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Teaching Primary Science: Exploring Space

Plan your own space week and learn how space exploration can inspire your primary school science students to work scientifically.

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2,280 enrolled on this course

Teaching Primary Science: Exploring Space
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Explore the Moon, Mars, and deep space with your primary pupils

The thrill of space exploration is an exciting context for teaching the primary curriculum.

On this course, you’ll learn how to use examples from space exploration to teach science and technology in school, and discover hands-on activities for your pupils to enjoy.

You’ll address common misconceptions about space, and explore current and future space missions.

As you explore the solar system and beyond, you’ll learn effective ways to engage pupils in science and wider STEM activities, and build a curriculum plan using the context of space exploration to support your pupils’ learning.


  • Week 1

    Exploring the Moon

    • Introducing space exploration

      Welcome to Teaching Primary Science: Exploring Space.

    • Understanding the Earth and Moon

      Over the next few steps we'll look at the Moon, but first we look at how to identify and address misconceptions about the Earth in space.

    • Activities with the Moon

      We've discussed subject knowledge about the Moon and considered where the Moon could feature in lessons. Now, let's look at some practical activities using the Moon as the context.

  • Week 2

    Our solar system

    • Understanding our solar system

      To start this week, we'll look to provide some subject knowledge on the solar system and ways to model some of the big concepts.

    • Exploring Mars

      Over the next few steps, you'll discover the missions to Mars, understanding the landscapes and the search for life.

    • Landing and roving on Mars

      Now you are more familiar with the landscape of Mars, we look at how we can explore it.

    • Elsewhere in our solar system

      There are other planets and bodies in the solar system that may harbour life. For the final part of this week you'll become a little more familiar with other planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

  • Week 3

    Exploring outside our solar system

    • Introduction to beyond our solar system

      To start our final week, we look at what we mean by exoplanets and the Goldilocks zone.

    • Exploring deep space

      Telescopes allow us to explore beyond where we can currently travel. In this part of the course you'll learn more about the different types of space telescope.

    • Space weeks

      The UN World Space Week takes place annually between 4-10 October. However, you can run a space week at any time of the year in your school as part of a cross-curricular topic.

    • Reviewing your professional development

      Review your professional development and plan your next steps to sustain and develop the way you plan for learning.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate opportunities to link space exploration and space missions with your lessons to excite and inspire your pupils.
  • Develop lesson plans that involve working scientifically, using space as a context.
  • Explain using models, some of the scientific concepts and ideas involved in space exploration.

Who is the course for?

This course is for primary teachers of children aged 5-11 years. The course is aligned to the English National Curriculum, but teachers of other curricula will be able to explore how the topic of space exploration supports your pupils’ learning.

Who will you learn with?

ESERO-UK Teacher Fellow, working for STEM Learning, York. Using the context of space to inspire STEM teaching and learning. Teacher of physics, satellite engineer, father of two.

I spent 10 years working as a primary classroom teacher, 7 as a science subject leader. I’ve also supported schools as a leading science teacher before joining STEM learning as a primary specialist.

Who developed the course?

National STEM Learning Centre

The National STEM Learning Centre provides world-class professional development activities and resources to support the teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.


ESERO-UK, also known as the UK space education office, provides free resources, support and information for teachers to enhance the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) using space as a context.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

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