RationaleScience 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.
AimsThe 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 ideasIn 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.
StructureThe three interrelated strands of science
The Australian Curriculum: Science has three interrelated strands: science understanding, science as a human endeavour and science inquiry skills.
Content and achievement sequencesResources and support materials for the Australian Curriculum: Science.
Year 4 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 4, students broaden their understanding of classification and form and function through an exploration of the properties of natural and processed materials. They learn that forces include non-contact forces and begin to appreciate that some interactions result from phenomena that can’t be seen with the naked eye. They begin to appreciate that current systems, such as Earth’s surface, have characteristics that have resulted from past changes and that living things form part of systems. They understand that some systems change in predictable ways, such as through cycles. They apply their knowledge to make predictions based on interactions within systems, including those involving the actions of humans.
Year 4 Content Descriptions
Earth and space sciences
Questioning and predicting
Planning and conducting
Processing and analysing data and information
Year 4 Achievement Standards
By the end of Year 4, students apply the observable properties of materials to explain how objects and materials can be used. They describe how contact and non-contact forces affect interactions between objects. They discuss how natural processes and human activity cause changes to Earth’s surface. They describe relationships that assist the survival of living things and sequence key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal. They identify when science is used to understand the effect of their actions.
Students follow instructions to identify investigable questions about familiar contexts and make predictions based on prior knowledge. They describe ways to conduct investigations and safely use equipment to make and record observations with accuracy. They use provided tables and column graphs to organise data and identify patterns. Students suggest explanations for observations and compare their findings with their predictions. They suggest reasons why a test was fair or not. They use formal and informal ways to communicate their observations and findings.