up-skilling in practical science

resources for primary schools

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Nine Bristol primary schools working with Bristol ChemLabS tackled the issue of primary children having little direct experience of science practicals. Teachers worked to develop kits of equipment and resources (loanable library) to run their own activities. The teachers gained confidence in delivering engaging practical science lessons and pupils’ interest and enthusiasm for science was noticeably increased. The boxes that were trialled led to the development of manuals with lesson plans and health and safety information which can be given to any teacher who borrows a box. Find out more about the project here.

OVERVIEW

Why use this approach?

Primary pupils seldom experience practical investigations in the physical sciences in school. This can lead to pupils being ‘switched off’ to science because they equate science activity as a pen and paper exercise and do not experience the excitement and stimulation of handling apparatus and chemicals whilst problem solving.

This approach provides clear, simple experiments and the lesson plans and health and safety information needed for a teacher to run them with a class. If teachers cannot access the boxes themselves, these manuals provide all the information necessary to obtain the apparatus and run the experiments. These resources support the National STEM Agenda, aspects of Project Enthuse and address some concerns of the Rocard Report(EU) by supporting practical and investigative science at primary school level.

What is "Up-skilling in Practical Science?"

This project created a loanable library of scientific apparatus and teacher guides for local schools. The boxes of apparatus were created within a context of improving teacher knowledge and confidence for teaching practical science and involving pupils in practical science investigations. The resources are designed to be easily accessible and as self-contained and complete as possible to enable any teacher to pick them up and use them.

A substantial resource was created to counter the argument that practical work cannot be done in primary schools because of lack of sufficient equipment or storage. Within the Bristol area these boxes can be borrowed, and further afield, the resources can be used to create similar loanable resources, or simply used to develop experimental work for an individual classroom.The three topic areas covered by the boxes and associated resources are: Electricity, Food & Healthy Eating, andWater & Liquids. They are mostly suitable for Key Stage 2 pupils, but some activities can be done with younger children.

the practical science resources

These overview resources and manuals are designed to be downloaded by teachers. They detail the contents of the boxes and include lesson plans and other useful information to enable teachers to develop their own lessons based on those using the loanable box resource or to use 'as is' with their own apparatus.

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FILES

These activities are designed to enthuse pupils about science and allow them to experience the excitement and stimulation of handling apparatus and chemicals whilst problem solving. The boxes contain scientific equipment and chemicals not often available in primary schools. The experiments and investigations are mostly suitable for Key Stage 2 pupils, with some appropriate for younger year groups. They link to the curriculum and are a mixture of small group and whole class activities. Find out more about the project here.

Each manual contains comprehensive instructions and tips for using the box kit in class. They enable teachers to carry out practical work which might otherwise be impossible, due to lack of resources or confidence in setting up equipment. The experiments and investigations are mostly suitable for Key Stage 2 pupils, with some appropriate for younger year groups. They link to the curriculum and are a mixture of small group and whole class activities.

general information

pdf

General Information [470.56kB]

Information about the boxes, what they are and how to access them.

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electricity

Overview

pdf

Electricity overview [185.47kB]

This resource includes curriculum links, a summary of experiments and health and safety considerations.

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Manual

pdf

Electricity manual [472.35kB]

This resource includes 5 practical experiments to use in class, with comprehensive instructions about apparatus, set up and how to plan the lesson around the activity.

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FOOD & HEALTHY EATING

Overview

pdf

Food & healthy eating overview [187.42kB]

This resource includes curriculum links, a summary of experiments and health and safety considerations.

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Manual

pdf

food & healthy eating manual [515.42kB]

This resource includes 7 practical experiments to use in class, with comprehensive instructions about apparatus, set up and how to plan the lesson around the activity.

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Water & Liquids

Overview

pdf

water & liquids overview [192.76kB]

This resource includes curriculum links, a summary of experiments and health and safety considerations.

DOWNLOAD

Manual

pdf

water & liquids manual [612.43kB]

This resource includes 7 practical experiments to use in class, with comprehensive instructions about apparatus, set up and how to plan the lesson around the activity.

DOWNLOAD

zip

DOWNLOAD ALL “UP-SKILLING IN PRACTICAL SCIENCE” FILES [2.25MB]

DOWNLOAD

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