Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started. Join the course to learn more.

Overcoming barriers to resourcing

Practical science requires resourcing and many schools struggle with budgets and a lack of resources. How many times have you gone to the cupboard to find the torch batteries were all flat or someone had borrowed all the timers for a PE lesson?

Barriers and Solutions

Below are some of the possible barriers to resourcing your primary science lessons and some potential solutions:

We have no resources in school and no budget to buy any.

Could you borrow from your local secondary school? In some areas there are initiatives where you can borrow resources for a term or longer. For example, RMS (Royal Microscopical Society) provide microscopes for schools to borrow for a term free of charge. Find out more here.

Any budget we have for science is spent on consumables such as batteries or plants/ compost etc

There are a number of rechargeable resources that although are fairly expensive in initial outlay, will be cheaper in the long run as you do not need to keep replacing them. Can you approach a local garden centre to see if they have anything they could donate, they may have last year’s stock they would be happy to donate. There are also schemes in some areas where local supermarkets support purchasing of equipment for schools through a voucher scheme.

I have no idea what equipment we have in school and can’t find it when I want it.

The SCORE resource list (Excel) suggests what sorts of resources should be in school to support primary science. Also if there is a central area for all science resources and all staff and children (you could train some children to be resource monitors) know where they need to return equipment then this should solve this problem. It might be worthwhile asking your science subject leader to hold a short staff training event where staff can explore the science resources.


Share in the comments below any solutions you or your school have found to overcoming barriers to resourcing.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre