This issue, supported both by CLEAPSS and our regular partner, Gratnells, has come together during the summer holidays here in the UK, where we are fortunate to be in a situation of receding COVID-19 protocols, which are extending into schools. This will hopefully continue into the new school year, which will then allow greater freedoms in schools to carry out practical work. The main theme of this issue is around the importance of practical work. The work at CLEAPSS is all centred on the importance of practical work, and providing support materials to ensure that staff and pupils can carry out practical work both effectively and safely. In this special issue, we have an extended number of articles to make this a bumper issue, all highlighting differing ways to carry out effective hands-on practical work. Our grateful thanks to both CLEAPSS and Gratnells for their support.