In partnership with the Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, and Institute of Physics

About the project

Practical Work for Learning comprises a set of resources exemplifying three different approaches to practical work: argumentation, model-based inquiry, and science in the workplace.

Practical work is an essential part of science education, but to be effective, consideration needs to be given to the objective of each particular lesson, and to the best approach for achieving that objective.

A comprehensive introduction is provided for each approach, along with five standalone lessons comprising all necessary teacher and student materials.

The resources cover topics from physics, chemistry, and biology, and are suitable for Key Stages 3-5. Research summaries are also provided, for those who want to delve further into the evidence underpinning the development of the resources.

The project was undertaken in partnership with the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Biology.

Advisory group
  • Dr Ian Abrahams, University of York
  • Vicki Cottrell, Teacher
  • Marianne Cutler, Association for Science Education
  • Professor Justin Dillon, King's College London
  • Dr Angela Hall, Nuffield Foundation
  • Sally Johnson, National Network of Science Learning Centres
  • Steve Jones, CLEAPSS
  • Rachel Lambert-Forsyth, Society of Biology
  • Nicole Morgan, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Richard Needham, Association for Science Education
  • Jean Scrase, Nuffield Foundation
  • Clare Thomson, Institute of Physics
  • Charles Tracy, Institute of Physics

The project was managed by Emma Palmer, Nuffield Foundation, and the writers were Carol Levick, David Sang, and Vicky Wong. The reviews of the research were carried out by Dr Roger Lock, University of Birmingham.

We would like to thank Alom Shaha of Camden School for Girls, and Gemma Hardy and Neil Gilbride of TeachFirst for their contributions to this project.

Thanks also to: Richard Scrase; Tom Anthony; Kay Stephenson; Katherine Richardson; Yvette Sturdy; Pat Morton; Claire Nix, John Dunn, Head of Science at Newham Sixth Form College, and his students.

We are very grateful to all the teachers and schools who took part in the trialling of the resources.