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Science in my pocket (simp)

Science activities for Teaching Assistants to use with children who need emotional and behavioural support.


“Science In My Pocket has given me so much more confidence to do science with children.”


CLICK HERE to purchase your copy of science in my pocket.

Schools have a critical role to play in supporting children’s mental health and emotional well-being. Currently, an average of three children in every primary school classroom in the UK have diagnosable mental health conditions. The classroom can be a challenging place for these children and it often falls to a Teaching Assistant to supervise them and support their learning on a one-to-one or small group basis.

Science In My Pocket offers an invaluable addition to a Teaching Assistant’s toolkit. The benefits of using the resource include:

  • children become better at self-regulating their behaviour, enabling them to return to a whole class setting more ready to learn and participate.
  • children’s social skills improve as the resource provides a context for the child to communicate positively with their peers.
  • Increase in the confidence of teaching assistants to engage children in scientific discussion.

Science In My Pocket is a highly versatile resource. The carefully designed and simple activities in the pockets can be used with children from nursery up to year 6.
They can be used once or repeated multiple times; they can be used indoors and outdoors, and most involve moving around which suits the needs of many children.

Science in My Pocket was developed by PSTT Fellows and Area Mentors Nina Spilsbury and Michele Grimshaw, with Ali Eley (Outreach Director).

What is in the box?

  • 10 numbered drawstring cloth pockets, each containing a set of instruction cards. Each pocket is based on a particular theme
  • A guidebook for Teachers and Teaching Assistants
  • A poster to guide Teachers and Teaching Assistants with choosing a pocket

The instruction cards all include:

  • The BIG questions
  • A list of equipment and materials needed
  • Supporting background knowledge and notes for the Teaching Assistant/Teacher

NB The science equipment (all inexpensive everyday items and listed in the guidebook) needs to be added to the pockets before they are ready to use.

Science In My Pocket activities have also been shown to be effective for:

  • Speech and language development
  • EAL – accessing scientific vocabulary in a safe environment
  • Short term emotional disturbance, e.g. if a child arrives at school upset
  • Extension work, e.g. children might design their own pockets
  • Homework activity
  • Development of specific personal habits of mind, e.g. independence, negotiation, resilience
  • Developing thinking skills across the curriculum
  • Promoting good group work

ISBN: 978-0-9954811-3-8



Click the image below to download a printable version.


“The whole Teaching Assistant team are looking forward to using this resource.”


This sample unit is the complete unit from Science In My Pocket.
It is free for you to download and try.

Click below to download it today.


FREE UNIT FROM Science In My Pocket

Sample unit: Hovercraft


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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