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Foundation Level

Foundation Level Description

The science content includes the three strands of Science Understanding, Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour. 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/learning programs are decisions to be made by the teacher.

From Foundation to...

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Foundation Level Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Living things have basic needs, including food and water (ACSSU002)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the needs of humans such as warmth, food and water, using students’ own experiences
    2. recognising the needs of living things in a range of situations such as pets at home, plants in the garden or plants and animals in bushland
    3. comparing the needs of plants and animals
Chemical sciences
  1. Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
    Elaborations
    1. sorting and grouping materials on the basis of observable properties such as colour, texture and flexibility
    2. thinking about how the materials used in buildings and shelters are suited to the local environment
    3. investigating different forms of clothing used for different activities
    4. comparing the traditional materials used for clothing from around the world
Earth and space sciences
  1. Daily and seasonal changes in our environment, including the weather, affect everyday life (ACSSU004)
    Elaborations
    1. linking the changes in the daily weather to the way we modify our behaviour and dress for different conditions, including examples from different cultures
    2. investigating how changes in the weather might affect animals such as pets, animals that hibernate, or migratory animals
    3. learning how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts of time and weather patterns explain how things happen in the world around them
Physical sciences
  1. The way objects move depends on a variety of factors, including their size and shape (ACSSU005)
    Elaborations
    1. observing the way different shaped objects such as balls, blocks and tubes move
    2. comparing the way different sized, but similar shaped, objects such as tennis balls, golf balls, marbles and basketballs roll and bounce
    3. observing how the movement of different living things depends on their size and shape

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves exploring and observing the world using the senses (ACSHE013)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that observation is an important part of exploring and investigating the things and places around us
    2. sharing observations with others and communicating their experiences
    3. exploring and observing using hearing, smell, touch, seeing and taste

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Respond to questions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS014)
    Elaborations
    1. considering questions relating to the home and school and objects used in everyday life
Planning and conducting
  1. Explore and make observations by using the senses (ACSIS011)
    Elaborations
    1. using sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell so that students can gather information about the world around them
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)
    Elaborations
    1. taking part in informal and guided discussions relating to students’observations
    2. using drawings to represent observations and ideas and discussing their representations with others
Communicating
  1. Share observations and ideas (ACSIS012)
    Elaborations
    1. working in groups to describe what students have done and what they have found out
    2. communicating ideas through role play and drawing

Foundation Level Achievement Standard

By the end of the Foundation level, students describe the properties and behaviour of familiar objects. They suggest how the environment affects them and other living things.

Students share and record observations of familiar objects and events.

Foundation Level Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 1

Level 1 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

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Level 1 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Living things have a variety of external features (ACSSU017)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising common features of animals such as head, legs and wings
    2. describing the use of animal body parts for particular purposes such as moving and feeding
    3. identifying common features of plants such as leaves and roots
    4. describing the use of plant parts for particular purposes such as making food and obtaining water
  2. Living things live in different places where their needs are met (ACSSU211)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring different habitats in the local environment such as the beach, bush and backyard
    2. recognising that different living things live in different places such as land and water
    3. exploring what happens when habitats change and some living things can no longer have their needs met
Chemical sciences
  1. Everyday materials can be physically changed in a variety of ways (ACSSU018)
    Elaborations
    1. predicting and comparing how the shapes of objects made from different materials can be physically changed through actions such as bending, stretching and twisting
    2. exploring how materials such as water, chocolate or play dough change when warmed or cooled
Earth and space sciences
  1. Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape (ACSSU019)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring the local environment to identify and describe natural, managed and constructed features
    2. recording short and longer term patterns of events that occur on Earth and in the sky, such as the appearance of the moon and stars at night, the weather and the seasons
Physical sciences
  1. Light and sound are produced by a range of sources and can be sensed (ACSSU020)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising senses are used to learn about the world around us: our eyes to detect light, our ears to detect sound, and touch to feel vibrations
    2. identifying the sun as a source of light
    3. recognising that objects can be seen when light from sources is available to illuminate them
    4. exploring different ways to produce sound using familiar objects and actions such as striking, blowing, scraping and shaking
    5. comparing sounds made by musical instruments using characteristics such as loudness, pitch and actions used to make the sound

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE021)
    Elaborations
    1. jointly constructing questions about the events and features of the local environment with teacher guidance
    2. recognising that descriptions of what we observe are used by people to help identify change
Use and influence of science
  1. People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how science is used in activities such as cooking, fishing, transport, sport, medicine and caring for plants and animals
    2. considering that technologies used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people require an understanding of how materials can be used to make tools and weapons, musical instruments, clothing, cosmetics and artworks
    3. exploring how musical instruments can be used to produce different sounds
    4. comparing how different light sources are used in daily life
    5. identifying ways that science knowledge is used in the care of the local environment such as animal habitats, and suggesting changes to parks and gardens to better meet the needs of native animals

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS024)
    Elaborations
    1. thinking about "What will happen if……?" type questions about everyday objects and events
    2. using the senses to explore the local environment to pose interesting questions and making predictions about what will happen
Planning and conducting
  1. Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS025)
    Elaborations
    1. manipulating objects and making observations of what happens
    2. researching ideas collaboratively using big books, web pages and ICT within the classroom
    3. exploring different ways of solving science questions through guided discussion
    4. sorting information and classifying objects based on easily observable characteristics with teacher guidance
  2. Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of observations, with the assistance of digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS026)
    Elaborations
    1. using units that are familiar to students from home and school, such as cups (cooking), hand spans (length) and walking paces (distance) to make and record observations with teacher guidance
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables (ACSIS027)
    Elaborations
    1. using matching activities, including identifying similar things, odd-one-out and opposites
    2. exploring ways of recording and sharing information through class discussion
    3. jointly constructing simple column graphs and picture graphs to represent class investigations
  2. Through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS212)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing original predictions and, with guidance, comparing these to their observations

Evaluating
  1. Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS213)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing observations as a whole class to identify similarities and differences in their observations
Communicating
  1. Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play (ACSIS029)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing or representing what was discovered in an investigation
    2. engaging in whole class or guided small group discussions to share observations and ideas

Level 1 Achievement Standard

At Level 1, the student is working towards the Level 2 standard.

Level 1 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 2

Level 2 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level band. In their planning, schools and teachers refer to the expectations outlined in the Achievement Standards and also to the content of the Science Understanding strand for the relevant level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

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Level 2 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (ACSSU030)
    Elaborations
    1. representing personal growth and changes from birth
    2. recognising that living things have predictable characteristics at different stages of development
    3. exploring different characteristics of life stages in animals such as egg, caterpillar and butterfly
    4. observing that all animals have offspring, usually with two parents
Chemical sciences
  1. Different materials can be combined, including by mixing, for a particular purpose (ACSSU031)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring the local environment to observe a variety of materials, and describing ways in which materials are used
    2. investigating the effects of mixing materials together
    3. suggesting why different parts of everyday objects such as toys and clothes are made from different materials
    4. identifying materials such as paper that can be changed and remade or recycled into new products
Earth and space sciences
  1. Earth’s resources, including water, are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the Earth’s resources including water, soil and minerals, and describing how they are used in the school
    2. describing how a resource such as water is transferred from its source to its point of use
    3. considering what might happen to humans if there were a change in a familiar available resource, such as water
    4. identifying actions at school such as turning off dripping taps, that can conserve resources
Physical sciences
  1. A push or a pull affects how an object moves or changes shape (ACSSU033)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring ways that objects move on land, through water and in the air
    2. exploring how different strengths of pushes and pulls affect the movement of objects
    3. identifying toys from different cultures that use the forces of push or pull
    4. considering the effects of objects being pulled towards the Earth

