Online course

Teaching Primary Science: Getting Started

Learn how to deliver primary science in an engaging and practical way in this course for teachers of 5-11 year old pupils.

  • Duration 3 weeks
  • Weekly study 3 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $59 Find out more

Help your pupils love and understand science

Primary science is the first opportunity to develop your pupils’ curiosity about the world. Studies suggest that by engaging pupils in practical science work frequently, they will have a greater understanding and enjoyment of science.

On this course you will develop your confidence in doing practical science in the primary classroom. You will explore a range of practical science techniques, activities and enquries and think about the impact they have upon the learning of your pupils.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsPrimary school science is the first formal opportunity to develop children's curiosity about the world in which they live.

Skip to 0 minutes and 19 secondsIt's the starting point for building their science capital and a lifelong appreciation of the importance of science. Through hands-on exploration, children are able to ask questions, test their ideas, and in turn, develop a greater understanding of the world in which they live. Creating learning opportunities that will develop a sense of excitement and curiosity is fundamental in supporting children's learning in science. [Teacher] It's really important for the children to be hands on, actively engaged... [Teacher] A lot of the lesson was being able to explore how it works and how the sound does come out of it. Through practical enquiry, children can develop the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science for today and for the future.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds[Teacher] Some of the children on the table go: 'no, no that needs to happen' before any teacher prompting because they started to connect the dots themselves, and that's what we want.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsTeaching Primary Science: Getting Started is for those new to teaching primary science or for teachers who would like to develop their skills further. We will explore a range of techniques to deliver primary science in an engaging and practical way. You'll be able to identify the different types of enquiry and learn how to embed them in science teaching. You will also be able to trial activities and think about how they impact on learning and engagement in science. As a participant on this course, you will be able to develop your confidence in carrying out practical science for 5 to 11 year olds. You'll share ideas on how to plan for effective practical work in primary science.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 secondsAnd you'll collaborate with peers, educators, and mentors to share and critique ideas from teaching practical science. Join us online to get started with primary science through engaging, hands-on, practical activities that will inspire our scientists of the future.

What topics will you cover?

  • Resourcing practical science easily
  • Managing practical science in the primary classroom
  • Identifying types of enquiry
  • Embedding practical science in planning
  • Exploring activities which spark curiosity
  • Developing thinking and reasoning skills

This course is mentored by professional development leaders until 31 May 2019.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 13 May 2019

What will you achieve?

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

  • Develop confidence in carrying out practical science for 5-11 year olds
  • Explore ideas for effective practical work in primary science
  • Identify the types of enquiry and when to use them
  • Investigate activities which engage children in learning about science
  • Design opportunities for developing thinking and reasoning through science

Who is the course for?

This course is for primary school teachers who are new to teaching or would like to develop their skills in science teaching. There will be references to the English National Curriculum but learners will be encouraged to review their local curricula to contextualise the course content. This course adopts a reflective practice approach that will also support the development of teaching skills for non-UK teachers.

Who will you learn with?

Karen Brunyee

I am currently a Professional Development Leader at the National STEM Learning Centre in Primary STEM. I have been a teacher for 14 years, teaching classes from FS2 to Year 6.

Tanya Shields

I am the Primary STEM Lead at the National STEM Learning Centre. I was previously a primary teacher with SLT responsibilities including science, G&T provision and KS1/2 transition.

Sarah Dagnell

I have been a primary school teacher for 13 years and work at Clifton With Rawcliffe Primary, York. Currently, I also work 3 days a week at the National STEM Learning Centre in the Primary PDL Team.

Who developed the course?

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.

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