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Theory & Practice

We have worked with universities and other partners to develop a strong understanding of the theory and practice of primary science.

Explore the links below to find out more about ways to improve science teaching and learning

Here you can find practical guidance on how to assess science progress in your school, ensure every learner is included, and draw on children’s science capital to address inequalities in the classroom.

Teacher Assessment in Primary Science

TAPS supports a valid, reliable and manageable system of primary school science assessment which will have a positive impact on children’s learning.

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Science experiment

Support high-quality science provision for young learners

Guidance on Improving Primary Science Teaching

The Education Endowment Foundation’s (EEF) new guidance report, Improving Primary Science, outlines six actionable recommendations to support teachers and school leaders to make improvements to their existing science provision, including how to develop pupils’ scientific vocabulary, and relate new learning to relevant, real-world contexts.

Each recommendation includes models, worked examples and suggested strategies to illustrate what the evidence could look like practice in your primary school classroom.

The report is accompanied by additional resources designed to support pupils’ independence when working scientifically and prompt meaningful discussions around science professional development for staff.

Download the report
three children carrying out an electricity investigation in the classroom

What might a future primary science curriculum look like?

Framework for a Future Primary Science Curriculum

This framework is the outcome of the work carried by the Primary Curriculum Advisory Group (PCAG). This group was established by the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Association for Science Education (ASE) with a brief to produce advice and guidance about the future of the primary science curriculum.

Written by a group of experienced primary science educators, the Framework for a Future Primary Science Curriculum (2023) provides the basis for the design of a curriculum that is contemporary, cognitively appropriate and relevant for all children, and that lays the foundation for future learning in science. With equity and inclusion at its heart, it aims to ensure that all children can access and participate in science.

Download the framework

Support for children with SEND

Inclusion in primary science

PSTT has a range of materials to support children with SEND, including guidance, examples of medium term plans, science club resources and links to other resources.

Click on the links below to explore our guidance and resource pages.

PSTT works closely with the Lightyear Foundation, which improves access for children with SEND to STEM activities and careers.

Visit Lightyear Foundation
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Magnifying glass looking at flowers

STRATA (Science to Raise and Track Achievement) Materials:

Medium term plans for teachers of children with SEND, developed by teachers in Cambridgeshire.

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Sensory Sparks Club

The Sensory Sparks club, created by PSTT College Fellow and SEN specialist teacher Julie Neil, provides activities aimed specifically towards child...

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Science in my pocket bags

Further resources to support engagement and participation of children with SEND in science

Science In My Pocket (SIMP) provides science activities for Teaching Assistants to use with children who need emotional and behavioural support.

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Thinking, talking doing science

Project start date: January 2020

Part of a charitable organisation called The Oxford Trust, Science Oxford delivers a unique programme of STEM-based activities, events and clubs for primary and secondary school children, their teachers and families. They also run the Science Oxford Centre, the UK’s first integrated indoor-outdoor hands-on science centre for primary and early years. For more information, see

One of Science Oxford’s flagship projects, Thinking Doing Talking Science (TDTS) is a national primary science CPD programme, developed in partnership with Oxford Brookes University. It was based on an original project funded by PSTT (then AZSTT). It has now been the subject of two large scale evaluations, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation. These have shown that TDTS can make a significant difference to pupil attainment, interest and self-efficacy in science.

The project is currently developing a strategy to roll out the CPD programme and expand the trainer network. Research will focus on how full impact can be retained at scale.

Thinking talking doing science
Teacher in classroom

Explore these links to further your knowledge of primary science education

Climate science education – Supporting the development of climate science education in primary schools.

Creativity in primary science – Exemplification of creativity in primary science.

The Journal of Emergent Science – (JES) has a research focus on primary aged learners and we see it as a
pivotal step in supporting and promoting research amongst practising teachers.

Wind turbines

Climate science education

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Drawing around silhouettes

Creativity in primary science

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JES Cover

Journal of Emergent Science

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