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Does Explorify support better primary science teaching?

A key part of our primary science campaign is Explorify – a free resource of engaging, creative science activities for primary school teachers.

We've interviewed teachers and science leaders from more than 700 schools to analyse whether Explorify has supported better primary science teaching and student learning. 

What’s inside

  • facts and figures on UK primary science education between 2017 and 2019 – from how science is taught, to what educators think of it
  • four case studies showing how Explorify has improved science teaching and student learning

Who this is for

  • UK policy makers
  • UK primary school educators, including head teachers, science leaders and class teachers
  • anyone interested in primary science education in the UK  

Key findings

The state of primary science education

There has been little change in how primary science is led and taught across the UK since we published our State of the nation report in 2017.

  • 49% of science leaders have specific time set aside by their school to lead science, in addition to planning their own lessons.
  • 54% of science leaders have had external continuing professional development for a day or more in the past year to help them lead or develop science in their school.
  • 29% of teachers are ‘very confident’ teaching science. This is compared to 47% for maths and 44% for English.
  • 29% of schools with science leaders have appropriate budget for resources to support science teaching.
  • 49% of classes in all year groups are taught science for two hours a week.

The impact of Explorify

  • 84% of teachers ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that Explorify increases pupils' science knowledge.
  • 77% of teachers ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that Explorify increases pupils' confidence.
  • When asked about pupil engagement, most interviewees noted a particular improvement in their special educational needs and disability (SEND), English as an additional language (EAL), and less-confident pupils.
  • 84% of teachers reported an increase in their enjoyment of teaching science.
  • 38% of teachers ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that using Explorify has led to them search for, or undertake, professional development to teach science.