Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsI'm Karen Brunyee, and with my colleagues, Sarah Dagnell and Tanya Shields, we are the primary science professional development leaders at the National STEM Learning Centre. We will be taking you through this course, Getting Started, which is designed for primary teachers of science, supporting you to develop your practice in improving children's learning through enquiry driven science.

Skip to 0 minutes and 35 secondsWe will cover three core areas of primary science: Planning for practical science, mapping enquiry types and skills, and developing thinking and reasoning in your classes. Through examples from these topics, you'll explore approaches to teaching the subject based upon sound pedagogy and share your experience in the classroom with others. By working scientifically, children will be able to develop behavior and skills that reflect those of real scientists. Acquiring knowledge as a result of the process of questioning, observing, investigating, identifying patterns, explaining and initiating inquiry. This week, we're going to focus on the importance of planning for and resourcing, practical science.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsWe'll look at how to plan practical science, what are the key resources you might need for any science activity, and how using roles in class could help to structure your group work. We start with considering the importance of a well resource lesson, to allow children to explore in context rather than an abstract concept. The first thing we'd like you to do is to say hello in the discussion below, and share your experiences in primary science, either as a teacher or as a student yourself.

Getting started with primary science

Welcome to the course Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started. When was the first time you remember being curious about the world around you?

As children, we naturally questioned everything, wanting to understand the mechanics behind the world we met. Primary Science should nurture this natural curiosity, to develop children’s understanding of the world and teach them essential enquiry skills. It should start the process of inspiring our scientists of the future as they build their understanding of the value and place science has in their lives.

This three-week course will develop your confidence and enable you to tackle practical science in the primary classroom. You will:

  • develop your confidence in carrying out practical science for 5-11 year olds
  • share ideas on how to plan for effective practical work in primary science
  • and collaborate with peers, educators and mentors to share and critique ideas for teaching practical science.

Watch the video above and find out what we’ll be looking at together this week.

Course support

Karen Brunyee, Sarah Dagnell and Tanya Shields are the Primary Professional Development Leaders at the National STEM Learning Centre. They will guide you through this 3-week course, supporting you to develop your teaching of practical primary science. Karen, Sarah and Tanya will be contributing to discussions between 26 February 2018 - 23 March 2018. They will also record responses to a selection of your questions in the Q&A session.

If you’re new to online learning, or new to FutureLearn, you may find the How it works guide helpful. The Crowdsourced Guide to Learning and Six tips and tools for social learning on FutureLearn may also be of interest.

Tasks and discussions

As you progress through the course you will be asked to undertake several tasks that will provide you with opportunities to:

  • Reflect on your teaching of primary science and others you have observed.
  • Explore ideas for effective practical work in primary science.
  • Create opportunities for developing thinking and reasoning.
  • Share ideas with others.

Tasks are clearly indicated and are highlighted with a vertical line in the left-margin - like the one against this paragraph. The first tasks of this course are at the bottom of this page.

Technical support

If you need any technical support use the Support button that should always visible at the bottom right of your screen to report a problem or email feedback@futurelearn.com. If you wish to get in touch with the National STEM Learning Centre about this course please contact onlinecpd@stem.org.uk.

Discuss

To start off, we’d like to know a little more about you. What experiences have you had of primary science, as a teacher or as a student yourself? Let us know who you are and your thoughts in the discussion below.

If you are taking this course as a teaching team, we’d be keen to know how you are using this course to support CPD in your school.

Mark complete

When you complete a step on the course, click Mark as Complete at the bottom right. This helps you keep track of your progress. Mark over 90% of the course steps complete and you’ll be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement when you Upgrade.

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This video is from the free online course:

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

National STEM Learning Centre