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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

View ASE Statement on Primary Assessment

Performance Descriptors for KS1 and KS2 for the 2014 National Curriculum in England were published in September 2015. These will be used by Y2 and Y6 teachers to make teacher assessments of children’s attainment across KS1 and KS2. View ASE members update

In April 2016 exemplification materials for science to support teacher assessment at the end of key stage 1 and key stage 2 were published.

The Nuffield Foundation has worked with ASE and other organisations to develop a framework for assessment of primary science. This has led to further ongoing research with Bath Spa University looking at Teacher Assessment in Primary years (TAPs)

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 - Resistance 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 (from SCORE). 
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

Primary School Free Resources

Learning Outside the Classroom / Engaging with globalisation / Assessing for learning / Supporting Gifted and talented children / Using Stories

© Kindly reproduced by permission of CFSA