Professional development for primary school teachers

Discover the benefits of enhancing your subject knowledge (SK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) – and the ways we can support you.

Subject knowledge

To help deepen your understanding of what you’re teaching (like the scientific method, the ability to think like a scientist, and the content of your lessons), we’ve divided our SK for Chemistry or ‘Materials’ into four main topics: reversible and irreversible change; everyday materials; solids, liquids and gases; and earth science.

Explore primary curriculum topic resources

Support for developing your subject knowledge

What we offer:

We have over 120 primary science and chemistry resources to help you develop your SK.

Why not start with That’s Chemistry? It covers key primary Chemistry topics and includes activity ideas.

What is out there:

The Association for Science Education (ASE) is worth checking out for essential reading and downloadable resources.

Or you could choose from a range of subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses:

You can also get self-study materials in a whole range of formats, including textbooks, journals and articles, and webpages.

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)

Sometimes referred to as ‘subject-specific pedagogy’, PCK is how you teach your subject: the way in which you share information and engage students.

PCK involves, among other things:

  • understanding students’ misconceptions, how they have arisen and how best to address them
  • contextualising content with relevant real-world examples, in order to make the subject more relatable
  • effective questioning to make your teaching responsive

Importance of PCK

By developing your PCK, you will:

  • gain a better understanding of your subject
  • be able to communicate key concepts and ideas more clearly
  • improve your teaching, along with your students’ learning

Support for developing your PCK

What we offer

To support your PCK development, our teacher support page houses a collection of resources such as those featured on this page.

What else is out there?

The Association for Science Education run regional events, conferences and TeachMeets, where teachers come together to network and share best practices. They also produce journals, magazines and other publications to keep you up to date with what’s going on in primary science.

STEM learning offers a variety of courses throughout England that could help develop your science PCK and teaching practice.

The Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) run courses designed to improve your teaching practice, as well as ‘GlowMeet Cookalongs’: a live, web-based event using free resources that are posted to schools in advance.

To get more information on support in your area, get in touch with your local authority or your local science advisor or consultant. Many have ASE membership or work with STEM Learning as consultants.

  • science ideas webs image

    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

  • shutterstock_417917653

    Primary science demonstrations

    Illustrate basic scientific concepts using the simple ideas and everyday products in these videos

  • Primary school children with clipboards

    Global experiments

    Engage your students with hands-on, fully-resourced, group activities that are adaptable for all ages

  • Concept cartoons

    Concept cartoons

    Intrigue, provoke discussion and stimulate thinking about particular situations in chemistry. Get your pupils thinking and chatting about difficult scientific concepts in new and interesting ways

  • preserved food

    Kitchen K-Mistry

    Use these short podcasts to introduce children to the chemistry they can find all around them, in their kitchen

  • edible experiments 2

    Edible experiments

    Enthuse your students, excite the general public or just amaze your pals. Let's get people talking about chemistry that's relevant and fun, and help to inspire them. Discover the importance of chemistry in everyday eating experiences

Develop your leadership

We actively support the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM):

We believe the process outlined by PSQM is an effective way of developing science leadership in primary education.

In 2015, we helped 20 schools achieve their PSQM award and just a year later this number rose to over 100 schools across 17 hubs. Find out more about our support for PSQM.