primary Science Enhancement Award video.


PROFESSIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES – Enrich your portfolios by learning about the Equity Compass and new PSTT resources. Recordings can be found on our events page.


SUPPORT FOR EXPLORIFY – Find out more about how to use it in this helpful read written especially for student and early career teachers.


Portfolio Submission Point

Portfolio submission point for teachers. Please complete the form below and upload your submission as one file (i.e. the main submission and appendices in one document). File size must not exceed 5MB. We advise compressing any images included.

Please upload with the file name as follows:

Surname First name PSEA for ECT 2024

For example, ‘Taylor Amara PSEA for ECT 2024.docx’

Before you can submit your portfolio, you will need to complete the teacher feedback form here. This should take around ten minutes. Once you have completed the form, you will be given a confirmation code which you should enter in the form below.

PSEA for Early Career Teachers: Portfolio Submissions

Maximum file size: 16MB