Nuffield Primary Science for Ages 5-7

The Nuffield Primary Science materials were based on the findings of a research project called Science Processes and Concept Exploration (SPACE). This was the first set of resources published in the UK for primary science teaching that was explicitly based on a constructivist view of learning.

Guidance for teachers 

The results of the SPACE research were used to give teachers descriptions of what they were likely to find if they explored the ideas of their children. The findings were also used to develop trial materials which helped teachers to plan activities to take children’s ideas as a starting point in classroom work. The evidence from the trials provided the basis for the aims proposed and the methods suggested in the general guidance for Nuffield Primary Science and in the teachers’ guides.

The themes 

The same eleven themes feature in the resources for each of the age ranges. For students aged 5-7 there is a teachers' guide and a student text for each theme:

  • The Earth in space
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Forces and movement
  • Light
  • Living processes
  • Living things in their environment
  • Materials
  • Rocks, soil and weather
  • Sound and music
  • Using energy
  • The variety of Life

The National Curriculum 

The resources provided complete coverage of the primary National Curriculum. The teachers' guides were linked to the National Curriculum as initially published in 1993 and second editions were published in 1995 to match the 1995 revision of the curriculum.



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The Nuffield Primary Science Teachers' Guides are a resource that developed from the findings of the SPACE research programme. They were designed to help teachers put the SPACE approach to teaching and learning into action in their classrooms. The guides were not...

The students' books were intended to supplement classroom work but not to replace practical work. The books were generally not essential for the activities outlined in the Teachers' Guides.


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