Maximising learning in practical science RP358

Improving and embedding effective practical science in your classroom


The Gatsby Good Practical Science report is the starting point for this course as schools return to embedding hands-on practical science into their curriculum delivery.

You will develop tools and strategies to ensure that practical work that you incorporate into your teaching / curriculum is purposeful and builds on prior learning. You will also consider the importance of apparatus and techniques and working scientifically and you will reflect on your coverage of these areas in your own curriculum. 

You will look at some required practicals and plan progression through the curriculum from the perspective of both substantive and disciplinary knowledge that is required to be developed for the practical to be completed successfully. There will also be consideration of the demands of some practical activities and strategies that can be introduced to reduce the cognitive load of the task. 

Finally you will consider the facilities and technical support that is required for effective practical science. You will reflect on your own setting and share ideas and good practice about issues you may have with lab space and facilities.

The course is suitable for early career and established teachers as well as subject leaders. There will be some differentiation of tasks during the course depending upon your role.


By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • identify the strengths and areas of development for your teaching / curriculum provision against the Gatsby Practical Benchmarks
  • evaluate your secondary science teaching / curriculum to determine how well you develop progression of disciplinary knowledge to support higher student attainment in core
  • support students in practical activities by considering the demands and using tools and strategies to reduce cognitive load
  • consider strategies to overcome challenges in your own context in delivering effective practical science

Scheduled courses

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