Support for primary teachers

As a primary school teacher, you have the important job of introducing young children to science. With this role comes the opportunity to encourage and nurture an interest in science that will grow with your students. 

To help you give your students the best grounding in science education, we offer a range of support – along with our partners and primary teacher networks.

Browse our primary level classroom resources or read on to find out more about the work our partners do and how you can get in contact with your local education coordinator.

Browse our primary resources

Remote teaching support

While schools were closed we brought you extra support for teaching primary science, from highlighted resources to online events. You can find all of our highlighted teaching resources below.

Primary teacher crafting with two children

Source: © Shutterstock

Global wind day

Monday 15 June is global wind day, so this week we have resources to help you explore all things windy. You could try Practical Action's wind power challenge, or find out how wind plays a role in the lives of the Vikings.

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    Wind power challenge

    In association with

    A link to Practical Action’s wind power challenge and its related resources, where students are tasked with designing and testing a wind power machine that is cable of lifting weighted objects,

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    Science ideas web: the Vikings

    A web of suggested ideas for linking science with the topic the Vikings. This web acts as a tool to support topic planning and the embedding of cross-curricular links. Each topic is split into three age ranges to cover different abilities.

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    Power for the world

    In association with

    A link to Practical Action’s power for the world activity and its related resources, where students are tasked with looking at renewable energy solutions, and designing and building their own wind turbines.

World oceans day

Monday 8 June is world oceans day, so we have picked out some resources to help you explore water and oceans. You could learn about the water cycle, about evaporation and condensation, or discuss acid rain.

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    The water cycle

    In association with

    The ‘water cycle’ chapter from That’s Chemistry! This chapter looks at key ideas and activities that can be used to help students learn how different liquids evaporate at different rates, and the factors that affect these rates.

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    The life of water

    Get hands on with H2O, changing states of matter and the water cycle. These experiments and investigations involve water in the context of space.

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    Science Concept Cartoons: Acid rain

    In association with

    Spark discussion and stimulate thinking about acid rain in a way that encourages pupils to share their ideas.

World running day

With world running day coming up, we've picked out resources to help you explore health and sport. You could learn about low fat foods, why you need calcium in your diet or how sports drinks affect your performance.

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    Low fat

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    Looking at diets and healthy eating: children could explore the food pyramid, what a balanced diet is and why we need one, and they could explore which foods belong to which food group

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    Outreach: bendy bones

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    Come and see what makes bones so strong!

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    Chemistry in sport

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    Our very first global experiment compares the performance enhancement of student-made sports drinks vs water

Water

Water is vital for our survival, which is why this week's resources are about access to water. You can learn about the importance of clean water and practise your separation techniques to clean some water at home.

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    Water! Water!

    In association with

    A resource pack including a student worksheet, teachers' notes and four presentations looking at one of the most vital substances on planet Earth - water.

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    Water for survival

    Cover topics like filtration, distillation and temperature as your pupils purify water from a muddy pond to survive.

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    Separation techniques

    A video aimed at learners, instructions, and explanation to separate a mixture of water and solids at home or in the classroom with items from a kitchen.

World metrology day

Wednesday 20 May is world metrology day, so this week's highlights are all linked to measurement. You could explore the amount of salt needed in cooking, how speedily you can do star jumps, and test your reaction times using a ruler.

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    Outreach: speedy star jumps

    An activity that allows the collection of data to test whether sports drinks make a difference to performance during short, high intensity exercise.

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    Use of salt in cooking, part 1

    In this activity students devise and carry out experiments to test possible reasons for adding salt when cooking vegetables.

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    Outreach: Science festivals

    This set of handouts can be used to inspire people of all ages to take up chemistry in their own home! Racing raisins, cornflour gloop, erupting volcanoes, reaction times and iron from breakfast cereal are all covered here.

Bicarbonate of soda

There's so much chemistry you can do with simple ingredients. This week why not try using bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) to make sherbert, put a candle out, or make a bath bomb?

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    Making bath bombs

    Learn how to make fizzing bath bombs using ingredients from your kitchen cupboards. Includes video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

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    Putting fires out

    How can we use vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to make a fire extinguisher?

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    Edible experiments: Sherbet and popping candy

    What makes sherbet fizz and what makes popping candy pop? Discover the importance of chemistry in everyday eating experiences. Edible experiments provides a wealth of ideas based on chemistry and food to engage students and stimulate thinking about the relevance of chemistry.

Star Wars day

Enjoy Star Wars day with our selection of resources linked to space. Find out about strong tastes with our edibile experiments (foods can taste bland in space). Explore the properties of hydrogels (the material in nappies that astronauts wear) and learn about different types of (moon) rocks.

