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Rationale

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.

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Aims

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.

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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.

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Structure

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.

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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 

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Glossary

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Year 3

Year 3 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

Over Years 3 to 6, students develop their understanding of a range of systems operating at different time and geographic scales.

In Year 3, students observe heat and its effects on solids and liquids and begin to develop an understanding of energy flows through simple systems. In observing day and night, they develop an appreciation of regular and predictable cycles. Students order their observations by grouping and classifying; in classifying things as living or non-living they begin to recognise that classifications are not always easy to define or apply. They begin to quantify their observations to enable comparison, and learn more sophisticated ways of identifying and representing relationships, including the use of tables and graphs to identify trends. They use their understanding of relationships between components of simple systems to make predictions.


Year 3 Content Descriptions

Biological sciences

Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044 - Scootle )
  • recognising characteristics of living things such as growing, moving, sensitivity and reproducing
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

  • recognising the range of different living things
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

  • sorting living and non-living things based on characteristics
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

  • exploring differences between living, once living and products of living things
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

Chemical sciences

A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046 - Scootle )
  • investigating how liquids and solids respond to changes in temperature, for example water changing to ice, or melting chocolate
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Numeracy

    Using measurement
    • Estimate and measure with metric units

  • exploring how changes from solid to liquid and liquid to solid can help us recycle materials
    • Sustainability
    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

  • predicting the effect of heat on different materials
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Generating ideas, possibilities and actions
    • Seek solutions and put ideas into action

    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

Earth and space sciences

Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (ACSSU048 - Scootle )
Numeracy

Recognising and using patterns and relationships
  • Recognise and use patterns and relationships

  • recognising the sun as a source of light
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

  • constructing sundials and investigating how they work
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

  • describing timescales for the rotation of the Earth
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Text knowledge
    • Use knowledge of text structures

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Numeracy

    Using measurement
    • Operate with clocks, calendars and timetables

  • modelling the relative sizes and movement of the sun, Earth and moon
    Numeracy

    Using spatial reasoning
    • Visualise 2D shapes and 3D objects

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

Physical sciences

Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another (ACSSU049 - Scootle )
  • describing how heat can be produced such as through friction or motion, electricity or chemically (burning)
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Text knowledge
    • Use knowledge of text structures

  • identifying changes that occur in everyday situations due to heating and cooling
    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

  • exploring how heat can be transferred through conduction
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

  • recognising that we can feel heat and measure its effects using a thermometer
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Numeracy

    Using measurement
    • Estimate and measure with metric units

Nature and development of science

Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE050 - Scootle )
Numeracy

Recognising and using patterns and relationships
  • Recognise and use patterns and relationships

  • making predictions about change and events in our environment
    Literacy

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Generating ideas, possibilities and actions
    • Seek solutions and put ideas into action

  • researching how knowledge of astronomy has been used by some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Intercultural Understanding

    Recognising culture and developing respect
    • Explore and compare cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices

  • considering how posing questions helps us plan for the future

Use and influence of science

Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051 - Scootle )
Personal and Social Capability

Social awareness
  • Contribute to civil society

Ethical Understanding

Reasoning in decision making and actions
  • Reason and make ethical decisions
  • Reflect on ethical action

Understanding ethical concepts and issues
  • Explore ethical concepts in context

  • considering how heating affects materials used in everyday life
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

  • investigating how science helps people such as nurses, doctors, dentists, mechanics and gardeners
  • considering how materials including solids and liquids affect the environment in different ways
    • Sustainability
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

  • deciding what characteristics make a material a pollutant
    • Sustainability
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

  • researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledge of the local natural environment, such as the characteristics of plants and animals
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures
    Intercultural Understanding

    Recognising culture and developing respect
    • Explore and compare cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices

    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

Questioning and predicting

With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on prior knowledge (ACSIS053 - Scootle )
Literacy

Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
  • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
  • Compose texts

Word Knowledge
  • Understand learning area vocabulary

Critical and Creative Thinking

Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
  • Identify and clarify information and ideas
  • Pose questions

