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Primary science

ASE primary membership provides teaching resources and professional development opportunities (CPD) to support primary science subject leaders, teachers and schools. Find out more about joining ASE.

Resources below have been made available by ASE's expert primary science committee covering everything from health and safety, working scientifically to literacy and special guidance about assessment and doing practical work. There are hundreds of articles supporting primary science lessons in our Primary Science Magazine

Main guidance

Be Safe! is a guide recommended to all primary schools in the UK and offers advice on practical science in primary schools. Buy Be Safe!

ASE Guide to Primary Science Education covers a wide range of topics about learning and teaching science in the primary school. Buy guide.

Primary Science Subject Leader Framework

The framework provides guidance and support for both new and experienced primary science subject leaders. ASE's primary have compiled this framework to help you audit and develop science provision in your school, and to structure your role. It takes you through a series of questions covering all aspects of the role and signposts you to relevant guidance and support. ASE Primary Science Subject Leader Framework (members only)

Resources for members

ASE primary experts have developed a year on year implementation plan for the new curriculum outlining problem areas for years 1-6 cohorts from 2013-2016. (members only)

Working Scientifically

Science Enquiry, now ‘Working Scientifically’, is the continuous area of study in the National Curriculum for Science in England. This open access article gives a good overview of different types of investigations. Working Scientifically with Enquiry

We also recommend reading the report Working Scientifically in the new curriculum (2015), published by the Centre for Industry Education Collaboration. This contains progression grids, guidance and child friendly self and peer assessment posters to support all aspects of science enquiry.

Assessment

For assessment to be effective and informative teachers should plan with assessment in mind. Starting with the curriculum expectations for the age group teachers need to think about what it means for children to have secure knowledge and understanding for a chosen aspect of the science curriculum and to plan activities that will support their learning and achieve the desired outcome. Teachers should consider what evidence to look for, which demonstrates pupils can use their science skills, and shows secure knowledge and understanding appropriate to their stage of learning. Read full ASE Statement: Assessment in Science

The Teacher Assessment in Primary Science (TAPS) project offers guidance of both formative and summative assessment without levels.

The Standards and Testing Agency produce performance descriptors for KS1 and KS2. These will be used by Y2 and Y6 teachers to make teacher assessments of children’s attainment. Exemplification materials are also available to support teacher assessment.

NEW ASE Resources: Understanding the expectations of the National Curriculum

PLAN is a set of resources produced to enable teachers to have a clearer understanding of National Curriculum (England) expectations for meeting the standard in science. View online

Resources for members

What is the purpose of assessment in science? by kind permission of Jane Turner, PSQM
Performance Descriptors and Progression at KS1 by kind permission of Liz Lawrence
Performance Descriptors and Progression at KS2 by kind permission of Liz Lawrence
SnapShot Science Example - What do we need to see? includes activity instructions, questions to check understanding and how to know if the curriculum statement is achieved

Literacy 

Resources for members

New Curriculum Vocabulary Overview of vocabulary from years 1 to 6. (members only)
50 books to inspire primary science (members only)
Stories and science: stirring children’s imagination (PS134) how stories can stimulate science and bring it to life. (members only)

Practical science and outdoor learning

Is primary science resourced appropriately in your school? Benchmarks have been created which provide a comprehensive list of essential items needed to enable inspirational and effective science teaching. 
Primary benchmark and habitat guidelines 
Primary school resources for working scientifically

Resources for members

Paper Towel Magic / Bone mystery / Making sandcastles / Peace at last  / Can colours compete with the Sun / Design a seed Curtains also see worksheets / A light for Plop / Bishops can fly / In control

Special Guidance

Human Development and Reproduction
  • Download our Teacher Guidance on Human Development and Reproduction in the Primary Curriculum Produced jointly by the Association of Science Education and the PSHE Association, is to inform teachers, school leaders and governors about what the science curriculum requires in respect to sex education and the vocabulary that supports this teaching and learning
  • Also find out more about Teaching about puberty. This briefing provides guidance to schools about their statutory duties to ensure that all children learn about puberty.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Primary Science Initiatives and Support

The National STEM centre has grouped resources by year group and topic for every aspect of the science curriculum. If you want to find resources linked to particularly hard to teach topics start with this link. Even though these are specified as ‘for England’ they are relevant to other countries too.

Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) is an award scheme to enable primary schools across the UK to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their science provision. Schools can achieve bronze, silver and gold awards. www.psqm.org.uk

Primary upd8 can help teachers deliver working scientifically and support literacy and numeracy work with lots of engaging science activities for 5 to 11 year olds. Each activity comes as an editable PowerPoint presentation using a current event or an everyday life context to help make your science lessons more enjoyable and engage young people. www.primaryupd8.org.uk (discounts available for members).

SchoolScience find out about freely downloadable activities and resources for primary science www.schoolscience.co.uk

Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) funded projects have produced high quality teaching resources. Curriculum materials and CPD Units are available on the website. Contact the Trust for further information. www.pstt.org.uk