The Science curriculum has two interrelated strands: Science Understanding and Science Inquiry Skills. Together, the two strands of the science curriculum provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world.
Science understanding refers to facts, concepts, principles, laws, theories and models that have been established by scientists over time. Science understanding is evident when a person selects and integrates appropriate science knowledge to explain and predict phenomena, and applies that knowledge to new situations.
The Science Understanding strand is comprised of five sub-strands.
Science as a human endeavour
Through science, humans seek to improve their understanding and explanations of the natural world. Science involves the construction of explanations based on evidence and science knowledge can be changed as new evidence becomes available. This strand highlights the development of science as a unique way of knowing and doing, and the role of science in contemporary decision making and problem-solving. It acknowledges that in making decisions about science practices and applications, ethical and social implications must be taken into account. This strand also recognises that science advances through the contributions of many different people from different cultures and that there are many rewarding science-based career paths.
The key concepts developed within this sub-strand are:
Biological sciences are concerned with understanding living things. Students investigate living things, including animals, plants, and micro-organisms, and their interdependence and interactions within ecosystems. They explore their life cycles, body systems, structural adaptations and behaviours, how these features aid survival, and how their characteristics are inherited from one generation to the next. Students are introduced to the cell as the basic unit of life and the processes that are central to its function.
The key concepts developed within this sub-strand are that:
Chemical sciences are concerned with understanding the composition and behaviour of substances. Students classify substances based on their properties, such as solids, liquids and gases, or their composition, such as elements, compounds and mixtures. They explore physical changes such as changes of state and dissolving and investigate how chemical reactions result in the production of new substances. Students recognise that all substances consist of atoms which can combine to form molecules, and chemical reactions involve atoms being rearranged and recombined to form new substances. They explore the relationship between the way in which atoms are arranged and the properties of substances, and the effect of energy transfers on these arrangements.
Earth and space sciences
Earth and space sciences are concerned with Earth’s dynamic structure and its place in the cosmos. Students view Earth as part of a solar system, which is part of a galaxy, which is one of many in the universe and explore the immense scales associated with space. They explore how changes on Earth, such as day and night and the seasons relate to Earth’s rotation and its orbit around the sun. Students investigate the processes that result in changes to the Earth’s surface, recognising that Earth has evolved over 4.5 billion years and that the effect of some of these processes is only evident when viewed over extremely long timescales. They explore the ways in which humans use resources from the Earth and appreciate the influence of human activity on the surface of the Earth and the atmosphere.
Physical sciences are concerned with understanding the nature of forces and motion, and matter and energy. Students gain an understanding of how an object’s motion (direction, speed and acceleration) is influenced by a range of contact and non-contact forces such as friction, magnetism, gravity and electrostatic forces. They develop an understanding of the concept of energy and how energy transfer is associated with phenomena involving motion, heat, sound, light and electricity. They appreciate that concepts of force, motion, matter and energy apply to systems ranging in scale from atoms to the universe itself.
Science inquiry involves identifying and posing questions, planning, conducting and reflecting on investigations, processing, analysing and interpreting evidence, and communicating findings. This strand is concerned with evaluating claims, investigating ideas, solving problems, drawing valid conclusions and developing evidence-based arguments.
There are five sub-strands of Science Inquiry Skills.
Questioning and predicting
Identifying and constructing questions, proposing hypotheses and suggesting possible outcomes.
Planning and conducting
Making decisions regarding how to investigate or solve a problem and carrying out an investigation, including the collection of data.
Recording and processing
Recording and representing data in meaningful and useful ways.
Analysing and evaluating
Considering the quality of available evidence and the merit or significance of a claim, proposition or conclusion and identifying trends, patterns and relationships in data, with reference to the evidence.
Conveying information or ideas to others through appropriate representations, text types and modes.
This program aims to stimulate, respond to and nourish curiosity, wonder and questioning about the world. The program uses an Inquiry Approach and increases students’ knowledge and understanding of the world. Environmental Sustainability is a major theme across the school which is enhanced through students’ hands on’ experiences in our fruit and vegetable garden. Environmental Sustainability is an important theme addressed across the school.