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves asking questions about, and describing changes in, objects and events (ACSHE034)
    Elaborations
    1. describing everyday events and experiences and changes in our environment using knowledge of science
    2. suggesting how everyday items work, using knowledge of forces or materials
    3. identifying and describing sources of water
Use and influence of science
  1. People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)
    Elaborations
    1. monitoring information about the environment and Earth’s resources, such as rainfall, water levels and temperature
    2. finding out about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use science to meet their needs, including food supply
    3. exploring how different cultures have made inks, pigments and paints by mixing materials
    4. identifying the ways humans manage and protect resources, such as reducing waste and caring for water supplies
    5. recognising that many living things rely on resources that may be threatened, and that science understanding can contribute to the preservation of such resources

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS037)
    Elaborations
    1. using the senses to explore the local environment to pose interesting questions, make inferences and predictions
    2. thinking about ‘What will happen if...?’ type questions about everyday objects and events
Planning and conducting
  1. Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS038)
    Elaborations
    1. manipulating objects and materials and making observations of the results
    2. researching with the use of simple information sources
    3. sorting objects and events based on easily identified characteristics
  2. Use informal measurements in the collection and recording of observations, with the assistance of digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS039)
    Elaborations
    1. using units that are familiar to students from home and school, such as cups (cooking), hand spans (length) and walking paces (distance) to make and compare observations
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables (ACSIS040)
    Elaborations
    1. constructing column and picture graphs with teacher guidance to record gathered information
    2. sorting information in provided tables or graphic organisers
  2. Through discussion, compare observations with predictions (ACSIS214)
    Elaborations
    1. comparing and discussing, with guidance, whether observations were expected
Evaluating
  1. Compare observations with those of others (ACSIS041)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing observations with other students to see similarities and differences in results
Communicating
  1. Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play (ACSIS042)
    Elaborations
    1. presenting ideas to other students, both one-to-one and in small groups
    2. discussing with others what was discovered from an investigation

Level 2 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 2, students describe the effects of interacting with materials and objects. They identify and describe a range of habitats and the different uses of materials and resources. They describe changes to objects, materials, living things and things in their local environment. They describe examples of how people use science in their daily lives.

Students pose questions about everyday phenomena and predict outcomes of investigations. They use informal measurements to make and compare observations. They follow instructions to record, sort and represent their observations and communicate their ideas to others.

Level 2 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 3

Level 3 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

Show more

Level 3 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising characteristics of living things such as growing, moving, sensitivity and reproducing
    2. recognising the range of different living things
    3. sorting living and non-living things based on characteristics
    4. exploring differences between living, once living and products of living things
Chemical sciences
  1. A change of state between solid and liquid can be caused by adding or removing heat (ACSSU046)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how liquids and solids respond to changes in temperature, for example water changing to ice, or melting chocolate
    2. exploring how changes from solid to liquid and liquid to solid can help us recycle materials
    3. predicting the effect of heat on different materials
Earth and space sciences
  1. Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (ACSSU048)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising the sun as a source of light
    2. constructing sundials and investigating how they work
    3. describing timescales for the rotation of the Earth
    4. modelling the relative sizes and movement of the sun, Earth and moon
Physical sciences
  1. Heat can be produced in many ways and can move from one object to another (ACSSU049)
    Elaborations
    1. describing how heat can be produced such as through friction or motion, electricity or chemically (burning)
    2. identifying changes that occur in everyday situations due to heating and cooling
    3. exploring how heat can be transferred through conduction
    4. recognising that we can feel heat and measure its effects using a thermometer

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE050)
    Elaborations
    1. making predictions about change and events in our environment
    2. researching how knowledge of astronomy has been used by some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    3. considering how posing questions helps us plan for the future
Use and influence of science
  1. Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how heating affects materials used in everyday life
    2. investigating how science helps people such as nurses, doctors, dentists, mechanics and gardeners
    3. considering how materials including solids and liquids affect the environment in different ways
    4. deciding what characteristics make a material a pollutant
    5. researching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s knowledge of the local natural environment, such as the characteristics of plants and animals

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (ACSIS053)
    Elaborations
    1. choosing questions to investigate from a list of possibilities
    2. jointly constructing questions that may form the basis for investigation
    3. listing shared experiences as a whole class and identifying possible investigations
    4. working in groups to discuss things that might happen during an investigation
Planning and conducting
  1. Suggest ways to plan and conduct investigations to find answers to questions (ACSIS054)
    Elaborations
    1. working with teacher guidance to plan investigations to test simple cause-and-effect relationships
    2. discussing as a whole class ways to investigate questions and evaluating which ways might be most successful
  2. Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS055)
    Elaborations
    1. recording measurements using familiar formal units and appropriate abbreviations, such as seconds (s), grams (g), centimetres (cm)
    2. using a variety of tools to make observations, such as digital cameras, thermometers, rulers and scales
    3. discussing safety rules for equipment and procedures
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Use a range of methods including tables and simple column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (ACSIS057)
    Elaborations
    1. using provided tables to organise materials and objects based on observable properties
    2. discussing how to graph data presented in a table
    3. identifying and discussing numerical and visual patterns in data collected from students' own investigations and from secondary sources
  2. Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS215)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing how well predictions matched results from an investigation and sharing ideas about what was learnt
Evaluating
  1. Reflect on the investigation, including whether a test was fair or not (ACSIS058)
    Elaborations
    1. describing experiences of carrying out investigations to the teacher, small group or whole class
    2. discussing as a whole class the idea of fairness in testing
Communicating
  1. Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS060)
    Elaborations
    1. communicating with other students carrying out similar investigations to share experiences and improve investigation skill
    2. exploring different ways to show processes and relationships through diagrams, models and role play
    3. using simple explanations and arguments, reports or graphical representations to communicate ideas to other students

Level 3 Achievement Standard

At Level 3, the student is working towards the Level 4 standard.

Level 3 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 4

Level 4 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

Show more

Level 4 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Living things have life cycles (ACSSU072)
    Elaborations
    1. making and recording observations of living things as they develop through their life cycles
    2. describing the stages of life cycles of different living things such as insects, birds, frogs and flowering plants
    3. comparing life cycles of animals and plants
    4. recognising that environmental factors can affect life cycles such as fire and seed germination
  2. Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how plants provide shelter for animals
    2. investigating the roles of living things in a habitat, for instance producers, consumers or decomposers
    3. observing and describing predator-prey relationships
    4. predicting the effects when living things in feeding relationships are removed or die out in an area
    5. recognising that interactions between living things may be competitive or mutually beneficial
Chemical sciences
  1. Natural and processed materials have a range of physical properties; These properties can influence their use (ACSSU074)
    Elaborations
    1. describing a range of common materials, such as metals or plastics, and their uses
    2. investigating a particular property across a range of materials
    3. selecting materials for uses based on their properties
    4. considering how the properties of materials affect the management of waste or can lead to pollution
Earth and space sciences
  1. Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075)
    Elaborations
    1. collecting evidence of change from local landforms, rocks or fossils
    2. exploring a local area that has changed as a result of natural processes, such as an eroded gully, sand dunes or river banks
    3. investigating the characteristics of soils
    4. considering how different human activities cause erosion of the Earth’s surface
    5. considering the effect of events such as floods and extreme weather on the landscape, both in Australia and in the Asia region
Physical sciences
  1. Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (ACSSU076)
    Elaborations
    1. observing qualitatively how speed is affected by the size of a force
    2. exploring how non-contact forces are similar to contact forces in terms of objects pushing and pulling another object
    3. comparing and contrasting the effect of friction on different surfaces, such as tyres and shoes on a range of surfaces
    4. investigating the effect of forces on the behaviour of an object through actions such as throwing, dropping, bouncing and rolling
    5. exploring the forces of attraction and repulsion between magnets

