Sustainability Webs for primary science have been developed by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The sustainability webs are here to help teachers to teach sustainability topics. Each web presents two ways to connect sustainability with the same science topic. They’re categorized by age groups: 4–7 years, 7–9 years, or 9–11 years:

  • Biodiversity and habitats | 4–7 years
  • Materials, recycling and rubbish | 4–7 years
  • Seasons and unexpected weather | 4–7 years
  • Electricity and batteries | 7–9 years
  • Protecting animals and their habitats | 7–9 years
  • Recycling and melting plastics | 7–9 years
  • Saving water and pollution in the water cycle | 7–9 years
  • Decaying and materials in mobiles | 9–11 years
  • Electricity production and use | 9–11 years
  • Pollutants produced by chemical changes | 9–11 years

The goal of each sustainability web is to quickly demonstrate how sustainability fits with the science topic and suggest activities for the class. They’re not detailed lesson plans.

The webs also show how one can incorporate reading, math, and other skills, like problem-solving and using technology, alongside the science content.

The RSC suggest two different approaches to using the resources on the webs:

Teach science using exciting sustainability contexts: If you have a science topic in mind, the webs will offer two possible sustainability angles, propose classroom activities, and provide helpful links for more information.

Plan a school-wide sustainability focus: If you’re planning a sustainability-themed period for your whole school or a year group, the webs can give you ideas for engaging contexts and activities for different ages. They connect to science topics and suggest ways to practice reading, math, problem-solving, and tech skills.

No matter how you use the Sustainability Webs for primary science, the RSC recommends using the sustainability contexts to kickstart science lessons.

“During the lesson, when children see the connection for the first time, they experience a meaningful context for the science topic that they are learning about. It can also develop their ideas around sustainability and greater environmental awareness. You can use these contexts to build their working scientific skills, as well as raise awareness of where scientists are having a meaningful impact on addressing issues around sustainability.”