The Science content includes the three strands of science understanding, science inquiry skills and science as a human endeavour. The three strands of the curriculum are interrelated and their content is taught in an integrated way.
In Prep, students observe and describe the behaviours and properties of everyday objects, materials and living things. They explore change in the world around them, including changes that impact on them, such as the weather, and changes they can effect, such as making things move or change shape. They learn that seeking answers to questions they pose and making observations is a core part of science and use their senses to gather different types of information.
In Year 1, students infer simple cause-and-effect relationships from their observations and experiences, and begin to link events and phenomena with observable effects and to ask questions. They observe changes that can be large or small and happen quickly or slowly. They explore the properties of familiar objects and phenomena, identifying similarities and differences. Students begin to value counting as a means of comparing observations, and are introduced to ways of organising their observations.
In Year 2, students describe the components of simple systems, such as stationary objects subjected to pushes or pulls, or combinations of materials, and show how objects and materials interact through direct manipulation. They observe patterns of growth and change in living things, and describe patterns and make predictions. They explore the use of resources from Earth and are introduced to the idea of the flow of matter when considering how water is used. They use counting and informal measurements to make and compare observations and begin to recognise that organising these observations in tables makes it easier to show patterns.
In Year 3, students observe heat and its effects on solids and liquids and begin to develop an understanding of energy flows through simple systems. In observing day and night, they develop an appreciation of regular and predictable cycles. Students order their observations by grouping and classifying; in classifying things as living or non-living they begin to recognise that classifications are not always easy to define or apply. They begin to quantify their observations to enable comparison, and learn more sophisticated ways of identifying and representing relationships, including the use of tables and graphs to identify trends. They use their understanding of relationships between components of simple systems to make predictions.
In Year 4, students broaden their understanding of classification and form and function through an exploration of the properties of natural and processed materials. They learn that forces include non-contact forces and begin to appreciate that some interactions result from phenomena that can’t be seen with the naked eye. They begin to appreciate that current systems, such as Earth’s surface, have characteristics that have resulted from past changes and that living things form part of systems. They understand that some systems change in predictable ways, such as through cycles. They apply their knowledge to make predictions based on interactions within systems, including those involving the actions of humans.
In Year 5, students are introduced to cause and effect relationships through an exploration of adaptations of living things and how this links to form and function. They explore observable phenomena associated with light and begin to appreciate that phenomena have sets of characteristic behaviours. They broaden their classification of matter to include gases and begin to see how matter structures the world around them. Students consider Earth as a component within a solar system and use models for investigating systems at astronomical scales. Students begin to identify stable and dynamic aspects of systems, and learn how to look for patterns and relationships between components of systems. They develop explanations for the patterns they observe.
In Year 6, students explore how changes can be classified in different ways. They learn about transfer and transformations of electricity, and continue to develop an understanding of energy flows through systems. They link their experiences of electric circuits as a system at one scale to generation of electricity from a variety of sources at another scale and begin to see links between these systems. They develop a view of Earth as a dynamic system, in which changes in one aspect of the system impact on other aspects; similarly, they see that the growth and survival of living things are dependent on matter and energy flows within a larger system. Students begin to see the role of variables in measuring changes and the value of accuracy in these measurements. They learn how to look for patterns and to use these to identify and explain relationships by drawing on evidence.