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves making predictions and describing patterns and relationships (ACSHE061)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring ways in which scientists gather evidence for their ideas and develop explanations
    2. considering how scientific practices such as sorting, classification and estimation are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in everyday life
Use and influence of science
  1. Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE062)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how a range of people, such as clothing designers, builders or engineers use science to select appropriate materials for their work
    2. considering methods of waste management and how they can affect the environment
    3. exploring how science has contributed to a discussion about an issue such as loss of habitat for living things or how human activity has changed the local environment
    4. considering how to minimise the effects of erosion caused by human activity

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. With guidance, identify questions in familiar contexts that can be investigated scientifically and predict what might happen based on prior knowledge (ACSIS064)
    Elaborations
    1. considering familiar situations in order to think about possible areas for investigation
    2. reflecting on familiar situations to make predictions with teacher guidance
    3. choosing questions to investigate from a list of possibilities
Planning and conducting
  1. Suggest ways to plan and conduct investigations to find answers to questions (ACSIS065)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring different ways to conduct investigations and connecting these to the types of questions asked with teacher guidance
    2. working in groups, with teacher guidance, to plan ways to investigate questions
  2. Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS066)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing and recording safety rules for equipment as a whole class
    2. making and recording measurements using familiar formal units and appropriate abbreviations, such as seconds (s), grams (g), centimetres (cm) and millilitres (mL)
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Use a range of methods including tables and simple column graphs to represent data and to identify patterns and trends (ACSIS068)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying and discussing numerical and visual patterns in data collected from students' investigations and from other sources
    2. using provided graphic organisers to sort and represent information
    3. discussing with teacher guidance which graphic organisers will be most useful in sorting or organising data arising from investigations
  2. Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS216)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing how well predictions matched results from an investigation and proposing reasons for findings
    2. comparing, in small groups, proposed reasons for findings and explaining their reasoning
Evaluating
  1. Reflect on the investigation; including whether a test was fair or not (ACSIS069)
    Elaborations
    1. reflecting on investigations, identifying what went well, what was difficult or didn't work so well, and how well the investigation helped answer the question
    2. discussing which aspects of the investigation helped improve fairness, and any aspects that weren't fair
Communicating
  1. Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS071)
    Elaborations
    1. communicating with other students carrying out similar investigations to share experiences and improve investigation skills
    2. using simple explanations and arguments, reports or graphical representations to communicate ideas to other students

Level 4 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 4, students explain the effects of Earth’s rotation on its axis. They distinguish between temperature and heat and use examples to illustrate how heat is produced and transferred. They explain how heat is involved in changes of state between solid and liquid. They link the observable properties of materials to their use. They discuss how natural and human processes cause changes to Earth’s surface. They use contact and non-contact forces to describe interactions between objects. They describe structural features common to living things and describe relationships that assist the survival of living things.  They explain how the key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal relate to growth and species survival. They describe how they use science investigations to identify patterns and respond to questions. They describe situations where science understanding can influence their own and others’ actions.

Students follow instructions to identify questions that they can investigate about familiar contexts and predict likely outcomes from these investigations. They discuss ways to conduct investigations and suggest why their methods were fair or not. They safely use equipment to make and record formal measurements and observations. They use provided tables and simple column graphs to organise and identify patterns in data. Students suggest explanations for observations and compare their findings with their predictions. They use diagrams and complete simple reports to communicate their methods and findings.

Level 4 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 5

Level 5 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the...

Show more

Level 5 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (ACSSU043)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining how particular adaptations help survival such as nocturnal behaviour, silvery coloured leaves of dune plants
    2. describing and listing adaptations of living things suited for particular Australian environments
    3. exploring general adaptations for particular environments such as adaptations that aid water conservation in deserts
Chemical sciences
  1. Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways (ACSSU077)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that substances exist in different states depending on the temperature
    2. observing that gases have mass and take up space, demonstrated by using balloons or bubbles
    3. exploring the way solids, liquids and gases change under different situations such as heating and cooling
    4. recognising that not all substances can be easily classified on the basis of their observable properties
Earth and space sciences
  1. The Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the sun) (ACSSU078)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the planets of the solar system and comparing how long they take to orbit the sun
    2. modelling the relative size of and distance between Earth, other planets in the solar system and the sun
    3. recognising the role of the sun as a provider of energy for the Earth
Physical sciences
  1. Light from a source forms shadows and can be absorbed, reflected and refracted (ACSSU080)
    Elaborations
    1. drawing simple labelled ray diagrams to show the paths of light from a source to our eyes
    2. comparing shadows from point and extended light sources such as torches and fluorescent tubes
    3. classifying materials as transparent, opaque or translucent based on whether light passes through them or is absorbed
    4. recognising that the colour of an object depends on the properties of the object and the colour of the light source
    5. exploring the use of mirrors to demonstrate the reflection of light
    6. recognising the refraction of light at the surfaces of different transparent materials, such as when light travels from air to water or air to glass

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081)
    Elaborations
    1. developing an understanding of the behaviour of light by making observations of its effects
    2. testing predictions relating to the behaviour of solids, liquids and gases by conducting observational experiments
    3. researching how scientists were able to develop ideas about the solar system through the gathering of evidence through space exploration
  2. Important contributions to the advancement of science have been made by people from a range of cultures (ACSHE082)
    Elaborations
    1. describing how scientists from a range of cultures have improved our understanding of the solar system, such as Copernicus, Khayyám and Galileo
    2. researching the different types of scientists who work in teams in space exploration, and Australia’s involvement in space exploration
    3. learning how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people used observation of the night sky to assist with navigation
Use and influence of science
  1. Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives (ACSHE083)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how the development of materials such as plastics and synthetic fabrics have led to the production of useful products
    2. describing how technologies developed to aid space exploration have changed the way people live, work and communicate
    3. exploring objects and devices that include parts that involve the reflection, absorption or refraction of light such as mirrors, sunglasses and prisms
  2. Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE217)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how best to ensure growth of plants
    2. considering how decisions are made to grow particular plants and crops depending on environmental conditions
    3. comparing the benefits of using solid, liquid or gaseous fuels to heat a home
    4. describing the safety aspects of using gases

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be (ACSIS231)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring the range of questions that can be asked about a problem or phenomena and with guidance, identifying those questions that could be investigated
    2. applying experience from similar situations in the past to predict what might happen in a new situation
Planning and conducting
  1. With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
    Elaborations
    1. experiencing a range of ways of investigating questions, including experimental testing, internet research, field observations and exploring simulations
    2. discussing the advantages of certain types of investigation for answering certain types of questions
    3. considering different ways to approach problem solving, including researching, using trial and error, experimental testing and creating models
  2. Decide which variable should be changed and measured in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS087)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing in groups how investigations can be made as fair as possible
    2. using tools to accurately measure objects and events in investigation and exploring which tools provide the most accurate measurements
    3. using familiar units such as grams, seconds and meters and developing the use of standard multipliers such as kilometres and millimetres
    4. recording data in tables and diagrams or electronically as digital images and spreadsheets
  3. Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS088)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining rules for safe processes and use of equipment
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS090)
    Elaborations
    1. constructing tables, graphs and other graphic organisers to show trends in data
    2. identifying patterns in data and developing explanations that fit these patterns
    3. identifying similarities and differences in qualitative data in order to group items or materials
  2. Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS218)
    Elaborations
    1. sharing ideas as to whether observations match predictions, and discussing possible reasons for predictions being incorrect
Evaluating
  1. Suggest improvements to the methods used to investigate a question or solve a problem (ACSIS091)
    Elaborations
    1. working collaboratively to identify where methods could be improved, including where testing was not fair and practices could be improved
Communicating
  1. Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing how models represent scientific ideas and constructing physical models to demonstrate an aspect of scientific understanding
    2. constructing multi-modal texts to communicate science ideas
    3. using labelled diagrams, including cross-sectional representations, to communicate ideas

Level 5 Achievement Standard

At Level 5, the student is working towards the Level 6 standard.

