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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second [Student] Being a resources manager is a hard job but you do it because it’s fun. And you have to listen to what your group are doing because otherwise you could get too many resources or too little resources and the wrong resources. [Student] If you don’t listen to your group you might just grab all the resources that you don’t need and then it’s hard work putting it back once you’ve finished the lesson and stuff. [Student] You can get the lesson wrong so if you get the question wrong you would be wondering why and you’d have to think why. If you knew you’d got the wrong resources it’d be easier to just change them quickly.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds [Student] And there’s also really big responsibility doing resources manager. [Student] And stuff like funnels and we use- [Student] What’s it called again? [Student] Which one? Can you describe it? [Student] It’s like a glass circle and you hold it- [Student] Magnifying glass. [Student] Yeah, magnifying glass and- [Student] We can use clipboards and stuff if you need to jot things down and stuff to help us remember when the communications officer is doing stuff as well. [Student] We’re gonna tell you about administration. [Student] The administration is, basically, you write stuff down on a piece of paper, evidence of what you’re learning about.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds On our first lesson when we were in here we were learning about circuits but we had to write down about all the stuff, what to do in the steps and to see what the communication officer would say to the teacher. [Student] The administration may need to write down the whole thing. On our first lesson, we did about circuits and we needed to write down how it was working, how we did it and that stuff. [Student] Yeah. [Student] You also collect all the results. [Student] We need to try it out first before we collect the results. We sometimes make tapings and put the results in there.

Skip to 2 minutes and 38 seconds [Student] So, health and safety is, you should check around the whole table if anyone’s doing anything dangerous. Make sure no one drinks any dangerous chemicals or if anyone’s drinking or eating something, when they’re not meant to. And personnel is, personnel keeping everyone happy and, They’re involved in the subject you’re doing. Talk to them and make them happy and let them do some jobs that really matter. [Student] I wanted to talking about chief communications officer. And at the end of the lesson you give feedback to your classmates. When we talk to the other people and when they’re speaking we try to listen to them as well so we can understand what they’re saying.

Skip to 3 minutes and 54 seconds And also, we can nod if we agree with them. We can say yeah, that’s good, and yeah. The talent scout and, A photo person who did the photo about the groups and the talent scout- [Student] They go around and check if they’re doing good things, And writing some, notes down about the group. [Student] So the communication officer, at the end we have a few minutes to talk about we did. And we talk in a group and we put all of those things together and we feed back to the class.

Classroom roles explained by pupils

Using roles can be a good way of organising the class and helping good behaviour management during practical science work. Children taking on a role gives them a sense of responsibility and purpose. These roles can even have a real life relevance, linking them to industry roles.

There are many roles that you may choose to give the children in your groups. Here are a few examples:

  • Personnel Manager - Makes sure that the group works cooperatively and everyone does their role. They will help to sort out any disputes that may come up between members of the team.
  • Administration Manager - Writes things down. This could be diagrams, a table of results or the steps the group have worked through.
  • Health and Safety Manager - Makes sure everyone is safe and watches out for any risks that may occur.
  • Resources Manager - Collects resources which the group need. They set the equipment up and clear it away.
  • Communications Manager - Reports the findings of the group to the rest of the class.

In this video children explain how they work in specific roles in their practical science lessons. They explain the different roles and how they support the other members of their group with their practical work.


Can you think of how this might work in your classroom? Have you used roles in your practical lessons? What roles do you use?

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre