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NSW Syllabuses

Science K–10 (inc. Science and Technology K–6) - Stage 4 - Knowledge and Understanding Chemical World


A student:

  • SC4-16CW

    describes the observed properties and behaviour of matter, using scientific models and theories about the motion and arrangement of particles

  • SC4-17CW

    explains how scientific understanding of, and discoveries about, the properties of elements, compounds and mixtures relate to their uses in everyday life

Related Life Skills outcomes: SCLS-22CW, SCLS-23CW


  • CW1 The properties of the different states of matter can be explained in terms of the motion and arrangement of particles. (ACSSU151)
  • Students:
  • a. describe the behaviour of matter in terms of particles that are continuously moving and interacting
  • b. relate an increase or decrease in the amount of heat energy possessed by particles to changes in particle movement
  • c. use a simple particle model to predict the effect of adding or removing heat on different states of matter
  • d. relate changes in the physical properties of matter to heat energy and particle movement that occur during observations of evaporation, condensation, boiling, melting and freezing
  • e. explain density in terms of a simple particle model
  • f. identify the benefits and limitations of using models to explain the properties of solids, liquids and gases CCT
  • CW2 Scientific knowledge and developments in technology have changed our understanding of the structure and properties of matter.
  • Students:
  • a. describe the properties and uses of some common elements, including metals and non-metals
  • b. identify how our understanding of the structure and properties of elements has changed as a result of some technological devices
  • c. identify some examples of common compounds
  • d. explain why internationally recognised symbols are used for common elements
  • e. describe at a particle level the difference between elements, compounds and mixtures, including the type and arrangement of particles (ACSSU152)
  • f. investigate how people in different cultures in the past have applied their knowledge of the properties of elements and compounds to their use in everyday life, eg utensils, weapons and tools LIUA
  • CW3 Mixtures, including solutions, contain a combination of pure substances that can be separated using a range of techniques. (ACSSU113)
  • Students:
  • a. describe the importance of water as a solvent in daily life, industries and the environment
  • b. describe aqueous mixtures in terms of solute, solvent and solution
  • c. relate a range of techniques used to separate the components of some common mixtures to the physical principles involved in each process, including filtration, decantation, evaporation, crystallisation, chromatography and distillation CCT
  • d. investigate the application of a physical separation technique used in everyday situations or industrial processes, eg water filtering, sorting waste materials, extracting pigments or oils from plants, separating blood products or cleaning up oil spills SE
  • e. research how people in different occupations use understanding and skills from across the disciplines of Science in carrying out separation techniques CCTWE
  • CW4 In a chemical change, new substances are formed, which may have specific properties related to their uses in everyday life.
  • Students:
  • a. identify when a chemical change is taking place by observing a change in temperature, the appearance of new substances or the disappearance of an original substance
  • b. demonstrate that a chemical change involves substances reacting to form new substances (ACSSU225)
  • c. investigate some examples of chemical change that occur in everyday life, eg photosynthesis, respiration and chemical weathering
  • d. compare physical and chemical changes in terms of the arrangement of particles and reversibility of the process
  • e. propose reasons why society should support scientific research, eg in the development of new pharmaceuticals and polymers EUCCTPSCSE
  • f. describe, using examples, how science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science, eg making or obtaining new substances from Earth's spheres (ACSHE223, ACSHE226) CCT
  • Additional content
    Additional content is not prerequisite knowledge for following stages, but may be used to broaden and deepen students' skills, knowledge and understanding in Stage 4.
  • Students:
  • research how a knowledge of physical properties of natural materials is used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in everyday life, eg tools, weapons, utensils, shelter, housing or bush medicine AHC
  • discuss the cost and benefits to society of the development of new materials
  • investigate the nature of mineral crystals
  • outline how some historical developments have contributed to evidence that has advanced our understanding of the particle model of matter
  • investigate how the chemical properties of a substance will affect its use, eg flammability and ability to corrode
  • explain the changes in pressure of gases in terms of increases or decreases in the frequency of particle collisions