Level 5 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 6

Level 6 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

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Level 6 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how changing the physical conditions for plants impacts on their growth and survival such as salt water, use of fertilizers and soil types
    2. observing the growth of fungi such as yeast and bread mould in different conditions
    3. researching organisms that live in extreme environments such as Antarctica or a desert
    4. considering the effects of physical conditions causing migration and hibernation
Chemical sciences
  1. Changes to materials can be reversible, such as melting, freezing, evaporating; or irreversible, such as burning and rusting (ACSSU095)
    Elaborations
    1. describing what happens when materials are mixed
    2. investigating the solubility of common materials in water
    3. investigating the change in state caused by heating and cooling of a familiar substance
    4. investigating irreversible changes such as rusting, burning and cooking
    5. exploring how reversible changes can be used to recycle materials
Earth and space sciences
  1. Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (ACSSU096)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating major geological events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis in Australia, the Asia region and throughout the world
    2. recognising that earthquakes can cause tsunamis
    3. describing how people measure significant geological events
    4. exploring ways that scientific understanding can assist in natural disaster management to minimise both long- and short-term effects
    5. considering the effect of drought on living and non-living aspects of the environment
Physical sciences
  1. Electrical circuits provide a means of transferring and transforming electricity (ACSSU097)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising the need for a complete circuit to allow the flow of electricity
    2. investigating different electrical conductors and insulators
    3. exploring the features of electrical devices such as switches and light globes
  2. Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity (ACSSU219)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how moving air and water can turn turbines to generate electricity
    2. investigating the use of solar panels
    3. considering whether an energy source is sustainable

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE098)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how knowledge about the effects of using the Earth’s resources has changed over time
    2. describing how understanding of the causes and effects of major natural events has changed as new evidence has become available
    3. investigating the use of electricity, including predicting the effects of changes to electric circuits
    4. considering how gathering evidence helps scientists to predict the effect of major geological or climatic events
  2. Important contributions to the advancement of science have been made by people from a range of cultures (ACSHE099)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how people from different cultures have used sustainable sources of energy, for example water and solar power
    2. exploring institutions and locations where contemporary Australian scientists conduct research on catastrophic natural events
    3. learning how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, such as the medicinal and nutritional properties of Australian plants, is being used as part of the evidence base for scientific advances
    4. investigating the development of earthquake measurements from the Chinese invention of the seismograph in the second century
Use and influence of science
  1. Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to solve problems that directly affect peoples’ lives (ACSHE100)
    Elaborations
    1. researching the scientific work involved in global disaster alerts and communication, such as cyclone, earthquake and tsunami alerts
    2. investigating how electrical energy is generated in Australia and around the world
    3. researching the use of methane generators in Indonesia
    4. considering how electricity and electrical appliances have changed the way some people live
  2. Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how personal and community choices influence our use of sustainable sources of energy
    2. investigating how understanding of catastrophic natural events helps in planning for their early detection and minimising their impact
    3. recognising that science can inform choices about where people live and how they manage natural disasters
    4. considering how guidelines help to ensure the safe use of electrical devices
    5. discussing the use of electricity and the conservation of sources of energy

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be (ACSIS232)
    Elaborations
    1. refining questions to enable scientific investigation
    2. asking questions to understand the scope or nature of a problem
    3. applying experience from previous investigations to predict the outcomes of investigations in new contexts
Planning and conducting
  1. With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS103)
    Elaborations
    1. following a procedure to design an experimental or field investigation
    2. discussing methods chosen with other students, and refining methods accordingly
    3. considering which investigation methods are most suited to answer a particular question or solve a problem
  2. Decide which variable should be changed and measured in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS104)
    Elaborations
    1. using familiar units such as grams, seconds and metres and developing the use of standard multipliers such as kilometres and millimetres
    2. using the idea of an independent variable (note: this terminology does not need to be used at this stage) as something that is being investigated by changing it and measuring the effect of this change
    3. using digital technologies to make accurate measurements and to record data
  3. Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS105)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing possible hazards involved in conducting investigations, and how these risks can be reduced
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS107)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring how different representations can be used to show different aspects of relationships, processes or trends
    2. using digital technologies to construct representations, including dynamic representations
  2. Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS221)
    Elaborations
    1. sharing ideas as to whether observations match predictions, and discussing possible reasons for predictions being incorrect
    2. discussing the difference between data and evidence
    3. referring to evidence when explaining the outcomes of an investigation
Evaluating
  1. Suggest improvements to the methods used to investigate a question or solve a problem (ACSIS108)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing improvements to the methods used, and how these methods would improve the quality of the data obtained
Communicating
  1. Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing the best way to communicate science ideas and what should be considered when planning a text
    2. using a variety of communication modes, such as reports, explanations, arguments, debates and procedural accounts, to communicate science ideas
    3. using labelled diagrams, including cross-sectional representations, to communicate ideas and processes within multi-modal texts

Level 6 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 6, students compare the properties and behaviours of solids, liquids and gases. They compare observable changes to materials and classify these changes as reversible or irreversible. They explain everyday phenomena associated with the absorption, reflection, refraction and dispersion of light. They compare different ways in which energy can be transformed from one form to another to generate electricity and evaluate their suitability for particular purposes.  They construct electrical circuits and distinguish between open and closed circuits. They explain how natural events cause rapid change to Earth’s surface and describe the key features of our solar system. They analyse how structural and behavioural adaptations of living things enhance their survival, and predict and describe the effect of environmental changes on individual living things. Students explain how scientific knowledge develops from many people’s contributions and how scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions affect peoples’ lives.

Students follow procedures to develop questions that they can investigate and design investigations into simple cause-and-effect relationships. When planning experimental methods, they identify variables to be changed and measured in fair tests. They make predictions based on general rules or previous experiences. They identify and manage potential safety risks. They make and record accurate observations as tables, diagrams or descriptions. They organise data into tables and graphs to identify and analyse patterns and relationships. They suggest where improvements to their experimental methods or research could improve the quality of their data. They refer to data when they report findings and communicate their ideas, methods and findings using a range of text types.

Level 6 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 7

Level 7 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level band. In their planning, schools and teachers refer to the expectations outlined in the Achievement Standards and also to the content of the Science Understanding strand for the relevant level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

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Level 7 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (ACSSU111)
    Elaborations
    1. considering the reasons for classifying such as identification and communication
    2. grouping a variety of organisms on the basis of similarities and differences in particular features
    3. considering how biological classifications have changed over time
    4. classifying using hierarchical systems such as kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species
    5. using scientific conventions for naming species
    6. using provided keys to identify organisms surveyed in a local habitat
  2. Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect these interactions (ACSSU112)
    Elaborations
    1. using food chains to show feeding relationships in a habitat
    2. constructing and interpreting food webs to show relationships between organisms in an environment
    3. classifying organisms of an environment according to their position in a food chain
    4. recognising the role of microorganisms within food chains and food webs
    5. investigating the effect of human activity on local habitats, such as deforestation, agriculture or the introduction of new species
    6. exploring how living things can cause changes to their environment and impact other living things, such as the effect of cane toads
    7. researching specific examples of human activity, such as the use of fire by traditional Aboriginal people and the effects of palm oil harvesting in Sumatra and Borneo
Chemical sciences
  1. Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of techniques (ACSSU113)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising the differences between pure substances and mixtures and identifying examples of each
    2. identifying the solvent and solute in solutions
    3. investigating and using a range of physical separation techniques such as filtration, decantation, evaporation, crystallisation, chromatography and distillation
    4. exploring and comparing separation methods used in the home
Earth and space sciences
  1. Predictable phenomena on Earth, including seasons and eclipses, are caused by the relative positions of the sun, Earth and the moon (ACSSU115)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating natural phenomena such as lunar and solar eclipses, seasons and phases of the moon
    2. comparing times for the rotation of Earth, the sun and moon, and comparing the times for the orbits of Earth and the moon
    3. modelling the relative movements of the Earth, sun and moon and how natural phenomena such as solar and lunar eclipses and phases of the moon occur
    4. explaining why different regions of the Earth experience different seasonal conditions
  2. Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
    Elaborations
    1. considering what is meant by the term ‘renewable’ in relation to the Earth’s resources
    2. considering timescales for regeneration of resources
    3. comparing renewable and non-renewable energy sources, including how they are used in a range of situations
  3. Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment (ACSSU222)
    Elaborations
    1. considering the water cycle in terms of changes of state of water
    2. investigating factors that influence the water cycle in nature
    3. exploring how human management of water impacts on the water cycle
Physical sciences
  1. Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces acting on the object (ACSSU117)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating the effects of applying different forces to familiar objects
    2. investigating common situations where forces are balanced, such as stationary objects, and unbalanced, such as falling objects
    3. investigating a simple machine such as lever or pulley system
  2. Earth’s gravity pulls objects towards the centre of the Earth (ACSSU118)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring how gravity affects objects on the surface of Earth
    2. considering how gravity keeps planets in orbit around the sun

