Practical Work for Learning

Produced by the Nuffield Foundation in partnership with the Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Institute of physics, these resources aim to support science classroom practitioners at secondary level. Practical Work for Learning comprises a set of resources exemplifying three different pedagogical approaches to practical work used in the classroom.

The three approaches used are:

  • Argumentation
  • Model-based inquiry
  • Science in the workplace

A comprehensive introduction is provided for each approach as well as detailed example stand- alone lessons with plans and resource guidelines and slideshows. This collection of the three different approaches each provide a general introduction but encourages teachers to transfer the approaches exemplified in the resources to different scientific subjects of their own choice. There are a range of different activities to select and cover topics from physics, chemistry and biology. A detailed section containing research summaries and references are also provided for those wanting to delve further into evidence that underpins the development of the resources.



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This set of resources exemplifies ways in which practical work can be used alongside a pedagogical approach known as argumentation. Argumentation is a core practice used by communities of research scientists, and it is through these activities that science knowledge is developed and agreed. Argumentation activities...

Model-based inquiry

These resources exemplify the way practical work can be used alongside a pedagogical approach called model-based inquiry. This is based upon generating, testing and revising scientific models. Being primarily centred round collaborative and cooperative styles of learning, it also places particular emphasis upon the...

Science in the workplace

These resources utilise ways that careers information can be incorporated into science lessons, particularly practical work. It enables the science teacher to relate their subject specialism to potential learning pathways that students can follow. In turn, students can see where scientific content and skill sets...