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NSW Syllabuses

Learning across the curriculum

Learning across the curriculum content, including the cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities, assists students to achieve the broad learning outcomes defined in the Board of Studies K–10 Curriculum Framework and Statement of Equity Principles, and in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (December 2008).

Cross-curriculum priorities enable students to develop understanding about and address the contemporary issues they face.

The cross-curriculum priorities are:

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

General capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to assist students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

The general capabilities are:

  • Critical and creative thinking  Critical and creative thinking
  • Ethical understanding  Ethical understanding
  • Information and communication technology capability  Information and communication technology capability
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding 
  • Literacy  Literacy
  • Numeracy  Numeracy
  • Personal and social capability. Personal and socail capability

The Board's syllabuses include other areas identified as important learning for all students:

  • Civics and citizenship Civics and citizenship
  • Difference and diversity Difference and diversity
  • Work and enterprise. Work and enterprise

Learning across the curriculum content is incorporated, and identified by icons, in the content of the Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus in the following ways:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have diverse cultures, social structures and a history of unique, complex knowledge systems. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to learn about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have developed and refined knowledge about the world through observation, making predictions, testing (trial and error) and responding to environmental factors within specific contexts. Students will investigate examples of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' understanding of the environment and the ways that traditional knowledge and western scientific knowledge can be complementary.

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia  Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia provides rich and engaging contexts for developing students' science and technology skills, knowledge and understanding. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to recognise that the Asian region includes diverse environments. Students appreciate how interactions within and between these environments and the impacts of human activity influence the region, including Australia, and have significance for the rest of the world.

The Asian region plays an important role in scientific and technological research and development in areas such as medicine, natural resource management and natural disaster prediction and management.

Sustainability Sustainability

Sustainability is concerned with the ongoing capacity of the Earth to maintain all life. It provides authentic contexts for exploring, investigating and understanding systems in the natural and made environments. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to investigate relationships between systems and system components, to consider how systems respond to change and to develop appreciation for the interconnectedness of the Earth's spheres.

Relationships, cycles and cause and effect are explored, and students develop observation and analytical skills to examine these relationships in the world around them to design solutions to identified sustainability problems.

Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking 

Critical and creative thinking are integral to activities where students learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Critical and creative thinking are embedded in the skills and processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to develop critical and creative thinking skills through asking and posing questions, making predictions, engaging in first-hand investigations and design projects, problem solving, making evidence-based decisions, and analysing and evaluating evidence.

Ethical understanding  Ethical Understanding

Students develop the capability to behave ethically as they identify and investigate the nature of ethical concepts, values and principles, and understand how reasoning can assist ethical judgement. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides opportunities for students to form and make ethical judgements in relation to scientific investigations, design, codes of practice, and the use of scientific and technological information and applications. Students explore what integrity and honesty mean in using the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically. They apply ethical guidelines in their investigations and design projects, particularly in their implications for others and the environment.

Information and communication technology capability Information and communication technology capability

Information and communication technology (ICT) can be used effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to develop ICT capability when they develop design ideas and solutions, research science concepts and applications, investigate science phenomena, and communicate their scientific and technological understandings. In particular they learn to access information, collect, analyse and represent data, model and interpret concepts and relationships, and communicate scientific and technological ideas, processes and information. Digital technologies and aids, such as animations and simulations, provide opportunities to view phenomena and test predictions that cannot be investigated through practical experiences in the classroom, and may enhance students' understanding and engagement with science and technology.

Intercultural understanding Intercultural Understanding  

Students develop intercultural understanding as they learn to understand themselves in relation to others. This involves students valuing their own cultures and those of others, and engaging with people of diverse cultures in ways that recognise commonalities and differences, create connections and cultivate respect. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides opportunities for students to appreciate the contribution that diverse cultural perspectives have made to the development, breadth and diversity of scientific and technological knowledge and applications. Students learn about and engage with issues requiring cultural sensitivity, and learn that scientists work in culturally diverse teams to address issues and solve problems of national and international importance.

Literacy  Literacy

Literacy is the ability to use a repertoire of knowledge and skills to communicate and comprehend effectively, using a variety of modes and media. Being 'literate' is more than the acquisition of technical skills – it includes the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create and communicate effectively using written, visual and digital forms of expression and communication for a number of purposes. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with the opportunities to understand that language varies according to the context. The language of science and technology is often technical and includes specific terms for concepts, processes and features of the world. Students learn that scientific and technological information can be presented in the form of diagrams, flowcharts, tables and graphs, and that specific text types are used to link information and ideas, give explanations, formulate questions, hypotheses, draw conclusions and construct evidence-based arguments.

Numeracy  Numeracy

Numeracy involves students in recognising and understanding the role of mathematics in the world. Students become numerate as they develop the confidence, willingness and ability to apply mathematics in their lives in constructive and meaningful ways. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to develop numeracy skills through practical measurement and the collection, representation and interpretation of data from first-hand investigations and secondary sources. Initially students make measurements using informal units, then they apply the formal units of measurement. Students consider issues of uncertainty and reliability in measurement and learn data-analysis skills, identifying trends and patterns from numerical data and graphs.

Personal and social capability  Personal and socail capability

Students develop personal and social capability as they learn to understand and manage themselves, their relationships and their lives more effectively. This includes establishing positive relationships, making responsible decisions, working effectively individually and in teams and constructively handling challenging situations. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities, through applying processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically, to learn how scientific and technological knowledge informs and is applied in their daily lives. They develop skills in communication, initiative taking, goal setting, interacting with others, decision making, and the capacity to work independently and collaboratively. The study of Science and Technology enhances personal and social capability by expanding students' capacity to question, solve problems, explore and display curiosity. Students use their scientific and technological understanding to make informed choices about issues that impact on their lives and consider how the use and application of science and technology meet a range of personal and social needs.

Civics and citizenship Civics and citizenship 

Civics and citizenship content involves knowledge and understanding of how our Australian society operates. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides students with opportunities to broaden their understanding of aspects of civics and citizenship in relation to the application of science ideas and technological advances, including ecological sustainability and the development of environmental and sustainable practices.

Difference and diversity Difference and diversity 

Difference and diversity comprise gender, race and socio-economic circumstances. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides opportunities for students to understand and appreciate the difference and diversity they experience in their everyday lives. Working Scientifically and Working Technologically provide opportunities for students to work collaboratively, where they can develop an appreciation of the values and ideas of all group members. This also enables them to identify individual rights, challenge stereotypes and engage with opinions different to their own.

Work and enterprise  Work and enterprise

Students develop work-related skills and an appreciation of the value of working individually and collaboratively when conducting investigations and design tasks. The Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6) Syllabus provides opportunities for students to prioritise safe practices and understand the potential risks and hazards present when conducting investigations and constructing design solutions. They safely use materials, electrical devices, classroom equipment and specialised tools.