Primary Science in the UK: a Scoping Study

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The Wellcome Trust commissioned this research in May 2004. The Graduate School of Education at Queen’s University Belfast and the Science Department of St Mary’s
University College Belfast carried out the work. The Wellcome Trust was seeking to
establish an overview of the current status of primary science in the UK with particular reference to strengths and weaknesses in specific focus areas, issues of concern and ways to improve primary science so that children are best supported to develop the sorts of skills that will help them to become active and informed citizens.

The aims of the research were to:

• provide a clear, evidence-based, analysis of the current issues facing primary science in the UK
• explore primary teachers’ attitudes to science and ways in which they support primary students to develop scientific literacy.
• evaluate the impact of the types of science initiatives already taking place in UK primary schools.
• identify a niche within which the Wellcome Trust could usefully take forward work in this area.

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