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 are closed we will be bringing you extra support for teaching primary science, including highlighted resources and online events.

Primary teacher crafting with two children

Source: © Shutterstock

Week beginning 25 May: Primary resource highlights

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.

Week beginning 18 May: Primary resource highlights

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.

Week beginning 11 May: Primary resource highlights

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?

Week beginning 4 May: Primary resource highlights

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.

Week beginning 27 April: Primary resource highlights

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.

Week beginning 20 April: Primary resource highlights

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.

  • Kitchen K-Mistry

    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.

Week beginning 13 April: Primary resource highlights

Discover more about the properties of liquids with our liquids demonstration videos. It’s a great opportunity to have a party at home by having a ‘particle disco’ and making your very own lava lamp. Or you could use household liquids and discover their viscosity.

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Liquids

Demonstrate the properties of liquids to primary students, including: suspended ice, heavy sugar and the particle disco

Week beginning 6 April: Primary resource highlights

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

Picture of a modern kitchen

Chemistry in your cupboard videos: separation techniques

Find out how to practice separation techniques using kitchen cupboard equipment.

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Chemistry in your cupboard videos: red cabbage rainbows

Learn how to draw a rainbow using homemade red cabbage indicator.

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Chemistry in your cupboard videos: making bath bombs

Learn how to make fizzing bath bombs using ingredients from your kitchen cupboards.

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.

Science at work

Learn about past and present scientists with activities 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.

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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