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NSW Syllabuses

Stage statements

Stage statements are summaries of the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes that have been developed by students as a result of achieving the outcomes for each stage of learning.

PRIOR-TO-SCHOOL LEARNING

Students bring to school a range of knowledge, understanding and skills developed in home and prior-to-school settings. The movement into Early Stage 1 should be seen as a continuum of learning and planned for appropriately.

The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia describes a range of opportunities for students to learn and develop a foundation for future success in learning.

The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia has five Learning Outcomes that reflect contemporary theories and research evidence concerning children's learning. The outcomes are used to guide planning and to assist all children to make progress.

The outcomes are:

  1. Children have a strong sense of identity
  2. Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  3. Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  4. Children are confident and involved learners
  5. Children are effective communicators.

In addition, teachers need to acknowledge the learning that children bring to school, and plan appropriate learning experiences that make connections with existing language and literacy development, including language used at home.

EARLY STAGE 1

By the end of Early Stage 1 students' sense of wonder and curiosity about the Natural Environment and the Made Environment is fostered through purposeful play, observing, questioning and exploring ideas. They learn about and use the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically in a holistic way and they often work in situations where these aspects occur at the same time.

Students recognise that science involves them exploring their immediate surroundings using their senses. They identify that living things have basic needs and suggest how daily and seasonal changes in the environment affect them and other living things. Students recognise that the way objects move depends on a variety of factors. They identify that objects are made of materials that have observable properties and that familiar products, places and spaces are made to suit their purpose.

Through active participation in the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically, students show a growing awareness of the appropriate use of a range of classroom equipment and work safely when using resources and materials. They communicate their observations and ideas about familiar objects, events, places, spaces and products. Students share their findings and ideas about what they already knew, what they observed, what they did, how they felt about it and the usefulness of their final solutions.

STAGE 1

By the end of Stage 1 students show an interest in science and technology by responding to questions, perceived needs and wants. They describe situations where they and other people use science and technology in their daily lives. They investigate the variety of ways in which the Earth's resources are used and suggest ways that science and technology can help people care for the environment and shape sustainable futures.

Through activities structured by the teacher, students continue to learn about and engage in applying the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically. Students show curiosity about the Natural Environment and the Made Environment, while purposeful play becomes more focused on exploring and making observations using their senses.

When engaging in the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically, students safely and carefully manipulate available tools, materials and equipment. They use a range of methods to represent information and to communicate their observations and ideas to others, with the assistance of digital technologies where appropriate.

When Working Scientifically students identify questions, make predictions and investigate everyday phenomena to explore and answer their questions. They participate in a range of types of investigations, including surveys, testing ideas and accessing information sources. Students follow instructions to collect, record and compare their observations using informal measurements as appropriate.

When Working Technologically students use a structured design process to produce solutions in response to identified needs and wants of users/audiences. They generate and develop design ideas using research and communicate their ideas using plans, drawings and models. Students use a sequence of simple steps to produce these solutions for built environments, information and products. They give simple explanations about what they did to design and produce the solution and how it meets the needs of the user/audience.

Students describe the features of and ways in which living things grow and change, and how living things depend on places in their environment to meet their needs. They describe some sources of light and sound that they sense in their daily lives. They also describe changes in the sky and landscape, as well as the effects of pushes and pulls on objects.

Students identify ways in which materials can be physically changed and combined, and that properties of everyday materials can be related to their uses for particular purposes. They use their understanding of the Made Environment to describe a range of manufactured products, built environments and information sources and technologies, and how their different purposes influence their design.

STAGE 2

By the end of Stage 2 students are responsive to ideas and show interest in and enthusiasm for science and technology. They appreciate the importance of science and technology in their lives and show a willingness to improve the quality of their local environment.

Students begin to initiate their own investigations and develop ideas for design tasks based on their prior science and technology knowledge and experiences. When using the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically, they begin to develop and apply a sequence of steps.

When engaging in the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically, students safely and carefully manipulate available tools, materials and equipment. They identify ways of improving techniques and methods used in their investigations and design tasks. Students suggest ways that findings from the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically can inform further investigations and design tasks. They use a range of representations to document and communicate methods, techniques, findings, ideas and information, including digital technologies as appropriate.

