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. Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. Science aims to understand a large number of observations in terms of a much smaller number of broad principles. Science knowledge is contestable and is revised, refined and extended as new evidence arises.
The Western Australian Curriculum: Science provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important science concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, of science’s contribution to our culture and society, and its applications in our lives. The curriculum supports students to develop the scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed decisions about local, national and global issues and to participate, if they so wish, in science-related careers.
In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a valuable pursuit in its own right. Students can experience the joy of scientific discovery and nurture their natural curiosity about the world around them. In doing this, they develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods. The wider benefits of this “scientific literacy” are well established, including giving students the capability to investigate the natural world and changes made to it through human activity.
The science curriculum promotes six overarching ideas that highlight certain common approaches to a scientific view of the world and which can be applied to many of the areas of science understanding. These overarching ideas are patterns, order and organisation; form and function; stability and change; systems; scale and measurement; and matter and energy.
Science at Tuart Hill Primary School
Tuart Hill Primary School aims to develop students’ effective skills in planning, conducting and evaluating a scientific investigation. Specialist teachers focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), classroom teacher resume the delivery of the Science curriculum with a specific focus on Science Inquiry Skills. Students from Year 1-6 are able to learn coding skills on paper and using various ICT devices.
Concept mapping is a main focus developing student skills in organising their scientific knowledge and graphically displaying the relationship between concepts and ideas. The school celebrates Science Week every year with events that promote and show case scientific thinking. Progressive Achievement Testing (PAT) in Science is conducted in Year 3 to 6. Teachers are able to use this data to monitor student achievement and progress in Science, as well as adjust their teaching and planning to improve student learning.