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Primary science education: Wellcome Trust

This set of reports and case studies commissioned by the Wellcome Trust explore the nature of science delivery across the UK capturing baseline metrics prior to the full implementation of it's UK wide Primary Science Campaign in autumn 2017 and reports on the progress of the campaign throughout its implementation over 5 years.  The campaign’s vision is that all pupils will experience an exciting, inspiring and relevant science education at primary school that leaves them well-prepared to progress further in science, and well-informed about science in their everyday lives. A key part of the campaign is Explorify; a free resource of engaging, creative science activities for primary school teachers. It has been designed to stimulate curiosity, discussion and debate and will support teachers to encourage children to think like scientists.

The final report Primary science education beyond 2021 - What next? published in Sept 2021 highlights what is needed to continue to develop good primary science education and suggest principles for the future.

The reports in chronological order are:

State of the Nation Sept 2017: Baseline research for the Wellcome Trust Primary Science campaign

Understanding the 'state of the nation' report of UK primary science education Jan 2019: Findings from the qualitative baseline research and emerging themes from school staff to explore the reasons behind the State of the Nation findings

What pupils think of primary science in schools Jan 2019: Baseline findings about pupils’ perceptions on subjects taught in their school and how science can be applied in the wider world. 

Does Explorify support better primary science teaching?: This report presents data captured from schools using Explorify to explore the outcomes and impacts of the campaign on science delivery and compares science delivery to similar schools not using the resource. 

Evaluation of the Primary Science Campaign Sept 2020: This report presents data captured from schools in England using Explorify in the 2019/2020 academic year to explore the outcomes and impacts of the campaign on science delivery and compares science delivery to similar schools not using the resource.

The impact of COVID-19 on primary science education: This report explores the impact of using Explorify on teachers and pupils throughout the pandemic and the overall impact of COVID-19 on schools and science delivery.

Primary science education beyond 2021 - What next?: This report considers data obtained across the five years of the project and outcomes from stakeholder workshops to suggest a set of principles for the future of primary science.

This section also includes seven case studies from schools around the UK who share their experience of teaching science in more detail, with ideas to support primary science whatever your school's situation.

These reports and case studies have been provided by the WellcomeTrust.


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