Skip to content
Show Menu

On your marks…

Captivate your primary learners with some sports science investigations using secondary data

Published: 20 June 2024

This year will be a super summer of sporting endeavour – with the Euros, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games dominating thoughts and tv screens across the country. Not to mention, the pupils and teachers up and down the land who will be warming up for their very own school sports day challenges! 

These sporting occasions will all provide real-world data that can be used in the classroom to inspire young learners and to build their working scientifically skills and mindset. Education research shows that linking learning to real-world contexts is an important strategy in encouraging pupils to think like a scientist, reinforce their learning and raise their future aspirations. Using, understanding, and analysing secondary data is an important science (and life) skill which also provides valuable cross curricula links to learning in maths. 

The result are in!

Ogden Senior Teacher Fellow, Julia Adams, has been exploring how primary teachers can captivate their young learners by using secondary data to link science to sports, and the results are now in. She has designed two Olympic-themed lessons that allow pupils to learn and develop data analysis skills using secondary data sets, while deepening science learning in forces and working scientifically through the application of ideas to different contexts. 

“Pupil engagement in these lessons was high with some pupils asking if they could ‘do it again next lesson’. I am confident that when pupils are watching the Olympics in the summer that will be paying more attention to how technology is being used to compare the performance of athletes”.

Julia’s lessons have been devised and tested in her own classroom; she explains their development in a new resource – Research in practice: using secondary data in primary science. This resource provides a simple summary of the research behind her lessons and how she has put that into practice with her pupils. Julia shares her steps to success and gives insight into how the lessons have been received. You can also download sample PowerPoints and teaching notes that Julia has devised to help you deliver the lessons too!  

Discover more: sports, secondary data and primary science. Download Julia’s Research in Practice and find sample PowePoints and teaching notes.

Julia, is a teacher, who is working, with a group of students in a classroom.

Senior Teacher Fellowships

Senior Teacher Fellowships enable teachers to develop and deliver a physics education project of their interest, supporting teachers to build skills and experience both inside and outside of the classroom.  


Back to latest news