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world (ACSHE119)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how advances in telescopes and space probes have provided new evidence about space
    2. researching different ideas used in the development of models of the solar system developed by scientists such as Copernicus, Khayyám and Galileo
    3. researching developments in the understanding of astronomy, such as the predictions of eclipses and the calculation of the length of the solar level by Al‑Battani in the tenth century
  2. Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science (ACSHE223)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how water use and management relies on knowledge from different areas of science, and involves the application of technology
    2. identifying the contributions of Australian scientists to the study of human impact on environments and to local environmental management projects
    3. investigating how land management practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can help inform sustainable management of the environment
    4. studying transnational collaborative research in the Antarctic
    5. recognising that traditional and Western scientific knowledge can be used in combination to care for Country and Place
Use and influence of science
  1. Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120)
    Elaborations
    1. relating regulations about wearing seatbelts or safety helmets to knowledge of forces and motion
    2. considering issues relating to the use and management of water within a community
    3. considering decisions made in relation to the recycling of greywater and blackwater
    4. considering how human activity in the community can have positive and negative effects on the sustainability of ecosystems
    5. investigating ways to control the spread of the cane toad
  2. Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial resource management (ACSHE121)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating everyday applications of physical separation techniques such as filtering, sorting waste materials, reducing pollution, extracting products from plants, separating blood products and cleaning up oil spills
    2. investigating how advances in science and technology have been applied to the treatment of water in industrial and household systems
    3. investigating how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge is being used to inform scientific decisions, for example care of waterways
    4. researching the different scientific responses to the rabbit plagues in Australian agricultural areas
  3. People use understanding and skills from across the disciplines of science in their occupations (ACSHE224)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that water management plays a role in areas such as farming, land management and gardening
    2. investigating how separation techniques are used in the food and wine industries
    3. considering how seasonal changes affect people in a variety of activities such as farming
    4. considering how sports scientists apply knowledge of forces in order to improve performance

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124)
    Elaborations
    1. working collaboratively to identify a problem to investigate
    2. recognising that the solution of some questions and problems requires consideration of social, cultural, economic or moral aspects rather than or as well as scientific investigation
    3. using information and knowledge from previous investigations to predict the expected results from an investigation
Planning and conducting
  1. Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)
    Elaborations
    1. working collaboratively to decide how to approach an investigation
    2. learning and applying specific skills and rules relating to the safe use of scientific equipment
    3. identifying whether the use of their own observations and experiments or the use of other research materials is appropriate for their investigation
    4. developing strategies and techniques for effective research using secondary sources, including use of the internet
  2. In fair tests, measure and control variables, and select equipment to collect data with accuracy appropriate to the task (ACSIS126)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising the differences between controlled, dependent and independent variables
    2. using a digital camera to record observations and compare images using information technologies
    3. using specialised equipment to increase the accuracy of measurement within an investigation
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS129)
    Elaborations
    1. understanding different types of graphical and physical representation and considering their advantages and disadvantages
    2. using spreadsheets to aid the presentation and simple analysis of data
    3. describing the trends shown in collected data
  2. Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS130)
    Elaborations
    1. using diagrammatic representations to convey abstract ideas and to simplify complex situations
    2. comparing and contrasting data from a number of sources in order to create a summary of collected data
    3. identifying data which provides evidence to support or negate the hypothesis under investigation
    4. referring to relevant evidence when presenting conclusions drawn from an investigation
Evaluating
  1. Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS131)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing investigation methods with others to share ideas about the quality of the inquiry process
    2. identifying and considering indicators of the quality of the data when analysing results
    3. suggesting improvements to inquiry methods based on experience
  2. Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims (ACSIS132)
    Elaborations
    1. using the evidence provided by scientific investigations to evaluate the claims or conclusions of their peers
Communicating
  1. Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)
    Elaborations
    1. presenting the outcomes of research using effective forms of representation of data or ideas and scientific language that is appropriate for the target audience
    2. using digital technologies to access information and to communicate and collaborate with others on and off site

Level 7 Achievement Standard

At Level 7, the student is working towards the Level 8 standard.

Level 7 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 8

Level 8 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

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Level 8 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Cells are the basic units of living things and have specialised structures and functions (ACSSU149)
    Elaborations
    1. examining a variety of cells using a light microscope, by digital technology or by viewing a simulation
    2. distinguishing plant cells from animal or fungal cells
    3. identifying structures within cells and describing their function
    4. recognising that some organisms consist of a single cell
    5. recognising that cells reproduce via cell division
    6. describing mitosis as cell division for growth and repair
  2. Multi-cellular organisms contain systems of organs that carry out specialised functions that enable them to survive and reproduce (ACSSU150)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the organs and overall function of a system of a multicellular organism in supporting the life processes
    2. describing the structure of each organ in a system and relating its function to the overall function of the system
    3. examining the specialised cells and tissues involved in structure and function of particular organs
    4. comparing similar systems in different organisms such as digestive systems in herbivores and carnivores, respiratory systems in fish and mammals
    5. distinguishing between asexual and sexual reproduction
    6. comparing reproductive systems of organisms
Chemical sciences
  1. The properties of the different states of matter can be explained in terms of the motion and arrangement of particles (ACSSU151)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining why a model for the structure of matter is needed
    2. modelling the arrangement of particles in solids, liquids and gases
    3. using the particle model to explain observed phenomena linking the energy of particles to temperature changes
  2. Differences between elements, compounds and mixtures can be described at a particle level (ACSSU152)
    Elaborations
    1. modelling the arrangement of particles in elements and compounds
    2. recognising that elements and simple compounds can be represented by symbols and formulas
    3. locating elements on the periodic table
  3. Chemical change involves substances reacting to form new substances (ACSSU225)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the differences between chemical and physical changes
    2. identifying evidence that a chemical change has taken place
    3. investigating simple reactions such as combining elements to make a compound
    4. recognising that the chemical properties of a substance, for example its flammability and ability to corrode, will affect its use
Earth and space sciences
  1. Sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks contain minerals and are formed by processes that occur within Earth over a variety of timescales (ACSSU153)
    Elaborations
    1. representing the stages in the formation of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, including indications of timescales involved
    2. identifying a range of common rock types using a key based on observable physical and chemical properties
    3. recognising that rocks are a collection of different minerals
    4. considering the role of forces and energy in the formation of different types of rocks and minerals
    5. recognising that some rocks and minerals, such as ores, provide valuable resources
Physical sciences
  1. Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems (ACSSU155)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that kinetic energy is the energy possessed by moving bodies
    2. recognising that potential energy is stored energy, such as gravitational, chemical and elastic energy
    3. investigating different forms of energy in terms of the effects they cause, such as gravitational potential causing objects to fall and heat energy transferred between materials that have a different temperature
    4. recognising that heat energy is often produced as a by-product of energy transfer, such as brakes on a car and light globes
    5. using flow diagrams to illustrate changes between different forms of energy