Generating ideas, possibilities and actions
  • Seek solutions and put ideas into action

  • choosing questions to investigate from a list of possibilities
    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts
    • Listen and respond to learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

  • jointly constructing questions that may form the basis for investigation
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Pose questions

    Literacy

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Text knowledge
    • Use knowledge of text cohesion
    • Use knowledge of text structures

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Make decisions
    • Work collaboratively
    • Communicate effectively

  • listing shared experiences as a whole class and identifying possible investigations
    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Listen and respond to learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Make decisions
    • Work collaboratively
    • Communicate effectively

  • working in groups to discuss things that might happen during an investigation
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Use language to interact with others
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Listen and respond to learning area texts

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Work collaboratively
    • Communicate effectively

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas

    Generating ideas, possibilities and actions
    • Seek solutions and put ideas into action

Planning and conducting

With guidance, plan and conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions, considering the safe use of appropriate materials and equipment (ACSIS054 - Scootle )
Critical and Creative Thinking

Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures
  • Evaluate procedures and outcomes

Generating ideas, possibilities and actions
  • Seek solutions and put ideas into action

Literacy

Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
  • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
  • Compose texts

Word Knowledge
  • Understand learning area vocabulary

  • working with teacher guidance to plan investigations to test simple cause-and-effect relationships
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Listen and respond to learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Reflecting on thinking and processes
    • Reflect on processes

  • discussing as a whole class ways to investigate questions and evaluating which ways might be most successful
    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Reflecting on thinking and processes
    • Reflect on processes

    Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures
    • Apply logic and reasoning

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Make decisions
    • Work collaboratively
    • Communicate effectively

    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

  • discussing safety rules for equipment and procedures
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Work collaboratively
    • Make decisions
    • Communicate effectively

Consider the elements of fair tests and use formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate, to make and record observations accurately (ACSIS055 - Scootle )
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

Managing and operating ICT
  • Select and use hardware and software
  • Manage digital data

Investigating with ICT
  • Locate, generate and access data and information

Numeracy

Using measurement
  • Estimate and measure with metric units

Personal and Social Capability

Self-management
  • Become confident, resilient and adaptable
  • Work independently and show initiative

  • recording measurements using familiar formal units and appropriate abbreviations, such as seconds (s), grams (g), centimetres (cm)
    Literacy

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Numeracy

    Using measurement
    • Estimate and measure with metric units

  • using a variety of tools to make observations, such as digital cameras, thermometers, rulers and scales
    Numeracy

    Using measurement
    • Estimate and measure with metric units

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability

    Managing and operating ICT
    • Select and use hardware and software
    • Manage digital data

Processing and analysing data and information

Use a range of methods including tables and simple column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (ACSIS057 - Scootle )
Critical and Creative Thinking

Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
  • Organise and process information

Literacy

Visual Knowledge
  • Understand how visual elements create meaning

Word Knowledge
  • Understand learning area vocabulary

Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
  • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
  • Compose texts

Numeracy

Interpreting statistical information
  • Interpret data displays

Recognising and using patterns and relationships
  • Recognise and use patterns and relationships

  • using provided tables to organise materials and objects based on observable properties
    Numeracy

    Interpreting statistical information
    • Interpret data displays

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Literacy

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

  • discussing how to graph data presented in a table
    Numeracy

    Interpreting statistical information
    • Interpret data displays

    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of words and word groups
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Visual Knowledge
    • Understand how visual elements create meaning

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Reflecting on thinking and processes
    • Reflect on processes

  • identifying and discussing numerical and visual patterns in data collected from students' own investigations and from secondary sources
    Numeracy

    Recognising and using patterns and relationships
    • Recognise and use patterns and relationships

    Interpreting statistical information
    • Interpret data displays

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Identify and clarify information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Literacy

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts
    • Listen and respond to learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures
    • Use knowledge of words and word groups

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Use language to interact with others
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Visual Knowledge
    • Understand how visual elements create meaning

Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS215 - Scootle )
Critical and Creative Thinking

Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
  • Identify and clarify information and ideas
  • Organise and process information

Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures
  • Evaluate procedures and outcomes

Literacy

Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
  • Navigate, read and view learning area texts
  • Comprehend texts
  • Interpret and analyse learning area texts

Word Knowledge
  • Understand learning area vocabulary

Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
  • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
  • Compose texts

Numeracy

Interpreting statistical information
  • Interpret chance events

  • discussing how well predictions matched results from an investigation and sharing ideas about what was learnt
    Literacy

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of words and word groups
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Use language to interact with others
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Reflecting on thinking and processes
    • Reflect on processes

    Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures
    • Evaluate procedures and outcomes

Evaluating

Reflect on investigations, including whether a test was fair or not (ACSIS058 - Scootle )
Critical and Creative Thinking

Reflecting on thinking and processes
  • Think about thinking (metacognition)
  • Reflect on processes

Numeracy

Interpreting statistical information
  • Interpret chance events

  • describing experiences of carrying out investigations to the teacher, small group or whole class
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Deliver presentations
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Text knowledge
    • Use knowledge of text structures

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Work collaboratively
    • Communicate effectively

  • discussing as a whole class the idea of fairness in testing
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of words and word groups
    • Express opinion and point of view
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Work collaboratively
    • Communicate effectively

    Ethical Understanding

    Understanding ethical concepts and issues
    • Explore ethical concepts in context
    • Recognise ethical concepts

Communicating

Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings using formal and informal representations (ACSIS060 - Scootle )
Literacy

Text knowledge
  • Use knowledge of text structures
  • Use knowledge of text cohesion

Grammar knowledge
  • Use knowledge of words and word groups
  • Use knowledge of sentence structures

Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
  • Comprehend texts
  • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

Visual Knowledge
  • Understand how visual elements create meaning

Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
  • Deliver presentations
  • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
  • Use language to interact with others
  • Compose texts

Word Knowledge
  • Use spelling knowledge
  • Understand learning area vocabulary

Numeracy

Using spatial reasoning
  • Interpret maps and diagrams

  • communicating with other students carrying out similar investigations to share experiences and improve investigation skill
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Reflecting on thinking and processes
    • Think about thinking (metacognition)
    • Reflect on processes

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Communicate effectively

  • exploring different ways to show processes and relationships through diagrams, models and role play
    Literacy

    Visual Knowledge
    • Understand how visual elements create meaning

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts
    • Use language to interact with others

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary

    Text knowledge
    • Use knowledge of text structures

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts

    Critical and Creative Thinking

    Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
    • Organise and process information

    Personal and Social Capability

    Social management
    • Work collaboratively

  • using simple explanations and arguments, reports or graphical representations to communicate ideas to other students
    Literacy

    Composing texts through speaking, writing and creating
    • Use language to interact with others
    • Deliver presentations
    • Compose spoken, written, visual and multimodal learning area texts

    Grammar knowledge
    • Use knowledge of words and word groups
    • Use knowledge of sentence structures

    Comprehending texts through listening, reading and viewing
    • Navigate, read and view learning area texts
    • Interpret and analyse learning area texts

    Text knowledge
    • Use knowledge of text cohesion
    • Use knowledge of text structures

    Visual Knowledge
    • Understand how visual elements create meaning

    Word Knowledge
    • Understand learning area vocabulary
    • Use spelling knowledge

    Numeracy

    Interpreting statistical information
    • Interpret data displays


Year 3 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 3, students use their understanding of the movement of Earth, materials and the behaviour of heat to suggest explanations for everyday observations. They group living things based on observable features and distinguish them from non-living things. They describe how they can use science investigations to respond to questions.

Students use their experiences to identify questions and make predictions about scientific investigations. They follow procedures to collect and record observations and suggest possible reasons for their findings, based on patterns in their data. They describe how safety and fairness were considered and they use diagrams and other representations to communicate their ideas.


Year 3 Work Sample Portfolios