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Fostering curiosity in early years science

Using exploratory play, listening to children's talk

The energy and enthusiasm of young children, when liberated, can enable them to be amazing explorers of their worlds. Observe that energy and enthusiasm and you can recognise the opportunities to develop children's learning in sceince alongside your own professional practice.

This unit explores how teachers have supported the children in their classes to do just that and to build on the ideas that each child brings to the classroom. The unit explores three themes: ‘Exploratory Play’, ‘A Conversational Approach’ and ‘Emergence.’ Each theme is illustrated through the work of one school, each serving very different communities.

The approach they use is part of their normal practice. You will see how children develop their thinking, their knowledge of science and their attitudes towards science. At the end of the themes you will find two sections – ‘Reflective Journeys’ describes how teachers have developed the approach in their own setting. ‘Developing Your Practice -Making a Difference’ suggests activities for you to help you on your way. The approaches illustrated have been developed from classroom based research in the ‘Teachers and Young Children Exploring their Worlds Together’ project funded by the AstraZeneca Teaching Trust (now Primary Science Teaching Trust).

Please note: PSTT is aware that the videos in this unit no longer work. However, the ideas described could still be useful for Early Years practitioners and the supporting materials can still be downloaded (from the zipped file below).

View CPD unit online




Safety Notice and Disclaimer

PSTT advises teachers to refer to either the CLEAPSS website or SSERC website for up to date health and safety information when planning practical activities for children.

PSTT is not liable for the actions or activities of any reader or anyone else who uses the information in these resource pages or the associated classroom materials. PSTT assumes no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information contained in these resources. PSTT recommends that a full risk assessment is carried out before undertaking in the classroom any of the practical investigations contained in the resources.

All materials are ©Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and are freely available to download and share for educational purposes. Whilst educators are free to adapt the resources to suit their own needs, acknowledgement of copyright on all original materials must be included. Rights to images included in the resource have been purchased for PSTT use only – as such, these images may only be used as part of this resource and may not copied into or used in other materials.



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