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.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Welcome to week three of teaching primary science, getting started. So far we have looked at how to plan effectively for practical science and the key resources you may need. We’ve also established the five inquiry types within the English primary national curriculum, and how we should plan to provide a range of opportunities to develop these. Last week, we also discussed why mapping out inquiry in a school is useful, as it ensures coverage and progression. This week, we’ll be taking a closer look at the skills children need to develop working scientifically. There is no definitive list of inquiry skills. However, there are several skills that are generally agreed as being core to teaching science.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds Over the week we’ll examine some of the core practical skills and see them in action in a classroom. We will also consider why developing thinking and reasoning skills is so important and give you tips to carry out thinking and reading activities yourselves. For the first discussion this week, tell us below what skills you think children need when they are working practically.

What scientific enquiry skills should we develop?

This week we will focus on the skills and behaviours we would like our children to develop that reflect those of real scientists. You will examine some of the core practical skills necessary for this and consider why thinking and reasoning skills are so important.

By the end of the week you will be able to ensure that you are planning for progression of enquiry skills and use strategies to help develop thinking and reasoning in your children.


Discuss the skills you believe are important to develop our young scientists below. How do you think these would progress over their primary school years?

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre