The Australian curriculum 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

  • an understanding of the vision that science provides of the nature of living things, of the Earth and its place in the cosmos, and of the physical and chemical processes that explain the behaviour of all material things

  • an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning; planning and conducting experiments and investigations based on ethical principles; collecting and analysing data; evaluating results; and drawing critical, evidence-based conclusions

  • an ability to communicate scientific understanding and findings to a range of audiences, to justify ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims

  • an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account ethical and social implications of decisions

  • an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science

  • a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge.

Science inquiry skills

Science inquiry involves identifying and posing questions; planning, conducting and reflecting on investigations; processing, analysing and interpreting evidence; and communicating findings. This strand is concerned with evaluating claims, investigating ideas, solving problems, drawing valid conclusions and developing evidence-based arguments.

Science investigations are activities in which ideas, predictions or hypotheses are tested and conclusions are drawn in response to a question or problem. Investigations can involve a range of activities, including experimental testing, field work, locating and using information sources, conducting surveys, and using modelling and simulations. The choice of the approach taken will depend on the context and subject of the investigation.

In science investigations, collection and analysis of data and evidence play a major role. This can involve collecting or extracting information and reorganising data in the form of tables, graphs, flow charts, diagrams, prose, keys, spread sheets and databases.

The content in the science inquiry skills strand is described in two-year bands. There are five sub-strands of science inquiry skills:

  • questioning and predicting: identifying and constructing questions, proposing hypotheses and suggesting possible outcomes.

  • planning and conducting: making decisions regarding how to investigate or solve a problem and carrying out an investigation, including the collection of data.

  • processing and analysing data and information: representing data in meaningful and useful ways; identifying trends, patterns and relationships in data, and using this evidence to justify conclusions.

  • evaluating: considering the quality of available evidence and the merit or significance of a claim, proposition or conclusion with reference to that evidence.

  • communicating: conveying information or ideas to others through appropriate representations, text types and modes.

Last reviewed 06 April 2020
Last updated 06 April 2020