Stubberfield - University of York

Primary Science Specialist Programme
Wellcome Trust Education Strategy
Our Priorities:
• Stimulating debate and influencing policy
• Investing in our teaching workforce
• Trusted deliverer of contemporary resources
• Being a good neighbour to our local schools
• Commission research and analysis
Our Priority areas:
• Primary education
• Informal learning
• Understanding learning
We will look to reinvigorate the
teaching of science in primary
schools, improving the expertise of
teachers and strengthening the
continuity of science education
within and between phases.
(Wellcome Trust, Education Strategy)
Expertise in Primary Science
• National data from the GTC shows that there are
around 6000 primary teachers with a science-related
• Most recent data from School Workforce Census
shows there are 197 000 primary teachers (FTE) in
17 309 primary schools.
• This shortage of subject expertise within the primary
sector has led to teachers who have low confidence
relating to science.
Strengthening Expertise in Primary Science
• Science- specific initial teacher training courses
• Attracting more science graduates into primary
• Primary Science Quality Mark
• AstraZeneca Science Teaching Trust (AZSTT)
College of Primary Science Teachers
• Chartered Science Teacher
• Wellcome Trust Primary Science Specialist
Primary Science Specialist
Every school should have, or have access to, a Primary
Science Specialist with the necessary subject
knowledge, pedagogical concept knowledge and skills
to successfully lead and develop science within their
Primary Science Specialist (PSS) Programme
Every school should have, or have access to,
a primary science specialist to lead science and make it
an inspirational subject.
Over-arching aims of the PSS Programme:
•raise the status of science
•improve teacher knowledge, confidence and skill
•improve the attitudes and achievements of children
The Primary Science Specialist Pilot
Teachers were recruited to take part in a pilot study for
the PSS from schools where the science subject leader
did not have a qualification in science above GCSE.
The Programme:
•24 days over one academic year
•Three strands – Subject Knowledge, Pedagogical
Concept Knowledge and Subject Leadership
•Delivered at the National Science Learning Centre,
Regional Science Learning Centre, as well as work in
school and online elements.
Measures of Success
Impacts on Primary School Pupils
•science-specific attitudes and aspirations of pupils
•achievements of pupils
Impacts on Science Coordinators
•enhanced science-specific subject knowledge
•improved pedagogical concept knowledge
•increased confidence
Impacts on Schools
•status of science within the school
•school-wide development of science
•the professional development of other teachers within the school,
including their science-specific subject knowledge, pedagogical
concept knowledge and confidence.
Evidence in education
We need clear information
about the outcomes of this
An independent evaluation
has been commissioned
from the Department of
Education and the Institute
for Effective Education at
the University of York.
Development of the PSS Programme
We will use this evidence-based research to
reinvigorate the teaching of science in primary schools,
improving the expertise of teachers.

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