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Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives.



The Australian Curriculum: 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.


Key ideas

In the Australian Curriculum: Science, there are six key ideas that represent key aspects of a scientific view of the world and bridge knowledge and understanding across the disciplines of science, as shown Figure 1 below. These are embedded within each year level description and guide the teaching/learning emphasis for the relevant year level.



The three interrelated strands of science
The Australian Curriculum: Science has three interrelated strands: science understanding, science as a human endeavour and science inquiry skills.


Science Scope and Sequence (PDF)

Resources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Science are available as PDF documents. 
Science: Sequence of content
Science: Sequence of achievement 




Year 1

Year 1 Level Description

The science inquiry skills and science as a human endeavour strands are described across a two-year band. In their planning, schools and teachers refer to the expectations outlined in the achievement standard and also to the content of the science understanding strand for the relevant year level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-year period. The three strands of the curriculum are interrelated and their content is taught in an integrated way. The order and detail in which the content descriptions are organised into teaching and learning programs are decisions to be made by the teacher.

Incorporating the key ideas of science

From Foundation to Year 2, students learn that observations can be organised to reveal patterns, and that these patterns can be used to make predictions about phenomena.

In Year 1, students infer simple cause-and-effect relationships from their observations and experiences, and begin to link events and phenomena with observable effects and to ask questions. They observe changes that can be large or small and happen quickly or slowly. They explore the properties of familiar objects and phenomena, identifying similarities and differences. Students begin to value counting as a means of comparing observations, and are introduced to ways of organising their observations.

Year 1 Content Descriptions

Biological sciences

Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017 - Scootle )
  • exploring how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ observations of external features of living things are mimicked and replicated in traditional dance

  • recognising common features of animals such as head, legs and wings
  • describing the use of animal body parts for particular purposes such as moving and feeding
  • identifying common features of plants such as leaves and roots
  • describing the use of plant parts for particular purposes such as making food and obtaining water
Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211 - Scootle )
  • exploring different habitats in the local environment such as the beach, bush and backyard
  • recognising that different living things live in different places such as land and water
  • exploring what happens when habitats change and some living things can no longer have their needs met
    • Sustainability

Chemical sciences

Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018 - Scootle )
  • exploring how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples apply physical changes to natural materials to render them useful for particular purposes

  • predicting and comparing how the shapes of objects made from different materials can be physically changed through actions such as bending, stretching and twisting
  • exploring how materials such as water, chocolate or play dough change when warmed or cooled

Earth and space sciences

Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape (ACSSU019 - Scootle )
  • recognising the extensive knowledge of daily and seasonal changes in weather patterns and landscape held by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

  • exploring the local environment to identify and describe natural, managed and constructed features
  • recording short and longer term patterns of events that occur on Earth and in the sky, such as the appearance of the moon and stars at night, the weather and the seasons

Physical sciences

Light and sound are produced by a range of sources and can be sensed (ACSSU020 - Scootle )
  • exploring how traditional musical instruments used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples produce their characteristic sounds

  • recognising senses are used to learn about the world around us: our eyes to detect light, our ears to detect sound, and touch to feel vibrations
  • identifying the sun as a source of light
  • recognising that objects can be seen when light from sources is available to illuminate them
  • exploring different ways to produce sound using familiar objects and actions such as striking, blowing, scraping and shaking
  • comparing sounds made by musical instruments using characteristics such as loudness, pitch and actions used to make the sound

Nature and development of science

Science involves observing, asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021 - Scootle )
  • recognising how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples use changes in the landscape and the sky to answer questions about when to gather certain resources

  • jointly constructing questions about the events and features of the local environment with teacher guidance
  • recognising that descriptions of what we observe are used by people to help identify change

Use and influence of science

People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022 - Scootle )
  • identifying ways that science knowledge is used in the care of the local environment such as animal habitats, and suggesting changes to parks and gardens to better meet the needs of native animals
    • Sustainability
  • considering how science is used in activities such as cooking, fishing, transport, sport, medicine and caring for plants and animals
    • Sustainability
  • considering that technologies used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples require an understanding of how materials can be sustainably sourced to make tools and weapons, musical instruments, clothing, cosmetics and artworks

  • exploring how musical instruments can be used to produce different sounds
  • comparing how different light sources are used in daily life

Questioning and predicting

Pose and respond to questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS024 - Scootle )
  • thinking about "What will happen if……?" type questions about everyday objects and events
  • using the senses to explore the local environment to pose interesting questions and making predictions about what will happen

Planning and conducting

Participate in guided investigations to explore and answer questions (ACSIS025 - Scootle )
  • manipulating objects and making observations of what happens
  • researching ideas collaboratively using big books, web pages and ICT within the classroom
  • exploring different ways of solving science questions through guided discussion
  • sorting information and classifying objects based on easily observable characteristics with teacher guidance
Use informal measurements to collect and record observations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS026 - Scootle )
  • using units that are familiar to students from home and school, such as cups (cooking), hand spans (length) and walking paces (distance) to make and record observations with teacher guidance

Processing and analysing data and information

Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables and through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS027 - Scootle )
  • using matching activities, including identifying similar things, odd-one-out and opposites
  • discussing original predictions and, with guidance, comparing these to their observations
  • exploring ways of recording and sharing information through class discussion
  • jointly constructing simple column graphs and picture graphs to represent class investigations


Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS213 - Scootle )
  • consulting with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to compare observations and evaluate identifications of animal tracks

  • discussing observations as a whole class to identify similarities and differences in their observations


Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways (ACSIS029 - Scootle )
  • acknowledging and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ ways of representing and sharing observations

  • discussing or representing what was discovered in an investigation
  • engaging in whole class or guided small group discussions to share observations and ideas

Year 1 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 1, students describe objects and events that they encounter in their everyday lives, and the effects of interacting with materials and objects. They describe changes in their local environment and how different places meet the needs of living things.

Students respond to questions, make predictions, and participate in guided investigations of everyday phenomena. They follow instructions to record and sort their observations and share them with others.

Year 1 Work Sample Portfolios