Thinking, Doing, Talking Science

Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (TDTS) aims to make science lessons in primary schools more practical, creative and challenging by training teachers in a number of strategies to encourage pupils to use higher order thinking skills.

The project has been funded and evaluated by the Education Endowment Foundation and has been created and is being delivered by Science Oxford, in partnership with Oxford Brookes University.

It was first developed and evaluated during 2013-15 with 42 Oxfordshire primary schools in what is called an efficacy trial. This trial showed that overall, pupils in schools using the TDTS approach made approximately three months progress in science. The programme had a particularly positive effect on girls and on pupils with lower prior attainment. There were indications that the approach had most impact on pupils eligible for free school meals. As a result of this success the EEF have funded our TDTS team to carry out an effectiveness trial in over 200 schools across the country.

Evaluation of this latest trial finds “the available evidence indicates that the programme can be implemented at scale through a train-the-trainers model, that it is valued by teachers exposed to the programme, and it changes their teaching practices in a manner consistent with the hypothesis.”
The evaluation showed that all pupils’ interest in, and self-efficacy towards, science increased. TDTS made a small impact on progress among children eligible for school meals although there was no apparent impact across the whole sample when the programme was tested at scale. The EEF classifies TDTS as a low cost intervention. The report is available here.

We continue to see far-reaching, lasting impacts in the schools that worked with us in the trials and in subsequent Strategic School Improvement Fund projects in Essex and Herefordshire.

The 4-day TDTS programme is currently available as a residential course in York and more details of our 19-20 offer will be available in the new year.

TDTS focus

TDTS focuses on the development of cognitively challenging and interactive primary science lessons. Teachers enable their pupils to think and talk about scientific concepts through:

  • dedicated discussion times
  • providing pupils with a wide range of opportunities for creative investigations and problem solving
  • focusing the pupils’ recording so that there is always time for practical science.

If you’re a teacher interested in booking the sessions, see below for our TDTS CPD workshops and please contact us on [email protected]

We also offer a range of standard CPD sessions – for more information and to book please visit here.

Book our TDTS CPD

Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (Primary)

  • Thinking, Doing, Talking, Science 4 day programme

    Thinking, Doing, Talking Science (TDTS) is an evidence-based, interactive four-day CPD programme for primary teachers, focusing on the development of creative and challenging science lessons that encourage pupils to use...

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  • Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Taster 1 – Bright Ideas Time

    Taster CPD for teaching staff, NQTs, TAs and science co-ordinators

    An introduction to the Thinking, Doing, Talking Science project followed by a participative session where we explore various discussion techniques to encourage pupils’ thinking skills.

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  • Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Taster 2 – Creative Investigations

    Taster CPD for teaching staff, NQTs, TAs and science co-ordinators

    A hands-on exploration of different types of practical investigations suitable for KS1 and KS2.

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  • Thinking, Doing, Talking Science Taster 3 – Focused Recording

    Taster CPD for teaching staff, NQTs, TAs and science co-ordinators

    Focusing pupils’ recording on the learning objective frees up time in lessons. This time can be used for dedicated discussion time or to allow greater pupil input into practical investigations.

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