Students identify when science is used to ask investigable questions and predict outcomes. They follow instructions to plan and conduct a range of first-hand investigations, including fieldwork. Students make and record observations, using formal measurements as appropriate and suggesting reasons why methods were fair or not. They organise and identify patterns in data using provided tables and simple column graphs. Students suggest reasons for observations and compare findings with predictions.

Students explore a design task and develop a design brief that identifies simple design criteria. They continue to generate and develop ideas and begin to use creative thinking techniques, including brainstorming and sketching. They begin to develop and apply a structured plan to produce their solutions for built environments, information and products. Students use design criteria and feedback to explain how their design solution could be adjusted and improved to meet their needs and those of others.

Students use their understanding of the Natural Environment to describe observable changes on the Earth's surface that result from natural and human processes. They relate movements of the Earth to regular observable changes and describe interactions between objects that result from contact and non-contact forces. Students sequence key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal, distinguish between living and non-living things and group them based on observable features. They identify relationships between living things and describe situations where science knowledge can influence their own and others' actions.

Students relate the behaviour of heat to observable changes in state that occur between solids and liquids. In suggesting explanations for everyday observations, they identify how the observable properties of materials influence their use. Using their understanding of the Made Environment, students describe how products are designed, produced and used in different ways by people. They describe how people interact within a place and space, and explain how these are designed to meet the needs of users.

STAGE 3

By the end of Stage 3 students show informed attitudes to issues related to the current and future use and influence of science and technology. They are interested and willing to engage in local, national and global issues that are relevant to their lives and the maintenance of a sustainable future. They are able to discuss how science and technology directly affect people's lives and are used to solve problems.

Students initiate, use and apply the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically with a greater level of independence. They are more self-reliant in undertaking a range of scientific investigations and design projects, and in collaboratively completing the tasks. Students select and safely use a variety of equipment, materials and resources identifying potential risks. They identify where improvements to their methods, techniques or research could enhance the quality of the information gathered. Students use a range of representations to present, document and communicate methods, findings and ideas, including tables, graphs, diagrams and multi-modal texts, using digital technologies where relevant.

When Working Scientifically, students follow instructions, pose questions for investigations, predict likely outcomes and demonstrate honesty and accuracy in collecting, recording and analysing data and information. In planning and conducting fair tests they are able to identify variables to be changed and measured, and check results by repeating observations and measurements. They construct tables and graphs to organise data and identify patterns. They use evidence to draw conclusions and develop explanations.

When Working Technologically, students plan and implement a design process to meet the needs and wants of users/audiences. They explore and define the design task, establishing design criteria and considering constraints when planning the process. Students select and apply appropriate methods to develop and generate ideas and apply established criteria to evaluate and modify them. They develop plans, specifications and production sequences to produce solutions for built environments, information and products. They evaluate their solutions using self and peer assessment, and identify the strengths and limitations of the process used.

As students continue to observe and investigate aspects of the Natural Environment, they explain how natural events cause rapid changes to the Earth's surface. They describe key features of the solar system and the contribution of people from a range of cultures over time to the advancement of science. Students explain everyday phenomena associated with the transfer of light and requirements for the transfer and transformation of electricity. They identify how energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity and how science knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions. Students describe how features of living things help them to survive in their environment and how the growth and survival of living things is affected by changes in the physical conditions of their environment.

Students identify the observable properties of solids, liquids and gases. They compare and classify different types of observable changes to materials, considering how their properties determine their use.

Within the Made Environment students explain how production systems are used to manufacture products. They explore changes that have occurred in the design of products over time and the social and environmental factors that influence the design of products. Students investigate how systems in built environments are designed to meet the needs of people, in response to social and environmental influences. They explain how systems can be used to transfer information and support communication, and how social influences impact on the design of a range of emerging information products.

STAGE 4

By the end of Stage 4 students use scientific inquiry by actively engaging in using and applying the processes of Working Scientifically. They identify questions and problems that they can test or research scientifically. They select and use appropriate strategies, understanding and skills to generate creative plausible solutions to identified problems. Individually and collaboratively they plan and conduct a range of types of first-hand investigations, including fieldwork and controlled experimental methods, ensuring that fairness, safety and ethical guidelines are followed.

