Good Science in Primary School

Learning, Teaching, Leadership

Our research-rich picture illustrates the findings of our research project investigating what is understood by good science learning, teaching and leadership in primary school, for those involved in the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme (PSQM).

Download the research rich picture

We also used the cartoons to prepare a set of videos to illustrate what the principles of good science learning, teaching and leading in primary schools might mean for:

If you would like to have a chat about our research and how it might be useful to you, please contact Dr Elizabeth White.

What we did

We listened to the views of primary teachers who are leading science in their school, key stakeholders and hub leaders working with the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme.

Good scienceWe themed the participants' responses and provided a mix of verbatim quotations and paraphrasing with suggestions of what good science might look like. The ideas for children, teachers, science leaders and schools and the senior leadership team came from responses to questions about good science teaching, learning and leadership in primary schools and how it can be developed. The ideas relating to governors, parents, other schools and the wider community have been developed from other parts of the data including the submission documentation provided by schools when they are working for the PSQM award.

Opportunities for childrenWe commissioned Joel Cooper to prepare a series of inspirational cartoons to illustrate key issues in learning, teaching and leading science in primary schools as revealed by the research.

The findings provide principles of good science learning, teaching and leading in primary schools that involve children, parents, teachers, governors, science leaders and the senior leadership team. They also provide suggestions for schools, and those working with them, to develop primary science learning, teaching and leadership.

IllustrationWe hope that the findings may be useful to:

  • teachers leading science in their primary school
  • pupils and teachers
  • senior leadership teams
  • governors
  • parents
  • wider school communities
  • policy makers
  • teacher educators
  • learned societies, professional bodies and charitable trusts
  • leaders of professional learning and development of primary school teachers
  • those involved in raising the interest and engagement of children and young people with science

This research was carried out as an extension of the evaluation of the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme 2013-15 (White, E., Dickerson, C., Mackintosh, J. & Levy, R. 2016. University of Hertfordshire). A Summary Report is also available. The research was funded by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT). The research-rich picture was funded by the University of Hertfordshire.

Other Research Projects

Find out more about our other research projects: