About Advancing Primary Science

What is Advancing Primary Science?

Advancing Primary Science is about:

The Royal Society of New Zealand raising the profile of science teaching and learning in primary schools by:

  • Supporting primary teachers in the development of their skills, knowledge, confidence in the teaching of science;
  • Extending the experiences of science for primary students;
  • Highlighting  the literacy and numeracy in primary science;
  • Encouraging primary students and their teachers to understand, participate and  contribute to science activities;
  • Encouraging the science sector to contribute to primary science teaching and learning;
  • Supporting others to promote careers in science including developing the relationship between primary education, science and business
  • Supporting others to communicate the benefits of science to New Zealand


It is widely accepted that attitudes to science are influenced by experiences at a young age. Experiences at primary school are therefore a key influencer of young people’s decisions to continue with science at secondary and tertiary education.

However, concern has been expressed that science teaching and learning at primary schools does not have the emphasis that it should. There are a number of reasons for this but one that has been identified is that many primary teachers are not confident with the subject.

This lack of confidence may come from their own negative educational experiences in science, their concern they don’t have the background knowledge to answer students questions, little science training or the perception that science involves carrying out ‘experiments’ using unfamiliar equipment.

The Royal Society of New Zealand has introduced a new initiative Advancing Primary Science to specifically address the issue of teacher’s lack of confidence in  the teaching of science.

This initiative is designed to complement the work going on to support the introduction of the new curriculum, the production of resources and teaching training and professional development.