Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Working Scientifically in the Primary Classroom: Progression of enquiry skills from EYFS to KS3

This document is FREE to download from the CIEC website

Just as important as teaching the substantive aspects of the curriculum is teaching the disciplinary aspects as children learn to think and act like scientists. Teachers tell us that they find it much harder to plan for progression and to assess children in this area and this is where our free resource ‘Working scientifically in the primary classroom: Progression of enquiry skills from EYFS to KS3’ comes in.


Skills can be tracked from one key stage to the next from EYFS to KS3

Skills can be tracked from one key stage to the next.  For example, ‘Make links and notice patterns in their experience’ (Characteristics of Effective Learning in EYFS) is tracked to ‘With guidance, they should begin to notice patterns and relationships’ (KS1 science program of study) and ‘Begin to look for naturally occurring patterns and relationships and decide what data to collect to identify them’ (Lower KS2 science programme of study). This enables teachers and subject leads to systematically track the skills throughout the primary age range and beyond.

I can statements for EYFS

Additionally, there is a poster for each key stage (EYFS, KS1, Lower KS2 and Upper KS2) with ‘I Can’ statements which can be shared with the child, enabling them to be fully involved in their own assessment and progression. 

I can statements for Upper Key Stage 2 

The clear layout of this document supports teachers to plan lessons which enable children to show progress in their learning and add challenge for those children who are ready for it.  It also gives a framework that facilitates accurate assessment and empowers children to peer and self-assess working scientifically skills.

This booklet can be downloaded for free from the CIEC website.  Alternatively, if you would like to buy a hard copy they can be purchased from our online store for £3.20 (including P&P) for a single copy or £26.45 (including P&P) for a class set of 30.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Working with families


An image of a 'mad scientist'.  White, middle aged, lab coat, untidy hair and a crazed look in his eyes.
Stereotypes of 'mad scientists' negatively impact on the science capital of children and their families

In recent years teachers have become increasingly aware of the importance of developing children’s science capital by helping them to understand that science is relevant to their current and future lives and that scientists are ‘people like me’ rather than science being the preserve of a select few that fit prevailing stereotypes.  

An industry at home activity sheet.  Most of the text is too small to read.The title says 'Best Bubbles'.

Children from 3 to 93 will be able to join in with this activity which invites you to work out the best mixture for making bubbles.

At CIEC we believe that we not only need to think about the science capital of the children that we work with but also that of everyone around them. A particularly important influence on children is the family that they live with, so anything that we can do to raise the awareness and aspirations of family members is likely to have a positive impact on children.

An Industry at home activity sheet.  Most of the text is too small to read.  The title is 'Runny Fun'.  A subheading is 'Making Ooblek'

In this exciting activity starch is extracted from potato peel to make ‘ooblek’; whatever your age we guarantee that you will learn something new!

One way to do this is to use our IndusTRY AT HOME activities. They are designed for use with families and are easily resourced at home.  They are interactive and engaging and link aspects of the primary science curriculum with real life contexts.

An Industry at home activity sheet. Most of the text is too small to read.  The heading is 'Washing Powder'

For this activity families are invited to compare different washing products as they learn that product development is an important role for some scientists

There are 18 different IndusTRY AT HOME sheets with a range of activities to suit the whole age range from nursery to Y6.  Teachers have told us that they find them more creative than traditional homework without impacting on their workload. Children have told us that they like collaborating with other family members and find the activities enjoyable. Parents report that they are easier to manage at home than activities that children do not want to do. All of the IndusTRY AT HOME activities are free to download from the CIEC website.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Making Ripples


The front cover of the Industry at Home resource.  The text is displayed in brightly coloured boxes.  All except the titles 'Industry at Home' and 'Making Ripples' is too small to read.

Making Ripples is free to download from the IndusTRY AT HOME page of the CIEC website.

We have recently been adding to our popular IndusTRY AT HOME resources.  Thanks to funding from the Royal Society of Chemistry five new resources will have ideas for activities that can be done with children as young as three, but which can be enjoyed by the whole family including older children.  Indeed, given that they are accessible to such a wide age range you may be surprised by how engaging (and thought provoking) adults find the activities too!

Concentric circles of ripples on water.

Adults as well as children are likely to fascinated by this simple activity.

For example, the activity ‘Making Ripples’ invites families to take advantage of a bright sunny day to explore the way that ripples move on a tray of water as objects are dropped in, or the surface of the water is touched.  As with other IndusTRY AT HOME activities this activity is easily and cheaply resourced with items from around the home.

A screen shot showing part of the resource.  There is white text in a green box which is too small to read apart from the title 'Career and role play opportunities'.  There is also an image of a tug boat.

An extract from the IndusTRY AT HOME resource ‘Making Ripples’

There is also support for raising Science Capital by making links between the science in the activities and real science careers.  For example, after exploring the ways that water moves while making ripples, children learn that people who design and make boats need to know about this to help them to design boats that can move safely through rough seas.

We would love to hear how you get on if you use this resource either at home or in school.