The Australian Curriculum: Science provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important science concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, of science’s contribution to our culture and society, and its applications in our lives.
Students can experience the joy of scientific discovery and nurture their natural curiosity about the world around them. In doing this, they develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods. The wider benefits of this “scientific literacy” are well established, including giving students the capability to investigate the natural world and changes made to it through human activity.
The science curriculum promotes six overarching ideas that highlight certain common approaches to a scientific view of the world and which can be applied to many of the areas of science understanding. These overarching ideas are patterns, order and organisation, form and function, stability and change, systems, scale and measurement and matter and energy.
At Ivanhoe East Primary School Science is taught within the inquiry-based Integrated Units of learning that provide a context for learning each term.
Foundation – Level 2
Focus: awareness of self and the local world
Young children have an intrinsic curiosity about their immediate world. Asking questions leads to speculation and the testing of ideas. Exploratory, purposeful play is a central feature of their investigations. In this stage of schooling students’ explorations are precursors to more structured inquiry in later levels. 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.
Levels 3 – 6
Focus: recognising questions that can be investigated scientifically and investigating them
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.
Students’ understanding of the complex natural or built world can be enhanced by considering aspects of the world as systems, and how components, or parts, within systems relate to each other. From evidence derived from observation, explanations about phenomena can be developed and tested. With new evidence, explanations may be refined or changed.
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.
Levels 3-6 History
History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. It helps students appreciate how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant continuities that exist to the present day. The study of history is based on evidence derived from remains of the past. It is interpretative by nature, promotes debate and encourages thinking about human values, including present and future challenges. The process of historical inquiry develops transferable skills, such as the ability to ask relevant questions; critically analyse and interpret sources; consider context; respect and explain different perspectives; develop and substantiate interpretations, and communicate effectively.
The curriculum generally takes a world history approach within which the history of Australia is taught. An understanding of world history enhances students’ appreciation of Australian history. It enables them to develop an understanding of the past and present experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their identity and the continuing value of their culture. It also helps students to appreciate Australia's distinctive path of social, economic and political development, its position in the Asia-Pacific region, and its global interrelationships. This knowledge and understanding is essential for informed and active participation in Australia's diverse society.
At Ivanhoe East Primary School History is taught within the inquiry-based Integrated Units of learning that provide a context for learning each term.
Foundation to Level 2
Focus: Awareness of family history and community heritage
Through experimentation, practice and play, children in these levels use their interest in people and how things work to make sense of their world. This history curriculum enables students to learn about their own social context of family, friends and school, and the significance of the past. They engage with the remains of the past; develop a concept of time as present, past and future, and through role play use their imagination to speculate about the lives of others in the past.
Focus: Local/national history and use of a range of sources
Students draw on their growing experience of family, school and the wider community to develop their understanding of the world and their relationship to others past and present. In these levels, students begin to better understand and appreciate different points of view and to develop an awareness of justice and fair play. This history curriculum includes content about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies, democratic concepts and rights, and the diversity of Australian society.