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Scientific knowledge changes as new evidence becomes available, and some scientific discoveries have significantly changed people’s understanding of the world (ACSHE134)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating developments in the understanding of cells and how this knowledge has impacted on areas such as health and medicine
    2. discovering how people’s understanding of the nature of matter has changed over time as evidence for particle theory has become available through developments in technology
    3. considering how the idea of elements has developed over time as knowledge of the nature of matter has improved
    4. investigating the development of the microscope and the impact it has had on the understanding of cell functions and division
  2. Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science (ACSHE226)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how knowledge of the location and extraction of mineral resources relies on expertise from across the disciplines of science
    2. considering how advances in technology, combined with scientific understanding of the functioning of body systems, has enabled medical science to replace or repair organs
    3. researching the use of reproductive technologies and how developments in this field rely on scientific knowledge from different areas of science
Use and influence of science
  1. Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating requirements and the design of systems for collecting and recycling household waste
    2. investigating strategies implemented to maintain part of the local environment, such as bushland, a beach, a lake, a desert or a shoreline
    3. investigating how energy efficiency can reduce energy consumption
    4. investigating the development of vehicles over time, including the application of science to contemporary designs of solar-powered vehicles
    5. discussing ethical issues that arise from organ transplantation
  2. Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial resource management (ACSHE136)
    Elaborations
    1. describing how technologies have been applied to modern farming techniques to improve yields and sustainability
    2. investigating how Aboriginal people recognise relationships in ecosystems by burning to promote new growth, attract animals and afford easier hunting and food gathering
    3. describing the impact of plant cloning techniques (asexual production) in agriculture such as horticulture, fruit production and vineyards
    4. investigating the role of science in the development of technology important to the economies and communities of the Asia–Pacific regions, for example car manufacture, earthquake prediction and electronic optics
  3. People use understanding and skills from across the disciplines of science in their occupations (ACSHE227)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising the role of knowledge of the environment and ecosystems in a number of occupations
    2. considering how engineers improve energy efficiency of a range of processes
    3. recognising the role of knowledge of cells and cell divisions in the area of disease treatment and control
    4. investigating how scientists have created new materials such as synthetic fibres, heat-resistant plastics and pharmaceuticals

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS139)
    Elaborations
    1. considering whether investigation using available resources is possible when identifying questions or problems to investigate
    2. recognising that the solution of some questions and problems requires consideration of social, cultural, economic or moral aspects rather than or as well as scientific investigation
    3. using information and knowledge from their own investigations and secondary sources to predict the expected results from an investigation
Planning and conducting
  1. Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS140)
    Elaborations
    1. working collaboratively to decide how to best approach an investigation
    2. identifying any ethical considerations that may apply to the investigation
    3. taking into consideration all aspects of fair testing, available equipment and safe investigation when planning investigations
  2. In fair tests, measure and control variables, and select equipment to collect data with accuracy appropriate to the task (ACSIS141)
    Elaborations
    1. using specialised equipment to increase the accuracy of measurement within an investigation
    2. identifying and explaining the differences between controlled, dependent and independent variables
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS144)
    Elaborations
    1. describing measures of central tendency and identifying outliers for quantitative data
    2. explaining the strengths and limitations of representations such as physical models, diagrams and simulations in terms of the attributes of systems included or not included
  2. Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS145)
    Elaborations
    1. constructing tables, graphs, keys and models to represent relationships and trends in collected data
    2. drawing conclusions based on a range of evidence including primary and secondary sources
Evaluating
  1. Reflect on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identify improvements to the method (ACSIS146)
    Elaborations
    1. suggesting improvements to investigation methods that would improve the accuracy of the data recorded
    2. discussing investigation methods with others to share ideas about the quality of the inquiry process
  2. Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims (ACSIS234)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the scientific evidence available to evaluate claims
    2. deciding whether or not to accept claims based on scientific evidence
    3. identifying where science has been used to make claims relating to products and practices
Communicating
  1. Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)
    Elaborations
    1. using digital technologies to construct a range of text types to present science ideas
    2. Selecting and using appropriate language and representations to communcate science ideas within a specified text type and for a specified audience

Level 8 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 8, students investigate different forms of energy and explain how energy transfers and transformations cause change in simple systems. They use the particle model to predict, compare and explain the physical and chemical properties and behaviours of substances. They describe and apply techniques to separate pure substances from mixtures. They provide evidence for observed chemical changes in terms of colour change, heat change, gas production and precipitate formation. They use equations to describe simple chemical reactions. They analyse the relationship between structure and function at cell, organ and body system levels. They use dichotomous keys to identify and classify living things. They explain how living organisms can be classified into major taxonomic groups based on observable similarities and differences. They predict the effect of environmental changes on feeding relationships. They distinguish between different types of simple machines and predict, represent and analyse the effects of unbalanced forces, including Earth’s gravity, on motion.  They compare processes of rock formation, including the time scales involved, and analyse how the sustainable...

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Level 8 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 9

Level 9 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and the Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level band. In their planning, schools and teachers refer to the expectations outlined in the Achievement Standards and also to the content of the Science Understanding strand for the relevant level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the...

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Level 9 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment (ACSSU175)
    Elaborations
    1. describing how the requirements for life (for example oxygen, nutrients, water and removal of waste) are provided through the coordinated function of body systems such as the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous and excretory systems
    2. explaining how body systems work together to maintain a functioning body using models, flow diagrams or simulations
    3. identifying responses using nervous and endocrine systems
    4. investigating the response of the body to changes as a result of the presence of micro-organisms
    5. investigating the effects on humans of exposure to electromagnetic radiations such as X-rays and microwaves
  2. Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring interactions between organisms such as predator/prey, parasites, competitors, pollinators and disease
    2. examining factors that affect population sizes such as seasonal changes, destruction of habitats, introduced species
    3. considering how energy flows into and out of an ecosystem via the pathways of food webs, and how it must be replaced to maintain the sustainability of the system
    4. investigating how ecosystems change as a result of events such as bushfires, drought and flooding
Chemical sciences
  1. All matter is made of atoms which are composed of protons, neutrons and electrons; natural radioactivity arises from the decay of nuclei in atoms (ACSSU177)
    Elaborations
    1. describing and modelling the structure of atoms in terms of the nucleus, protons, neutrons and electrons
    2. comparing the mass and charge of protons, neutrons and electrons
    3. describing in simple terms how alpha and beta particles and gamma radiation are released from unstable atoms
  2. Chemical reactions involve rearranging atoms to form new substances; during a chemical reaction mass is not created or destroyed (ACSSU178)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying reactants and products in chemical reactions
    2. modelling chemical reactions in terms of rearrangement of atoms
    3. describing observed reactions using word equations
    4. considering the role of energy in chemical reactions
    5. recognising that the conservation of mass in a chemical reaction can be demonstrated by simple chemical equations
  3. Chemical reactions, including combustion and the reactions of acids, are important in both non-living and living systems and involve energy transfer (ACSSU179)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating reactions of acids with metals, bases, and carbonates
    2. investigating a range of different reactions to classify them as exothermic or endothermic
    3. recognising the role of oxygen in combustion reactions and comparing combustion with other oxidation reactions
    4. comparing respiration and photosynthesis and their role in biological processes
    5. describing how the products of combustion reactions affect the environment
Earth and space sciences
  1. The theory of plate tectonics explains global patterns of geological activity and continental movement (ACSSU180)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising the major plates on a world map
    2. modelling sea-floor spreading
    3. relating the occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic activity to constructive and destructive plate boundaries
    4. considering the role of heat energy and convection currents in the movement of tectonic plates
    5. relating the extreme age and stability of a large part of the Australian continent to its plate tectonic history
Physical sciences
  1. Energy transfer through different mediums can be explained using wave and particle models (ACSSU182)
    Elaborations
    1. exploring how and why the movement of energy varies according to the medium through which it is transferred
    2. discussing the wave and particle models and how they are useful for understanding aspects of phenomena
    3. investigating the transfer of heat in terms of convection, conduction and radiation, and identifying situations in which each occurs
    4. understanding the processes underlying convection and conduction in terms of the particle model
    5. investigating factors that affect the transfer of energy through an electric circuit
    6. exploring the properties of waves, and situations where energy is transferred in the form of waves, such as sound and light

