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 9 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 9, students consider the operation of systems at a range of scales. They explore ways in which the human body as a system responds to its external environment and the interdependencies between biotic and abiotic components of ecosystems. They are introduced to the notion of the atom as a system of protons, electrons and neutrons, and how this system can change through nuclear decay. They learn that matter can be rearranged through chemical change and that these changes play an important role in many systems. They are introduced to the concept of the conservation of matter and begin to develop a more sophisticated view of energy transfer. They begin to apply their understanding of energy and forces to global systems such as continental movement.
Year 9 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 9 Achievement Standards
By the end of Year 9, students explain chemical processes and natural radioactivity in terms of atoms and energy transfers and describe examples of important chemical reactions. They describe models of energy transfer and apply these to explain phenomena. They explain global features and events in terms of geological processes and timescales. They analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They describe social and technological factors that have influenced scientific developments and predict how future applications of science and technology may affect people’s lives.
Students design questions that can be investigated using a range of inquiry skills. They design methods that include the control and accurate measurement of variables and systematic collection of data and describe how they considered ethics and safety. They analyse trends in data, identify relationships between variables and reveal inconsistencies in results. They analyse their methods and the quality of their data, and explain specific actions to improve the quality of their evidence. They evaluate others’ methods and explanations from a scientific perspective and use appropriate language and representations when communicating their findings and ideas to specific audiences.