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NSW Syllabuses

Science Life Skills Stage 6 - Life Skills - Physical World Science Life Skills Physical World Science LS – Module 1: Forces and Motion


A student:

  • SCLS6-1

    poses questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation

  • SCLS6-2

    plans an investigation individually or collaboratively to obtain primary or secondary data and information

  • SCLS6-3

    participates in investigations individually or collaboratively to collect primary or secondary data and information

  • SCLS6-4

    collects and represents qualitative or quantitative data and information using media as appropriate

  • SCLS6-6

    uses strategies to solve scientific problems

  • SCLS6-8

    identifies how primary or secondary data is used in scientific investigations

  • SCLS6-9

    uses patterns and trends in data to make observations and draw conclusions

  • SCLS6-12

    investigates technologies used in science

Related Stage 6 outcomes INS11/12-1, INS11/12-2, INS11/12-3, INS11/12-4, INS11/12-6, INS11-8, INS11-9, INS12-13

Content Focus

Students engage in observations and practical investigations to recognise motion in everyday life. They explore types of forces and investigate how force can impact on motion.

Working Scientifically

In this module, students plan and conduct investigations to collect data and solve problems in relation to forces and motion.


  • Forces in Everyday Life

  • Inquiry question: How are forces evident in everyday contexts?
  • Students:
  • recognise a force as a push, pull, twist or tear
  • observe forces acting on objects in everyday contexts, for example:
  • a car starting and stopping
  • kicking a football
  • pinning a sign on a noticeboard
  • squeezing the water out of wet clothes
  • a magnet sticking to a fridge
  • explore a range of contact forces in everyday contexts, for example:
  • throwing a ball
  • writing on paper
  • typing on a device
  • explore a range of non-contact forces in everyday contexts, for example:
  • gravity
  • the movement of tides
  • using a magnetic closing device, eg the clasp of a bag, the cover for a mobile device
  • identify that forces make objects move or remain stationary we
  • Balanced and Unbalanced Forces

  • Inquiry question: What is the difference between balanced and unbalanced forces?
  • Students:
  • recognise balanced forces as forces of equal magnitude acting in opposite directions on an object, for example:
  • a book on a table
  • a boat floating on water
  • a box hanging from a rope
  • observe balanced forces to recognise that objects do not move when balanced forces are applied
  • construct models of balanced forces in everyday contexts cctict
  • recognise unbalanced forces as forces of unequal size acting on an object
  • observe unbalanced forces to recognise that objects move when unbalanced forces are applied, for example:
  • a lift going up
  • pulling a book across a table
  • a vehicle moving
  • recognise weight as a force
  • conduct an investigation to collect data on how weight affects the balance of forces enacting on an object in the water CCTN
  • investigate everyday problems involving unbalanced forces, for example: CCT
  • a car crash
  • demonstrate safe practices when investigating balanced and unbalanced forces WE
  • Oppositional Force

  • Inquiry question: How is friction created in a range of environments?
  • Students:
  • observe what happens when two objects or surfaces rub against each other
  • recognise that the resistance created by objects moving against each other is known as friction
  • recognise friction as an oppositional force
  • observe a range of examples of friction in everyday contexts, for example:
  • skiing on water or snow
  • sliding a glass across a table
  • the rope and pulley on a set of blinds
  • climbing a vertical rock wall without slipping
  • roughness/smoothness of an object’s surface
  • speed of an object
  • size of an object
  • amount of pressure on an object
  • surface adhesion
  • identify risks and respond appropriately when investigating factors that impact on friction WE
  • Forces that Attract and Repel

  • Inquiry question: What is gravitational force?
  • Students:
  • recognise gravitational force as a force of attraction between objects
  • recognise that every object has gravitational pull
  • investigate how mass affects gravitational force CCT
  • explore the effects on the Earth of the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon, for example: DD
  • the Sun’s gravitational pull keeps the Earth orbiting the Sun
  • the Moon’s gravity affects the rise and fall of the tides on the Earth
  • recognise that people are kept on the ground as a result of gravity pulling us downwards and the floor pushing us upwards CCT
  • Inquiry question: How does magnetic force attract and repel objects?
  • Students:
  • observe the magnetic pull of a magnet on iron or metal
  • recognise that magnetic force is not visible
  • observe magnetic forces as either attracting or repelling objects
  • participate in an investigation to observe the magnetic field of a magnet
  • explore the cause and reason for the magnetic field around the Earth CCT
  • History of Discoveries of Physical Forces

  • Inquiry question: How have discoveries throughout history improved human understanding of physical forces?
  • Students:
  • explore a historical discovery that led to an understanding of physical forces, for example: IU
  • Archimedes’s principle
  • Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation
  • Mechanical Forces

  • Inquiry question: How have mechanical forces contributed to a more efficient society?
  • Students:
  • investigate forces acting when simple machines are used, for example:
  • pulleys
  • levers
  • gears
  • wheels and axes
  • explore an example of the use of simple machines in ancient societies, for example: AHCIU
  • use of levers and ramps by the Egyptians to construct monuments
  • the design of a woomera by Aboriginal Peoples to act as a lever for throwing spears
  • investigate how the development and use of simple machines has led to more efficient work practices WE