Primary science

We’re working to transform the teaching of science in primary schools so that every pupil has an excellent first experience of science.

Why it’s important

Children are naturally curious. Science at primary school should nurture this curiosity and allow them to ask questions and develop the skills they need to answer those questions. 

Primary science helps pupils to:

  • investigate problems 
  • learn how science works
  • discover why science matters in the world. 

For excellent primary science, schools need the time, expertise and resources to deliver engaging and thought-provoking science lessons. 

What we’re doing

Transforming primary science

Primary science is a key part of our science education priority area.

We’ve launched Explorify, a ground-breaking initiative to transform primary science for all pupils in the UK. This easy-to-use programme of classroom activities aims to enhance primary science teaching and get pupils thinking like scientists.

Our 'State of the nation' report of UK science education [PDF 1.6MB] evaluated the impact of our primary science work. It found that, on average, UK primary schools teach science for 1 hour and 24 minutes a week. Only 42% teach science for our recommendation of two or more hours a week.

Following this report, we’ve:

We’ve also set up a primary science policy group which works across the education sector to identify how primary science can be improved through policy change. 

Read our other reports:

Primary science leadership

Our definition [PDF 247KB] sets out the knowledge and skills needed to successfully lead and develop primary science in schools.

Read our reports on:

More information