Teaching Primary Science 1975

General editor: John Bird

In the mid 1970s head teachers, parents and the outside world frequently demanded that pupils should have done some science by the time they started secondary school. But many primary teachers felt insecure about their science knowledge and how to teach science.

Aims of primary science teaching

The aim was to develop a scientific attitude, focussing on finding out rather than learning facts or formulae. The project team stated that there was no need for a teacher to know all the answers. The view was that curiosity, care and commonsense are what make activities scientific, rather than test-tubes or telescopes. Practical experience would help children understand abstract ideas in secondary school.

Help for teachers

The ten books in the Teaching Primary Science series were specifically for non-science teachers and students in training. They provided simple descriptions of inexpensive child-sized activities through which pupils from five years old upwards could learn to work scientifically. They were based on topics with which primary school teachers were familiar, such as paints and musical instruments.


The short accessible books with their brightly-coloured covers sold well. 

Also on the web

Download the books from the STEM Centre website. See the Introduction and guide which explains how to develop science from children’s interests.

Teaching Primary Science