Making Every Science Lesson Count

Six principles to support great science teaching

By: Shaun Allison


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Size: 216 x 135mm
Pages : 144
ISBN : 9781785831829
Format: Paperback
Published: June 2017

Making Every Science Lesson Count: Six principles to support great science teaching goes in search of answers to the fundamental question that all science teachers must ask: 'What can I do to help my students become the scientists of the future?'

Writing in the practical, engaging style of the award-winning Making Every Lesson Count, Shaun Allison returns with an offering of gimmick-free advice that combines the time-honoured wisdom of excellent science teachers with the most useful evidence from cognitive science.

The book is underpinned by six pedagogical principles – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning – and provides simple, realistic classroom strategies that will help teachers make abstract ideas more concrete and practical demonstrations more meaningful.

It also points a sceptical finger at the fashions and myths that have pervaded science teaching over the past decade or so – such as the belief that students can make huge progress in a single lesson and the idea that learning is speedy, linear and logical. Instead, Shaun advocates an approach of artful repetition and consolidation and shows you how to help your students develop their conceptual understanding of science over time.

Making Every Science Lesson Count is for new and experienced science teachers alike. It does not pretend to be a magic bullet. It does not claim to have all the answers. Rather the aim of the book is to provide effective strategies designed to help you to bring the six principles to life, with each chapter concluding in a series of questions to inspire reflective thought and help you relate the content to your classroom practice.

In an age of educational quick fixes, GCSE reform and ever-moving goalposts, this precise and timely addition to the Making Every Lesson Count series provides practical solutions to perennial problems and inspires a rich, challenging and evidence-informed approach to science teaching.

Suitable for science teachers of students aged 11–16 years.

Picture for author Shaun Allison

Shaun Allison

Shaun Allison started teaching science in West Sussex, before becoming a head of science. He is currently deputy head teacher at Durrington High School. He leads on CPD and is interested in supporting teachers to grow and develop their classroom practice. He is also a popular speaker.

Click here to read Shaun Allison’s blog.


  1. -‹Click here to read the full review.
  2. I love science. It's just fascinating but allows for practical exploration, demands our attention, and challenges how we experience the world. For teaching though, getting the message across to our students can be challenging, as articulating theories and ideas that science offers is no easy task. This is relevant to science subject specialists in secondary schools. How can we articulate the passion and interest that science offers in a way our students understand, can access, and help develop their naturally curious minds?

    In his new book, “Making Every Science Lesson Count: Six principles to support great science teaching” Shaun Allison, explores his 6 pedagogical principles that can support secondary students (ages 11-16 years) in grasping often complex theories in the three main science subjects, leading up to GCSEs. The six principles - challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning - can inspire an ethos of excellence and growth across a whole school.

    Throughout the book, Shaun explores the six principles with a thorough commentary, adding substance to his ideas, offering practical advice, ideas and strategies that can help develop deep learning for students in science lessons. Crucially, the -˜modelling' principle is very well considered, with Shaun offering nine strategies (such as live modelling and scaffolding), which can really bring the relevant learning to life for pupils who may be struggling with a particular concept.

    This book is ideal for all secondary school science teachers, or for those teachers who may end up covering science lessons. The six principles offered form a critical base to support pupils learning and to develop their scientific thinking in theories that can be conceptually challenging, and are relevant to the three main subjects areas covered within the science curriculum.

    Click here to read the review on UKEdChat.
  3. Making Every Science Lesson Count is a high-quality book written by an experienced and highly effective science teacher. Drawing on evidence-informed practice, Shaun Allison discusses the principles underpinning great teaching and learning. The principles of challenge, explanation, modelling, deliberate practice, feedback and questioning are carefully and richly illustrated with examples drawn from teaching all three sciences. In doing so, Shaun Allison is making an important contribution to the pedagogy of science education.

    This is a book for all science teachers, no matter whether they are very experienced heads of science or science teachers starting out in their careers. It prompts all of us to think about the way we create opportunities for our students to learn about science.

    I will use this book to shape CPD with science teachers and it will be on the essential reading list for my PGCE science trainees.
  4. Every science teacher should get hold of a copy of this fantastic book.

    Shaun has a brilliant way of synthesising complex research on pedagogy and cognitive science, with each chapter presenting clear ideas with a theoretical underpinning which is bang up to date. His writing is accessible and is brought to life with inspirational anecdotes and stories.

    This book would be excellent as a key source of expertise in high-quality CPD - I only wish I'd had a copy when I started out teaching physics.
  5. Shaun Allison shares the insights of an experienced classroom practitioner who takes tried-and-tested teaching and learning strategies, known to and used by experienced teachers of science, and adds pedagogical significance to them.

    The underpinning concept of providing ways to become a great science teacher permeates every page, while the reflective questions at the end of each chapter are a useful way for the reader to encapsulate the key points therein. The foreword and acknowledgements highlight the need to value practitioners whilst promoting the need for, and value of, creativity in science teaching and learning. The passion for science held by the author is evident - such passion is a way to guide learners towards becoming effective and independent students.

    Making Every Science Lesson Count will be useful for trainee teachers preparing for PGCE assignments as it requires deep reading to appreciate the plethora of valuable guidance and advice shared. Any teacher undertaking a science subject knowledge development programme will most definitely benefit from the book's pedagogical guidance to supplement their course, while experienced teachers working on postgraduate theses will also find this work of value and will appreciate the teacher-led ideas.

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