Learning Skills for Science

The Learning Skills for Science (LSS) programme was first produced at the Weizmann Institute of Science.


In 2004, the Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme (SEP) commissioned further work to enable the materials and training programme to be used in the UK. The project has achieved widespread recognition both in the UK and abroad.

LSS aims to enhance the quality of science learning and so improve student attainment by providing teachers with:

  • strategies to identify and deconstruct learning skills relevant to science education
  • activities which develop students' learning skills in the context of science
  • resources that can be integrated into a variety of scientific subjects.

The project provides support for students aged 14-19.

Skill areas


  • High-order skills - such as inquiry, problem-solving, thinking and learning skills - are an integral part of a good science education. Activities within LSS help teachers to facilitate explicit, guided, and well-planned learning opportunities that foster skills development, focusing on six skill areas:

    Skill Area 1:
    Information retrieval

    Skill Area 2:
    Listening and observing

    Skill Area 3:
    Scientific reading

    Skill Area 4:
    Data representation

    Skill Area 5:
    Scientific writing

    Skill Area 6:
    Knowledge presentation

    Each skill area is divided into sub-skills, for example Skill Area 5 Scientific writing covers how to prepare a report, write an article and construct an abstract.

The programme

  • Develops information literacy relating to the specific needs of learning science.
  • Prepares students for independent learning.
  • Demands thoughtful engagement with resources (information input) and with audiences (information output).
  • Provides meaningful backgrounds for learning about specific science content.

Between 2008 and 2011, Gatsby together with the Nuffield Foundation enhanced the LSS materials and incorporated them into a range of publications to support a number of areas of the curriculum. In 2008, a major development produced subject-specific LSS activities to support the Advanced level specifications in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Applied Science and Science in Society. In 2009, activities were chosen to complement the teaching of the new Extended Project Qualification. More recently, LSS activities have been incorporated into core material which support the GCSE science specifications in Twenty First Century Science.

LSS resources

Further information for Post 16:


For enquires related to the Gatsby Learning Skills for Science Programme please contact us.