Teaching scientific skills

What skills does a scientist need?

It can be very tempting to spend a lot of lesson time ‘doing’ scientific skills when in fact they should be ‘developed’. By ensuring lessons focus on teaching specific skills (in addition to subject knowledge) skills can be planned for and developed over time. Split screen objectives are a simple strategy to help teachers and students focus learning on skills as well as content.

Mapping scientific skills

This document maps scientific skills in the curriculum. It is useful to ensure skills build over time. Each skill falls into one of the five areas outlined above in the schematic. Download this mapping document to help support the development of scientific skills in your schemes of work. These skills can be assessed using our scientific skills assessment maps.

Resources to support teaching scientific skills

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation has supported the development of the Learning Skills for Science (LSS) programme for use in the UK since 2004. LSS resources have now moved to the National STEM Centre and are freely available at the webpage www.stem.org.uk/elibrary/collection/3623

  1. Apparatus and techniques in science 
  2. Assessing scientific skills
  3. Drawing graphs in science
  4. How science works
  5. Numeracy for science
  6. Scientific investigations
  7. Revision for science exams