Science aims to ensure that students develop:

  • an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live
  • an understanding of the vision that science provides of the nature of living things, of the Earth and its place in the cosmos, and of the physical and chemical processes that explain the behaviour of all material things
  • an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning; planning and conducting experiments and investigations based on ethical principles; collecting and analysing data; evaluating results; and drawing critical, evidence-based conclusions
  • an ability to communicate scientific understanding and findings to a range of audiences, to justify ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims
  • an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account ethical and social implications of decisions
  • an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
  • a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge


Science has three interrelated strands:

1.  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. It comprises of four substrands.
Biological sciences
Understanding living things. The key concepts are that: a diverse range of living things have evolved on Earth over hundreds of millions of years; living things are interdependent and interact with each other and their environment; and the form and features of living things are related to thefunctions that their body systems perform.
Chemical sciences
Understanding the composition and behaviour of substances. The key concepts are that: the chemical and physical properties of substances are determined by their structure at an atomic scale; and that substances change and new substances are produced by rearranging atoms through atomic interactions and energy transfer.
Earth and space sciences
Understanding the Earth’s dynamic structure and its place in the cosmos. The key concepts are that: Earth is part of a solar system that is part of a larger universe; and Earth is subject to change within and on its surface, over a range of timescales as a result of natural processes and human use of resources.
Physical sciences
Understanding the nature of forces and motion, and matter and energy. The two key concepts are that: forces affect the behaviour of objects; and that energy can be transferred and transformed from one form to another.

2. 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. It comprises of two substrands.
Nature and development of science: develops an appreciation of the unique nature of science and scientific knowledge, including how current knowledge has developed over time through the actions of many people.
Use and influence of science: explores how science knowledge and applications affect peoples’ lives, including their work, and how science is influenced by society and can be used to inform decisions and actions.

3. Science Inquiry Skills.
This strand is concerned with evaluating claims, investigating ideas, solving problems, drawing valid conclusions and developing evidence based arguments. It comprises of four substrands.
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.
Processing and analysing data and information: Representing data in meaningful and useful ways; identifying trends, patterns and relationships in data, and using this evidence to justify conclusions.
Evaluating: Considering the quality of available evidence and the merit or significance of a claim, proposition or conclusion with reference to that evidence.
Communicating: Conveying information or ideas to others through appropriate representations, text types and modes.

The Overarching Ideas
The six overarching ideas that frame the Australian Curriculum: Science are:

  • Patterns, order and organisation
  • Form and function
  • Stability and change
  • Scale and measurement
  • Matter and energy
  • Systems

Cross-curriculum priorities
There are three cross curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability.


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