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    Edible experiments: Blowing hot and cold

    Why do spicy foods tasts hot and minty foods taste cold? Discover the importance of chemistry in everyday eating experiences. Edible Experiments provides a wealth of ideas based on chemistry and food to engage students and stimulate thinking about the relevance of chemistry.

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    Water and hydrogels

    Challenge your students to answer the question: are we wasting water?

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    Found in the ground

    Give your pupils the knowledge and the opportunity to classify materials according to rocks, minerals and fossils.

Colour

Learn about the importance of colour by making your own indicator, investigate the effects that can be created with different colours and discover the hidden colours found in your pens.

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    Outreach: chromatography, how black is a black pen?

    Inside many black pens is a rainbow of colour trying to get out. Black ink is often made from a blend of other colours. In this activity you can try out paper chromatography to separate this mixture of inks.

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    Spinning colour top

    In this experiment, students observe, describe and explain what happens when a multicoloured disc spins at a high speed.

  • Kitchen K-Mistry

    Colourful food

    Explore how different colours are made by mixing primary paints or pigments together to form secondary colours. Investigate separating colours from sweets or pens using chromatography. How foods get their colour; that some are natural and some are synthetic.

Reversible changes

Explore reversible changes by discovering how we can recover substances from solutions.

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    Mixing and dissolving materials

    In association with

    The ‘mixing and dissolving materials’ chapter from That’s Chemistry! This chapter looks at key ideas and activities that can be used to help students learn that mixtures are made up of more than one substance and that some mixtures can be separated.

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    Mixed up

    What is meant by the terms ‘solution’ and ‘mixture’? Define the different types of mixtures, including solid-solid, liquid-liquid, and solid-liquid and the different separation techniques suitable for separating these mixtures.

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    Kareena’s chemistry – episode 5: mixing and changing

    FunKids radio, in collaboration with the RSC, has produced a set of short chemistry snippets introducing children to chemistry- the what, why and how.

UV light

With the weather set to improve, why not explore these trio of resources based around Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sunlight is a main source of UV radiation and too much of it causes sun burn. Learn about the risks of exposure, explore how sunscreen works and discover materials that could help astronauts in space.

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    Mission starlight

    The mission? To protect astronauts from the effects of harmful UV light

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    Outreach: sunscreen and UV light

    A fun demo to teach about UV light and the action/importance of sunscreen.

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    Science ideas web: Space

    A web of suggested ideas for linking science with the topic Space. This web acts as a tool to support topic planning and the embedding of cross-curricular links. Each topic is split into three age ranges to cover different abilities.

Chemistry in your cupboard videos

Butter and other dairy products

How to make butter

Try making butter at home or in the classroom using items from your kitchen cupboard. Includes video aimed at pupils, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

Picture of a modern kitchen

Separation techniques

A video aimed at learners, instructions, and explanation to separate a mixture of water and solids at home or in the classroom with items from a kitchen.

Picture of chopped red cabbage

Red cabbage rainbows

In this activity, learners create rainbows using homemade red cabbage indicator paper. Includes video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

Picture of an orange bath bomb fizzing under water

Making bath bombs

Learn how to make fizzing bath bombs using ingredients from your kitchen cupboards. Includes video aimed at learners, kit list, instruction, and explanation.

Why not check out ...

Support for school closures and home learning from the Primary Science Teaching Trust.

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Science at home

Find out about science activities you can do at home from the PSTT.

Contact your local education coordinator

Our network of local education coordinators regularly visit networks of primary teachers. Why not get in contact and see if they have any dates in your area?

Get in touCH

Meet our partners

To bring you support specially suited to the primary classroom, we work in collaboration with partners.

Check out our main partner organisations below and follow the links to access primary science support for your classroom.

Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM)

The PSQM supports primary science subject leaders, helping to raise the profile of science in your school and access professional development programmes. With a network of local hubs for science subject leaders, they can help your school gain one of three levels of PSQM award.

Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT)

The PSTT has a wide range of curriculum resources and CPD units that are free to download from their website. PSTT materials are written by award-winning teachers and collaborators. PSTT also produces a free termly newsletter and can offer targeted support through their Regional Mentor programme and their conferences.

The Association for Science Education (ASE)

The ASE offers resources, events and conferences and primary science teachers. We often attend conferences organised by the ASE, so keep an eye out for us!

Browse our classroom resources for primary science

We have plenty of classroom resources suited to primary school age children. Have a look at our highlights below, or browse all of our resources on our primary resources page.

Children talking

Talk for primary science

Explore ways you can encourage constructive conversations and lead children to investigative activities.

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Interactive periodic table

Discover the elements through videos, podcasts, data trends and uses

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Science ideas webs

Explore ideas for science activities related to common primary topics, cross-linked to periods of history, including Ancient Greece or the Victorian era