Explained: Working Scientifically Skills

Written by Dan

Working scientifically skills are essential to the science curriculum, but what exactly do they involve? This blog post looks closely at working scientific skills and explains what they mean for teachers and students. Read on to find out more!

What Are The Working Scientifically Skills?

Working scientifically skills are essential for science students to learn to enhance the effectiveness of their exploration of scientific concepts.

Research Using Secondary Sources:

Working scientific skills include finding and using information from secondary sources such as books, journals, websites and videos. With access to a wide range of material, students learn to evaluate the quality of information they have found, analyze data and draw conclusions.

Identifying, Classifying and Grouping:

Scientific skills also involve the ability to classify and group objects, animals or plants according to their similarities and differences. This allows students to make informed decisions and develop hypotheses based on observed patterns or trends.

Comparative and Fair Testing:

Another important working scientific skill is conducting comparative and fair tests. Students learn how to set up experiments, use apparatus accurately and make logical deductions from their results. This allows them to draw valid conclusions about scientific phenomena and develop a more profound understanding of the processes involved.

Pattern Seeking:

Working scientifically skills involve pattern-seeking, which consists of identifying patterns in data or diagrams and making predictions from them. This requires students to analyze evidence and draw valid conclusions about what they have seen.

Observing Over Time:

Observing over time is another critical working scientific skill. Students learn to record accurate information and spot changes or trends in the collected data. This helps them understand cause-and-effect relationships between variables and make predictions based on their observations.

How Can You Develop These Skills

Inquiry-based learning experiences are an excellent way to cultivate essential skills in students, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication. Tasks that involve research and require students to ask questions, process data, conclude, or take action can help them practice these abilities.

To further develop the desired skillset through inquiry-based learning, teachers must create open assignments that allow student creativity and provide opportunities for reflective feedback. Hence, students have the necessary information to improve their work.

By encouraging meaningful dialogue amongst learners and inspiring them to self-evaluate their work, teachers can put their students on a path of confident exploration and discovery.

Examples of Scientific Inquiry

Inquiry-based learning experiences are an effective way to help develop working scientific skills in students of all ages. For instance, younger students can work with their teacher to observe and explore issues within their science lesson, such as plants’ needs for healthy growth or Boyle’s Law experimentation.

Older students learn to appreciate the scientific method in more depth through analyses and generalizations of experimental data by replicating experiments and creating data tables.

Through inquiry-based activities incorporating discussion, problem-solving, and synthesis of scientific concepts, students will better understand the principles essential for working scientifically.

Inquiry-based learning experiences are vital in developing these skills, allowing students at any age to become proficient in scientific practices.

Outside The Classroom

It is vitally important for students to have a good understanding of scientific principles to make informed decisions and engage fully with the world around them.

By learning and mastering skills such as problem-solving, questioning, critical thinking, and creating experiments in the classroom, students will be well-equipped to apply those skills outside of school.

Recognizing scientific phenomena allows an individual to find answers to real-world questions, which can vary from testing water pollution levels to figuring out what led to an increase in one’s energy bill.

Understanding the basics of science creates a platform for future innovation, helping students become the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs.

Scientific Skills In Everyday Life

As a teacher, it is essential to foster an environment that encourages students to explore their scientific curiosities and take the skills they’ve gained in class out of the lab and into their everyday lives.

One great way to do this is by talking with them about current events, showing how the skills they use in your classroom directly apply when analyzing these real-world situations.

Another way to go about it is by having activities where students can pick topics or choose problems in their own lives that they would like to research using the scientific method.

This could help students practice and understand why working scientifically in specific contexts is essential while providing opportunities for hands-on learning that can be more engaging than lectures or memorization exercises.

Working scientifically skills are essential for science students of all ages to develop because they help with problem-solving and critical thinking both inside and outside the classroom.

These skills can be acquired through inquiry-based learning experiences, allowing students to explore scientific concepts independently while developing necessary analytical and research skills.

If you want to encourage your students to use their working scientifically skills in their everyday lives, give them plenty of opportunities to practice using these skills in different contexts both inside and outside the classroom.

With time and practice, they can apply these skills to real-world problems they encounter in their everyday lives.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our blog on why science is so important to teach in primary! For more quizzes, plans and units of work, visit ourĀ TES store.


How can we teach key stage 1 scientifically?

Key stage 1 students can be taught about working scientifically through engaging activities such as inquiry-based experiments, discussion, problem-solving, and synthesis of scientific concepts.

This will help to give the students a better understanding of the principles underlying scientific practices. You could also provide them with open-ended questions designed to encourage critical thinking or use real-world examples to illustrate the importance of using scientific skills in daily life.

How does Ofsted assess science?

Ofsted assesses science based on skills such as questioning, planning and carrying out investigations, gathering and interpreting data, making predictions, and drawing conclusions.

They also look at how well students can explain their reasoning and understanding through their written work. They evaluate the quality of teaching by looking at how teachers support pupils in developing their scientific knowledge and experience.

Finally, Ofsted assesses a school’s learning environment to ensure it is conducive to learning science and encourages students to be curious and explore scientific concepts.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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