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NSW Syllabuses


An investigation is a scientific process to answer a question, explore an idea or solve a problem. Investigations include activities such as planning a course of action, collecting data, processing and analysing data, reaching a conclusion and communicating. Investigations may include the collection of primary and/or secondary-sourced data or information.

Practical investigations involve the collection of primary data. They may include:

  • undertaking laboratory investigations, including fair tests and controlled experiments
  • undertaking fieldwork and surveys
  • constructing models.

Secondary-sourced investigations can include:

  • researching by using a variety of media
  • extracting and reorganising secondary-sourced information in the form of flow charts, tables, graphs, diagrams, prose, keys, spreadsheets and databases
  • using models to inform understanding.


Schools have a legal obligation in relation to safety. Teachers will need to ensure that they comply with relevant legislation as well as system and school requirements in relation to safety when implementing their programs. This includes legislation and guidelines relating to Work Health and Safety, and the handling and storage of chemical and dangerous goods.

Animal Research

Schools have a legal responsibility in relation to the welfare of animals. The keeping of animals and all practical activities involving animals must comply with relevant guidelines or legislation.