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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second We are now going to think about what rules and procedures your department follows when it comes to supporting practical work. What common practices do you have that must be adhered to, such as ensuring that all students are stood up when undertaking practical work. Earlier on in this section we looked at the health and safety regulations, and what that means when it comes to practical work in the lab, or classroom. CLEAPSS, the advisory body for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, have a useful document ‘G30 – Successful Science Practical’, which helps inform best practice, but you must ensure that you apply it to your environment and students. You should find a similar document for your own country’s health and safety guidance.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds Some of the major things to think about can include ordering equipment. How long before the lessons do you order the equipment to allow technicians to prepare it? Do you provide pictures or diagrams to assist technicians that might not be specialists in your subject area? Linked to this, if you are not a subject specialist, how can technicians help support you with demonstrations? In this section we will mention these and a few other ideas and would like you to think about what procedures are in place at your workplace and the pros and cons of these.

Department processes to support practical learning

Departmental processes will support the efficient running of a department and practical lessons. These processes often mean that time can be better spent with students.

In the video above, Tim introduces some of the aspects that may need addressing through departmental processes to support learning:

  • How health and safety guidance is applied in your teaching environment.
  • Requisitions and ordering of equipment.
  • Support from technicians for teachers without specialism in a science subject.


Spend a few minutes reading through the department policies and guidance you have. As we look at some of the areas in the next few steps, can you identify any gaps in your processes or some good examples you can share with others

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This video is from the free online course:

Managing the Practical Classroom in Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre