BSc Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Primary Science, Arts and Humanities Education

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC34552
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course will cover the following areas:

  • The key elements of the aims, enquiry skills and knowledge of the national curriculum in science, humanities, and the arts. This will commence with a focus on the English national curriculum, and students will be encouraged to compare with another country’s primary curriculum
  • The use of a reflective framework to understand yourself as a learner, reflect on your own experiences in education, and the influence they have had on your own philosophy of education
  • A focus on learning theories to explore the teaching and learning strategies that work in the primary context
  • What enquiry skills are, and how can they be applied in the primary context in England and other countries
  • What child-centered learning is, and how this influences the planning, teaching and assessment process.
  • Inclusion. How to ensure all children can access the learning.
  • The benefits and limitations of cross-curricular and topic planning
  • Learning outdoors – making connections with the world outside the classroom, the mental health benefits and how experiences support learning further in the classroom.


This unit aims to:

  • Develop student’s understanding of science, arts, and humanity subjects within the primary education system, and the ways it can be taught
  • Use a reflective framework to critically evaluate the student’s own experiences as learners in the primary school
  • Develop their understanding of how subject knowledge and enquiry skills may be taught in primary Science, arts and humanities e.g., discreetly or through topic-based approaches
  • Examine, and experience learning theories as applied to a primary setting and how these can affect engagement, motivation, and learning
  • Use constructivist pedagogies to plan for a topic-based unit that supports pupil learning and engagement
  • Conduct a critical analysis between two countries’ national curriculums and/ or teaching methods for a specific age group within the primary age range in science, humanities or the arts
  • Explore how child-centered learning supports inclusion of all children
  • Further their understanding of how outdoor learning for example, at educational centres, provide memorable experiences that can bridge the poverty gap and support attainment. This will include a virtual/ live trip to an educational setting.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Compile evidence from different primary national curriculums in science, humanities national curriculum to develop understanding of skills and knowledge and how it may differ across countries.
  • Discover how topic planning and outdoor learning support primary aged children further – particularly in areas of poverty and deprivation
  • Formulate an argument around child centered learning and make links to key learning theories, and their own experiences and philosophy of education
  • Organise areas of science, humanities, and the art to modify an original topic-based plan and create their own topic-based plan
  • Build their understanding of how different pedagogic approaches are applied in different countries
  • Examine and make sense of different curriculums/ pedagogic approaches

Intellectual skills

  • To critically reflect upon their own teaching and/or learning in relation to primary education and analyse the influence this has had on their own philosophy of education
  • Demonstrate their ability to critically apply and evaluate key ideas in primary science, humanities and arts education
  • Expression and Decision-Making – to be able to make a reasoned argument for a particular point of view– able to draw reasoned conclusions from their research and own experiences

Practical skills

  • Communication skills through self and peer review, identifying strengths and making constructive suggestions for improvement where appropriate.
  • Interpersonal skills through team activities
  • To apply the primary knowledge and skills of science, humanities or the arts to a practical educational setting
  • Evidence topic-based primary planning in science, humanities and the arts

Transferable skills and personal quailities

  • Independent working skills
  • Information Retrieval – ability independently to gather, sift, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and to critically evaluate its significance.
  • Presentation – capacity to make oral presentations, using appropriate media for a target audience
  • Teamwork – recognising and identifying views of others and working constructively with them
  • Applying Subject Knowledge – use of discipline specific knowledge in everyday situations
  • Research – ability to plan and implement an effective research project.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will blend tutor-led input in seminars, with group work which is largely student-led but independently assessed, and practical work outside the classroom.

Students will create and present a topic-based plan in a primary school context on A2 format and write a critical analysis of their curriculum experiences as part of their assessment.

Assessment methods

Assessment task Word length or equivalent Weighting

Individual Poster Presentation of a topic-based plan using science and the foundation subjects

A2 poster - 1000 words 25%

Conduct a critical analysis between two countries’ national curriculums and/ or teaching methods for a specific age group within the primary age range in science, humanities or the arts

3500 words 75%


Recommended reading

Cross, Borthwick, Beswick, Board, Chippendall (2016) Curious Learners in Primary maths, science, computing and DT.

Department for Education (2014) The National Primary Curriculum in England. Available at

Cross and Bowden (2014) Essential Primary Science

National Curriculum Expert Group, (2013). Characteristics of a genuine D&T experience within the school curriculum: Principles for guiding and evaluating practice. Available at

Ofsted, (2013). Maintaining curiosity: science education in schools. Manchester: Crown copyright.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Karen Beswick Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Activity Hours allocated
Lectures/visits 26
Tutorials 4
Directed reading 70
Independent reading 25
Assessed work 75
Total 200


Return to course details