My experience with teaching on Primary PGCE courses has made me very aware of how few primary ITT students arrive with a science background. For many the last experience they had of science was during their GCSE’s. Not many come with Science A levels, and if they do it’s usually Biology, rather than Chemistry or Physics.
If this sounds like you, then do not despair. There’s lots of places online that can help with getting your science subject knowledge up to scratch.
Here’s 6 to get you started. And even better, all the resources below are free!
Reach Out CPD is a collaboration between Imperial College London and Tigtag. The course has been written with the aim of providing support and ideas to help teach the new Science Curriculum. And even better, it’s totally free!
The resources have been mapped to curricula for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are 30 online courses in total. 24 of which cover Science content knowledge such as Space, Plants, Food and Feeding, Rocks and Soils, and 6 units which cover science skills, such as Working Scientifically, Inspiring Future Scientists and Cross-curricular Science.
Each online course is broken up into short learning units that include films featuring Imperial College London academics, tailor-made factsheets, images, diagrams, quizzes and lots of ideas for practical classroom activities. The site is totally free, all you need to do is sign up for an account. The course author is rather familiar too!
STEM Learning (Previously The National STEM Centre) provides a wealth of resources for teachers of Science, Technology and Maths, including booklets, powerpoints, videos, links and more. A comprehensive search tool helps you find the most relevant resources from their massive library.
There are also specially curated resource areas for Primary and Secondary science. These are probably the best place to start. The Primary Science area is divided up by subject area and year group.
The site requires a login to download the resources, but it’s free to sign up. Well recommended.
The PSTT website has some great collections of resources and guides to help new and existing primary science teachers. This ranges from support on teaching Science and Health to Using puppets in the classroom.
The SAPS website is an essential resource for any teacher who wants to teach about plants. Their Plants for Primary Pupils booklets are an essential download; packed full of information, lesson ideas and worksheets. There are also other great teaching resources, as well as extension ideas for beyond the classroom.
This should be your first port of call before teaching any topic involving plants. Go take a look!
The SCIcentre website isn’t the most attractive website in the world, it’s been around a while so it’s showing its age, but it does contain some useful information on the main areas of science that primary teachers need to cover. It’s a good backup site if you can’t find the information elsewhere.
6. The ASE
Finally, the Association for Science education website also has some useful self-study materials for science teachers via the Sci-Tutors area of the website.There’s also a useful Primary Resources section.
I’d also strongly suggest joining the ASE for their Primary Science journal, especially if you end up being the school science coordinator (you can access some articles for free via the website).
Also do check out the Principles and Big Ideas in Science Education document by Wynne Harlen. It gives a great overview of the importance of science, and the key ideas that underpin it.
I am able to offer a range of science-related CPD sessions, from iPads in Primary Science to Creative ways to teach the new primary Science National Curriculum. You can find more information about my CPD courses here. Any questions, do please get in touch.
This post originally appeared on the Teaching Science site.