Last Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2022

RAiSE - Raising Aspirations in Science Education

What is this?

This resource provides an overview of the Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) programme and provides links to key documents including the evaluation of the RAiSE programme.

Who is this for?

All practitioners, local authorities and partner organisations who have an interest in learning and teaching of science, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in primary settings and across the broad general education.

@RAISEScotland and @EdScotSciences

Explore this resource

What is RAiSE?

Raising Aspirations in Science Education (RAiSE) empowers primary school practitioners with the confidence, skills, and networks to develop and deliver engaging and motivating STEM learning experiences.

RAiSE is a programme of The Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, Scottish Government and participating local authorities. It has engaged half of Scotland’s local authorities to date.

The programme was established in 2016 as a pilot programme and is now being extended nationally. Authorities that have participated to date include:

  • Aberdeenshire Council
  • Angus Council
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Clackmannanshire Council
  • Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar
  • Dumfries and Galloway Council
  • Dundee City Council
  • Falkirk Council
  • Fife Council
  • Glasgow City Council
  • Midlothian Council
  • Moray Council
  • North Ayrshire Council
  • North Lanarkshire Council
  • Orkney Islands Council
  • Renfrewshire Council
  • South Ayrshire Council
  • South Lanarkshire Council
  • The Highland Council
  • West Dunbartonshire Council
  • West Lothian Council

How does it work?

Each of the participating RAiSE local authorities is provided with funding to recruit a dedicated Primary Science Development Officer (PSDO). The role of the PSDO is to lead and co-ordinate high-quality professional learning and to support practitioner planning, networking, and collaboration.

The work of the RAiSE programme is aligned to the STEM Education and Training Strategy and the Developing the Young Workforce Programme. It aims to raise attainment and achievement in primary science and STEM, and tackle inequity and inequality in learners' experiences and outcomes.

What has happened so far?

The network of PSDOs, supported by the National Education Officer for Primary Science, has helped to build the capacity and confidence of practitioners. This has led to innovative approaches and supported the embedding of STEM within the curriculum, and engaging pupils in meaningful ways. The programme has also created strong networks and partnerships, engaging a range of organisations and STEM providers. A range of case studies, reports, and statistics relating to the programme’s impact are available below.

In addition, the RAiSE network has collaborated to produce a national Science planning resource for Early to Second Level. This resource supports planning for science around the experiences and outcomes from Early to Second Level. Each plan contains links to other curricular areas and contexts to support interdisciplinary learning. In addition, ‘how to’ videos have been included to help practitioners engage with some of the suggested activities. These will continue to be added to over time.

Key Statistics

Number of practitioner engagements


Number of establishment engagements


Number of cluster engagements in RAISE activities


Number of RAiSE CLPL events


Cumulative RAiSE programme practitioner CLPL hours


Further information

PDF file: RAiSE programme objectives (105 KB)

PDF file: A Year of RAiSE 2020 - 2021 (1.5 MB)

PDF file: RAiSE - Raising a Legacy - precis (206 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE Evaluation Summary (683 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE Final Evaluation Report (697 KB)

For more information, contact Laura McCafferty, National Education Officer for RAiSE at

Latest RAiSE news

PDF file: RAISE news - North Ayrshire – Legacy from the RAiSE Investment (111 KB)

PDF file: RAISE news - STEM through stories (573 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - West Lothian PSDO Achieves Chartered Status (83 KB)

PDF file: RAise news - North Ayrshire to continue its investment in primary STEM (292 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - Leveraging additionality from the RAiSE investment (308 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - Sustainability of RAiSE model – a legacy report (105 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - March 2021 - RAiSE engages half of Scotland's local authorities (260 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - March 2021 - DYW Orkney supports children's STEM opportunities (187 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - June 2020 - RAiSE network providing vital online support to teachers delivering home learning (147 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - May 2020 - Online science planning resource launched (118 KB)

PDF file: RAiSE news - January 2020 - Outdoor Learning event (542 KB)

Case studies

PDF file: Orkney Builders Case Study (1.2 MB) This case study will be of interest to primary practitioners who are considering approaches to introducing and developing tool use within the classroom and exploring local business input.

PDF file: Pondering Pond Life Case Study (775 KB) This case study will be of interest to practitioners who are keen to support young people in understanding the scientific method through a contextualised, engaging learning opportunity.

PDF file: STEM Hub Case Study (2.9 MB) This case study will be of interest to settings looking to set up a STEM Hub or area. It will illustrate an approach to developing skills experiences linked to STEM.

PDF file: Science Stories Case Study (1.3 MB) - This case study considers how pupils could more effectively recount their science investigation and lesson outcomes through stories or a child-led creative output, rather than writing a standard science report.

PDF file: Improving Pedagogy in STEM (1.4 MB) - This case study will be of interest to practitioners and Senior Leadership Teams in the primary sector.

PDF file: Linking Developing the Young Workforce and STEM (1.0 MB) - This will be of interest to all practitioners, STEM leads in school, and those establishments keen to forge STEM partnerships.

PDF file: Developing approaches to transition using Astrobiology (1.0 MB) - This case study will be of interest to primary and secondary school leaders, curriculum leaders, upper primary practitioners, secondary science teachers and university partners.

PDF file: Developing Primary STEM leaders (1.5 MB) - This case study is for practitioners and Senior Leadership Teams in the primary sector.

PDF file: Developing Parental Engagement (1.3 MB) - This case study will be of interest to primary practitioners who are considering approaches to developing parental engagement in their setting.

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