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating the historical development of models of the structure of the atom
    2. investigating how the theory of plate tectonics developed, based on evidence from sea-floor spreading and occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic activity
    3. considering how ideas about disease transmission have changed from medieval time to the present as knowledge has developed
    4. investigating the work of scientists such as Rutherford, Pierre and Marie Curie on radioactivity and subatomic particles
    5. investigating how models can be used to predict the changes in populations due to environmental changes, such as the impact of flooding or fire on rabbit or kangaroo populations
  2. Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (ACSHE158)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how common properties of electromagnetic radiation relate to its uses, such as radar, medicine, mobile phone communications and microwave cooking
    2. investigating technologies involved in the mapping of continental movement
    3. considering how the development of imaging technologies have improved our understanding of the functions and interactions of body systems
Use and influence of science
  1. People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE160)
    Elaborations
    1. using knowledge of science to test claims made in advertising or expressed in the media
    2. describing how science is used in the media to explain a natural event or justify actions
    3. evaluating claims relating to products such as electrical devices, fuels, indigestion tablets
    4. considering the impacts of human activity on an ecosystem from a range of different perspectives
  2. Advances in science and emerging sciences and technologies can significantly affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE161)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how technologies using electromagnetic radiation are used in medicine, such as in the detection and treatment of cancer
    2. investigating the use of nanotechnology in medicine, such as the delivery of pharmaceuticals
    3. considering the impact of technological advances developed in Australia, such as the cochlear implant and bionic eye
    4. considering how communication methods are influenced by new mobile technologies that rely on electromagnetic radiation
    5. recognising aspects of science, engineering and technology within careers such as medicine, medical technology, telecommunications, biomechanical engineering, pharmacy and physiology
  3. The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE228)
    Elaborations
    1. considering how technologies have been developed to meet the increasing needs for mobile communication
    2. investigating how scientific and technological advances have been applied to minimising pollution from industry
    3. considering how choices related to the use of fuels are influenced by environmental considerations
    4. investigating the work of Australian scientists such as Fiona Wood and Marie Stoner on artificial skin
    5. considering safe sound levels for humans and implications in the workplace and leisure activities
    6. investigating contemporary science issues related to living in a Pacific country located near plate boundaries, for example Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164)
    Elaborations
    1. using internet research to identify problems that can be investigated
    2. evaluating information from secondary sources as part of the research process
    3. revising and refining research questions to target specific information and data collection or finding a solution to the specific problem identified
    4. developing ideas from students own or others' investigations and experiences to investigate further
Planning and conducting
  1. Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS165)
    Elaborations
    1. explaining the choice of variables to be controlled, changed and measured in an investigation
    2. identifying the potential hazards of chemicals or biological materials used in experimental investigations
    3. ensuring that any investigation involving or impacting on animals is justified, humane and considerate of each animal's needs
    4. using modelling and simulations, including using digital technology to investigate situations and events
    5. combining research using primary and secondary sources with students' own experimental investigation
    6. considering how investigation methods and equipment may influence the reliablity of collected data
  2. Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to systematically and accurately collect and record data (ACSIS166)
    Elaborations
    1. using probes and data loggers to record information
    2. applying specific skills for the use of scientific instruments
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS169)
    Elaborations
    1. using spreadsheets to present data in tables and graphical forms and to carry out mathematical analyses on data
    2. describing sample properties (such as mean, median, range, large gaps visible on a graph) to predict characteristics of the larger population
    3. designing and constructing appropriate graphs to represent data and analysing graphs for trends and patterns
  2. Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170)
    Elaborations
    1. comparing conclusions with earlier predictions and reviewing scientific understanding where appropriate
    2. suggesting more than one possible explanation of the data presented
Evaluating
  1. Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS171)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying gaps or weaknesses in conclusions (their own or those of others)
    2. identifying alternative explanations that are also consistent with the evidence
  2. Critically analyse the validity of information in secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS172)
    Elaborations
    1. discussing what is meant by 'validity' and how we can evaluate the validity of information in secondary sources
    2. researching the methods used by scientists in studies reported in the media
    3. describing how scientific arguments are used to make decisions regarding personal and community issues
Communicating
  1. Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS174)
    Elaborations
    1. presenting results and ideas using formal experimental reports, oral presentations, slide shows, poster presentations and contributing to group discussions
    2. using secondary sources as well as students’ own findings to help explain a scientific concept
    3. using the internet to facilitate collaboration in joint projects and discussions

Level 9 Achievement Standard

At Level 9, the student is working towards the Level 10 standard.

Level 9 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

Level 10

Level 10 Description

The Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour strands are described across a two-level 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 level to ensure that these two strands are addressed over the two-level period. The three strands of the curriculum...

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Level 10 Content Descriptions

Science Understanding

Biological sciences
  1. The transmission of heritable characteristics from one generation to the next involves DNA and genes (ACSSU184)
    Elaborations
    1. describing the role of DNA as the blueprint for controlling the characteristics of organisms
    2. using models and diagrams to represent the relationship between DNA, genes and chromosomes
    3. recognising that genetic information passed on to offspring is from both parents by meiosis and fertilisation
    4. representing patterns of inheritance of a simple dominant/recessive characteristic through generations of a family
    5. predicting simple ratios of offspring genotypes and phenotypes in crosses involving dominant/recessive gene pairs or in genes that are sex-linked
    6. describing mutations as changes in DNA or chromosomes and outlining the factors that contribute to causing mutations
  2. The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185)
    Elaborations
    1. outlining processes involved in natural selection including variation, isolation and selection
    2. describing biodiversity as a function of evolution
    3. investigating changes caused by natural selection in a particular population as a result of a specified selection pressure such as artificial selection in breeding for desired characteristics
    4. relating genetic characteristics to survival and reproductive rates
    5. evaluating and interpreting evidence for evolution, including the fossil record, chemical and anatomical similarities, and geographical distribution of species
Chemical sciences
  1. The atomic structure and properties of elements are used to organise them in the Periodic Table (ACSSU186)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that elements in the same group of the periodic table have similar properties
    2. describing the structure of atoms in terms of electron shells
    3. explaining how the electronic structure of an atom determines its position in the periodic table and its properties
    4. investigating the chemical activity of metals
  2. Different types of chemical reactions are used to produce a range of products and can occur at different rates (ACSSU187)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how chemistry can be used to produce a range of useful substances such as fuels, metals and pharmaceuticals
    2. predicting the products of different types of simple chemical reactions
    3. using word or symbol equations to represent chemical reactions
    4. investigating the effect of a range of factors, such as temperature and catalysts, on the rate of chemical reactions
Earth and space sciences
  1. The universe contains features including galaxies, stars and solar systems and the Big Bang theory can be used to explain the origin of the universe (ACSSU188)
    Elaborations
    1. identifying the evidence supporting the Big Bang theory, such as Edwin Hubble’s observations and the detection of microwave radiation
    2. recognising that the age of the universe can be derived using knowledge of the Big Bang theory
    3. describing how the evolution of the universe, including the formation of galaxies and stars, has continued since the Big Bang
  2. Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating how human activity affects global systems
    2. modelling a cycle, such as the water, carbon, nitrogen or phosphorus cycle within the biosphere
    3. explaining the causes and effects of the greenhouse effect
    4. investigating the effect of climate change on sea levels and biodiversity
    5. considering the long-term effects of loss of biodiversity
    6. investigating currently occurring changes to permafrost and sea ice and the impacts of these changes
    7. examining the factors that drive the deep ocean currents, their role in regulating global climate, and their effects on marine life
Physical sciences
  1. Energy conservation in a system can be explained by describing energy transfers and transformations (ACSSU190)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that the Law of Conservation of Energy explains that total energy is maintained in energy transfer and transformation
    2. recognising that in energy transfer and transformation, a variety of processes can occur, so that the usable energy is reduced and the system is not 100% efficient
    3. comparing energy changes in interactions such as car crashes, pendulums, lifting and dropping
    4. using models to describe how energy is transferred and transformed within systems
  2. The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics (ACSSU229)
    Elaborations
    1. gathering data to analyse everyday motions produced by forces, such as measurements of distance and time, speed, force, mass and acceleration
    2. recognising that a stationary object, or a moving object with constant motion, has balanced forces acting on it
    3. using Newton’s Second Law to predict how a force affects the movement of an object
    4. recognising and applying Newton’s Third Law to describe the effect of interactions between two objects

