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 8 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 7 to 10, students develop their understanding of microscopic and atomic structures; how systems at a range of scales are shaped by flows of energy and matter and interactions due to forces, and develop the ability to quantify changes and relative amounts.
In Year 8, students are introduced to cells as microscopic structures that explain macroscopic properties of living systems. They link form and function at a cellular level and explore the organisation of body systems in terms of flows of matter between interdependent organs. Similarly, they explore changes in matter at a particle level, and distinguish between chemical and physical change. They begin to classify different forms of energy, and describe the role of energy in causing change in systems, including the role of heat and kinetic energy in the rock cycle. Students use experimentation to isolate relationships between components in systems and explain these relationships through increasingly complex representations. They make predictions and propose explanations, drawing on evidence to support their views while considering other points of view.
Year 8 Content Descriptions
Earth and space sciences
Nature and development of science
Use and influence of science
Questioning and predicting
Planning and conducting
Processing and analysing data and information
Year 8 Achievement Standards
By the end of Year 8, students compare physical and chemical changes and use the particle model to explain and predict the properties and behaviours of substances. They identify different forms of energy and describe how energy transfers and transformations cause change in simple systems. They compare processes of rock formation, including the timescales involved. They analyse the relationship between structure and function at cell, organ and body system levels. Students examine the different science knowledge used in occupations. They explain how evidence has led to an improved understanding of a scientific idea and describe situations in which scientists collaborated to generate solutions to contemporary problems. They reflect on implications of these solutions for different groups in society.
Students identify and construct questions and problems that they can investigate scientifically. They consider safety and ethics when planning investigations, including designing field or experimental methods. They identify variables to be changed, measured and controlled. Students construct representations of their data to reveal and analyse patterns and trends, and use these when justifying their conclusions. They explain how modifications to methods could improve the quality of their data and apply their own scientific knowledge and investigation findings to evaluate claims made by others. They use appropriate language and representations to communicate science ideas, methods and findings in a range of text types.