Students process and analyse data and information from first-hand investigations and secondary sources to identify trends, patterns and relationships, drawing relevant, evidence-based conclusions. They reflect on how the methods, strategies used and the quality of data obtained could be improved. Their ideas, methods and findings are communicated to a given audience using appropriate scientific language, representations and text types, with information sources acknowledged using a recognised method.

By engaging in scientific inquiry, students develop their knowledge of and about science ideas and concepts, as well as the nature, development and importance of scientific evidence. They explain how scientific knowledge changes as new discoveries and technological developments are made available, appreciating that new evidence leads to an improved understanding of the world.

Students describe the action of unbalanced forces on the motion of objects in everyday situations, including the Earth's gravity. They discuss how developments in scientific knowledge and technology have contributed to finding solutions to problems involving the use of energy transfers and transformations in simple systems and how the solutions may impact on other areas of society.

Students relate the structure and function of living things to their classification, survival and reproduction. They predict the effects of environmental changes on ecosystems and how scientific understanding influences the development of some management practices. They explain the contribution and influence of scientific knowledge and technological advances in finding solutions to contemporary issues and that these solutions may involve ethical considerations.

Students describe the dynamic nature of models, theories and laws in developing scientific understanding of the Earth, solar system and observed properties and behaviour of matter. They describe processes occurring in and on the Earth and the time scales involved, as well as situations where understanding and skills from across the disciplines of Science are used in exploration for resources and obtaining and processing of materials. They explain how advances in scientific understanding influence the choices people make about resource use and management practices in shaping sustainable futures.

Students relate the physical and chemical properties of matter to how materials are processed and used by society in everyday life. They describe situations where scientific knowledge and collaboration between scientists generates solutions to obtaining and making new substances from the Earth's spheres.

STAGE 5

By the end of Stage 5 students use scientific inquiry by actively engaging in using and applying the processes of Working Scientifically to increase their understanding of and about the world around them. By engaging in scientific inquiry, students develop their understanding of science ideas and concepts, how scientific knowledge is refined over time and the significance of scientific evidence in evaluating claims, explanations and predictions.

Students formulate questions or hypotheses to be investigated scientifically. They apply scientific understanding and critical thinking skills to suggest possible solutions to identified problems. Individually and collaboratively they plan and undertake a range of types of first-hand investigations to accurately collect data using appropriate units, assessing risk and considering ethical issues associated with the method. They design and conduct controlled experiments to collect valid and reliable first-hand data.

In Stage 5 students process, analyse and evaluate data and information from first-hand investigations to draw conclusions consistent with the evidence, identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations for findings. They assess the validity and reliability of claims made in secondary sources. They evaluate the methods and strategies they and others use and ways in which the quality of data could be improved, including the appropriate use of digital technologies. They communicate science ideas for specific purposes and construct evidence-based arguments using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations.

Students apply models, theories and laws to explain phenomena and situations involving energy, force and motion. They explain the concept of energy conservation, by describing energy transfers and transformations within systems.

Students describe changing ideas about the structure of the Earth, origins of the universe and the diversity of life on the Earth to illustrate how models, theories and laws are refined over time by the scientific community as new evidence becomes available. They describe situations where advances in scientific understanding may depend on developments in technology, and that technological advances are frequently linked to scientific discoveries.

Students explain how scientific understanding has contributed to knowledge about global patterns of geological activity and interactions between global systems. They analyse interactions between components and processes within biological systems and their responses to external changes. They use scientific evidence to assess whether claims, explanations and predictions are supported and can be used to evaluate predictions and inform decisions related to contemporary issues.

Students explain the organisation of the periodic table, chemical reactions and natural radioactivity in terms of atoms. They describe how different factors influence the rate of chemical reactions and the importance of a range of types of chemical reactions in the production of substances.

By the end of Stage 5 students describe how the values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research and technological development in a variety of areas, including efficiency of use of electricity and non-renewable energy sources, the development of new materials, biotechnology, and plant, animal and human health. They outline examples of where the applications of the advances of science, emerging sciences and technologies significantly affect people's lives, including generating new career opportunities.