Science as a Human Endeavour

Nature and development of science
  1. Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE191)
    Elaborations
    1. considering the role of different sources of evidence including biochemical, anatomical and fossil evidence for evolution by natural selection
    2. investigating the development of the Watson and Crick double helix model for the structure of DNA
    3. investigating the history and impact of developments in genetic knowledge
    4. investigating the development of the periodic table and how this was dependent on experimental evidence at the time
    5. considering the role of science in identifying and explaining the causes of climate change
    6. recognising that Australian scientists such as Brian Schmidt and Penny Sackett are involved in the exploration and study of the universe
  2. Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries (ACSHE192)
    Elaborations
    1. recognising that the development of fast computers has made possible the analysis of DNA sequencing, radio astronomy signals and other data
    2. considering how computer modelling has improved knowledge and predictability of phenomena such as climate change and atmospheric pollution
    3. researching examples of major international scientific projects, for example the Large Hadron Collider and the International Space Station
    4. considering how information technology can be applied to different areas of science such as bioinformatics and the Square Kilometre Array
Use and influence of science
  1. People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE194)
    Elaborations
    1. describing how science is used in the media to explain a natural event or justify people’s actions
    2. using knowledge of science to test claims made in advertising
    3. considering the scientific knowledge used in discussions relating to climate change
    4. evaluating claims relating to environmental footprints
  2. Advances in science and emerging sciences and technologies can significantly affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities (ACSHE195)
    Elaborations
    1. predicting future applications of aspects of nanotechnology on people’s lives
    2. recognising that the study of the universe and the exploration of space involve teams of specialists from the different branches of science, engineering and technology
    3. considering how the computing requirements in many areas of modern science depend on people working in the area of information technology
    4. investigating the applications of gene technologies such as gene therapy and genetic engineering
    5. recognising that scientific developments in areas such as sustainable transport and low-emissions electrical generation require people working in a range of fields of science, engineering and technology
  3. The values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research (ACSHE230)
    Elaborations
    1. investigating technologies associated with the reduction of carbon pollution, such as carbon capture
    2. considering innovative energy transfer devices, including those used in transport and communication
    3. investigating the use and control of CFCs based on scientific studies of atmospheric ozone
    4. recognising that financial backing from governments or commercial organisations is required for scientific developments and that this can determine what research is carried out
    5. considering the use of genetic testing for decisions such as genetic counselling, embryo selection, identification of carriers of genetic mutations and the use of this information for personal use or by organisation such as insurance companies or medical facilities

Science Inquiry Skills

Questioning and predicting
  1. Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS198)
    Elaborations
    1. developing hypotheses based on well-developed models and theories

    2. using internet research to identify problems that can be investigated
    3. formulating questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom or field with available resources
    4. developing ideas from students own or others' investigations and experiences to investigate further
    5. evaluating information from secondary sources as part of the research process
Planning and conducting
  1. Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS199)
    Elaborations
    1. combining research using primary and secondary sources with a student's own experimental investigation
    2. using modelling and simulations, including using digital technology, to investigate situations and events
    3. Deciding how much data are needed to produce reliable measurements
    4. considering possible confounding variables or effects and ensuring these are controlled
    5. identifying the potential hazards of chemicals or biological materials used in experimental investigations
    6. identifying safety risks and impacts on animal welfare and ensuring these are effectively managed within the investigation
  2. Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to systematically and accurately collect and record data (ACSIS200)
    Elaborations
    1. selecting and using probes and data loggers to record information
    2. applying specific skills for the use of scientific instruments
    3. identifying where human error can influence the reliability of data
Processing and analysing data and information
  1. Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS203)
    Elaborations
    1. using spreadsheets to present data in tables and graphical forms and to carry out mathematical analyses on data
    2. describing sample properties (such as mean, median, range, large gaps visible on a graph) to predict characteristics of the larger population, acknowledging uncertainties and the effects of outliers
    3. exploring relationships between variables using spreadsheets, databases, tables, charts, graphs and statistics
  2. Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS204)
    Elaborations
    1. using primary or secondary scientific evidence to support or refute a conclusion
    2. constructing a scientific argument showing how their evidence supports their claim
Evaluating
  1. Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS205)
    Elaborations
    1. evaluating the strength of a conclusion that can be inferred from a particular data set
    2. distinguishing between random and systematic errors and how these can affect investigation results
    3. identifying alternative explanations that are also consistent with the evidence
  2. Critically analyse the validity of information in secondary sources and evaluate the approaches used to solve problems (ACSIS206)
    Elaborations
    1. researching the methods used by scientists in studies reported in the media
    2. judging the validity of science-related media reports and how these reports might be interpreted by the public
    3. describing how scientific arguments, as well as ethical, economic and social arguments, are used to make decisions regarding personal and community issues
Communicating
  1. Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations (ACSIS208)
    Elaborations
    1. using the internet to facilitate collaboration in joint projects and discussions
    2. constructing evidence based arguments and engaging in debate about scientific ideas
    3. presenting results and ideas using formal experimental reports, oral presentations, slide shows, poster presentations and contributing to group discussions
    4. using a range of representations, including mathematical and symbolic forms, to communicate science ideas

Level 10 Achievement Standard

By the end of Level 10, students explain the concept of energy conservation and model energy transfer and transformation within systems. They analyse how biological systems function and respond to external changes with reference to interdependencies, energy transfers and flows of matter. They evaluate the evidence for scientific theories that explain the origin of the universe and the diversity of life on Earth. They explain the role of DNA and genes in cell division and genetic inheritance. They apply geological timescales to elaborate their explanations of both natural selection and evolution. They explain how similarities in the chemical behaviour of elements and their compounds and their atomic structures are represented in the way the periodic table has been constructed. They compare the properties of a range of elements representative of the major groups and periods in the periodic table. They use atomic symbols and balanced chemical equations to summarise chemical reactions, including neutralisation and combustion. They explain natural radioactivity in terms of atoms and energy change. They explain how different factors influence the rate of reactions. They explain global...

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Level 10 Work Samples

This version of AusVELS does not include the work sample portfolios for Science as published on ACARA’s Australian Curriculum site. ACARA is working to review and enhance the current AC work sample portfolios. When the revised Science work sample portfolios become available, the VCAA will include them on the AusVELS site.

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