Primary Science Skills and How to Teach Them: Getting to grips with scientific enquiry


Primary Science Skills and How to Teach Them: Getting to grips with scientific enquiry has been highly anticipated and the first 6 units are now available for purchase. These are currently digital only resources and sold as PDFs.

Primary Science Skills and How to Teach Them has been developed for children aged 7–11. It is based on two books written by Anne Goldsworthy, Rod Watson and Valerie Wood-Robinson. Originally created for children aged 9-13, Getting to Grips with Graphs (1999) and Developing Understanding (2000) were the outcomes of the AKSIS project: a three-year research collaboration between the ASE and King’s College London, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Scientific enquiry is essentially a thinking process. For children to undertake effective science enquiries in the classroom, they need to know how to collect useful data and how to interpret them. Simply meeting science skills during practical activities is rarely enough for them to be learned and embedded.

Building on the more open-ended, exploratory approach of lower primary, Primary Science Skills and How to Teach Them provides teachers with simple strategies and short activities to support upper primary children (aged 7-11) to develop a range of disciplinary knowledge and skills, which can subsequently be applied in their own scientific investigations.

The materials cover the skills required at each stage of a scientific enquiry and are mapped to different scientific enquiry types, providing teachers with a comprehensive choice of activities.

The resources will extend over 8 units and the first 6 are available now.

Unit 1: Encouraging Exploration – Before planning the detail of a scientific enquiry, children need to focus on the context of the enquiry. Unit 1 is 43 pages.

Unit 2: From Questions to Enquiry – Children need to know about some of the main ways of collecting evidence so that, when faced with a variety of questions, they can suggest an appropriate approach. Unit 2 is 29 pages.

Unit 3: Planning and Predicting – Pupils who can describe the enquiry that they are tackling with clarity tend to make good planning decisions. The modules in this unit are designed to help children develop these characteristics.

Unit 4: Gathering Useful Evidence – The most important part of any scientific enquiry is the quality of the data collected. This unit helps children take sensible planning decisions to ensure that the quality of data produced is as high as possible.

Unit 5: Collecting and Recording Results – When carrying out an investigation, children need to collect results by observing or measuring, and then record these results quickly and efficiently.

Unit 6: Presenting Results – Children do not learn how to construct and use graphs and charts simply by meeting them during investigations, so it is important that aspects of graphing are taught explicitly.

Unit 7: Describing and Explaining Results, Unit 8: Evaluating Investigations will be available in the coming months ….

ASE Members and PSTT Fellows can access the Primary Science Skills resources for free on the ASE website.

Check out our SAMPLE PACK to get a taste of what’s on offer. 

You can purchase individual units for £5.99 each, or two for £9.99.

You can join our email list to find out when next units in the series are released.

If you would like to gain free access to all 8 units when they are published, why not check out becoming an ASE member HERE.

Format: PDF Download Age Range: 7 – 11 years
Series Author: Tracy Tyrrell Contributing Authors: Anne Goldsworthy & Ali Eley

Additional information


New, Primary


Digital/PDF Download

Age Range



The Association for Science Education/ Primary Science Teaching Trust