Lower School Science

Science has three interrelated strands: Science Understanding, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills.

Together, the three strands of the science curriculum provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world. Students are challenged to explore science, its concepts, nature and uses through clearly described inquiry processes.

Science Understanding

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. Science knowledge refers to facts, concepts, principles, laws, theories and models that have been established by scientists over time.

The Science Understanding strand comprises four sub-strands. The content is described by year level.

  • Biological sciences
  • Chemical sciences
  • Earth and space sciences
  • Physical science
Science as 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. Science influences society by posing, and responding to, social and ethical questions, and scientific research is itself influenced by the needs and priorities of society. 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 content in the Science as a Human Endeavour strand is described in two-year bands. There are two sub-strands of Science as a Human Endeavour. These are:

  • Nature and development of science
  • Use and influence of science
Science Inquiry Skills

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.

Science investigations are activities in which ideas, predictions or hypotheses are tested and conclusions are drawn in response to a question or problem. Investigations can involve a range of activities, including experimental testing, field work, locating and using information sources, conducting surveys, and using modelling and simulations. The choice of the approach taken will depend on the context and subject of the investigation.

In science investigations, collection and analysis of data and evidence play a major role. This can involve collecting or extracting information and reorganising data in the form of tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, prose, keys, spreadsheets and databases.

The content in the Science Inquiry Skills strand is described in two-year bands. There are five sub-strands of Science Inquiry Skills. These are:

  • Questioning and predicting
  • Planning and conducting
  • Processing and analysing data and information.
  • Evaluating
  • Communicating