The teaching of Science focuses on developing a student’s capacity to
- be interested in and understand the world around them, and to reflect on and apply scientific knowledge to new learning situations and problems in personal, social and civic life and
- contribute to an environmentally sustainable future.
St Monica’s follows The Australian Curriculum: Science which is organised around three interrelated strands: Science Understanding (SU), Science as a Human Endeavour (SHE) and Science Inquiry Skills (SIS) which ‘together….provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world’. (Australian Curriculum: Science, ACARA, 8 December 2010).
Foundation – Year 2: Curriculum focus: awareness of self and the local world
In this stage of schooling students’ explorations are precursors to more structured inquiry in later years. They use the senses to observe and gather information, describing, making comparisons, sorting and classifying to create an order that is meaningful. They observe and explore changes that vary in their rate and magnitude and begin to describe relationships in the world around them. Students’ questions and ideas about the world become increasingly purposeful. They are encouraged to develop explanatory ideas and test them through further exploration.
Years 3–6: Curriculum focus: recognising questions that can be investigated scientifically and investigating them
During these years students can develop ideas about science that relate to their lives, answer questions, and solve mysteries of particular interest to their age
group. In this stage of schooling students tend to use a trial-and-error approach to their science investigations. As they progress, they begin to work in a more systematic way. The notion of a ‘fair test’ and the idea of variables are developed, as well as other forms of science inquiry. Understanding the importance of measurement in quantifying changes in systems is also fostered.
Through observation, students can detect similarities among objects, living things and events and these similarities can form patterns. By identifying these patterns, students develop explanations about the reasons for them. By examining living structures, Earth, changes of solids to liquids and features of light, students begin to recognise patterns in the world. The observation of aspects of astronomy, living things, heat, light and electrical circuits helps students develop the concept of a system and its interacting components, and understand the relationships, including the notion of cause and effect, between variables.