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NSW Syllabuses

Content strands K–6

Science and Technology are linked through problem solving by the skills and processes of scientific inquiry and technological design.


The strands Working Scientifically and Working Technologically describe the skills that students should be able to demonstrate by the end each stage. The content reflects the skills development continuum across Early Stage 1 to Stage 3.

The processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically are at the centre of teaching and learning. Students develop skills in using the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically through active engagement in a range of contextualised hands-on scientific investigations and design projects.

Working Scientifically (WS)

Students identify and ask questions about their world. They plan and conduct a range of first-hand investigations in which they use and apply the skills and processes of Working Scientifically. Through applying the processes of Working Scientifically, students use scientific inquiry to develop their knowledge of science and understanding about the Natural Environment and the Made Environment. They evaluate the processes and the quality of findings, evidence and conclusions. In their investigations students will often draw on processes and design ideas developed through Working Technologically.

Working Technologically (WT)

Students recognise problems and respond to opportunities, needs and wants in their world for which possible solutions can be designed and produced. They explore and define design tasks, generate and develop ideas, produce solutions and evaluate their processes and solutions. In developing design solutions, students will often use the findings from their investigations.

Knowledge and understanding

The skills and the knowledge and understanding outcomes and content are interdependent. Students develop their scientific and technological understanding about the Natural Environment and the Made Environment through applying the processes of Working Scientifically and Working Technologically.

Natural Environment (NE)

Students explore and learn about science as a unique way of answering questions and finding out about phenomena in the natural world, and the importance of scientific evidence in decision making and problem solving. Students identify that many different people from different cultures make contributions to developments in scientific knowledge. They recognise the significance and influence of science and technology in their world.

Made Environment (ME)

Provides areas of focus for students to learn about technologies and their uses relevant to the personal, commercial and global areas of human activity. Students recognise that technology and understanding of design processes enable people to manage, interpret, shape and alter their environment to improve their quality of life.

In Stages 1 to 3, the Natural Environment and the Made Environment strands are divided into the following substrands:

  • Physical World (PW) – students develop their understanding of heat energy, electricity, light and sound. They learn that forces affect the movement of objects and they discover how people can use the knowledge about the transfer of heat energy and transformation of electricity in their everyday life.
  • Earth and Space (ES) – students develop their understanding of the Earth's dynamic structure and its place in space. They learn that the Earth is part of the solar system and is subject to change as a result of natural processes and human activity. They begin to appreciate that there is a growing need to develop an understanding of the Earth's characteristics and how people interact with their environment.
  • Living World (LW) – students develop their understanding of living things. They investigate the diversity of living things, including plants, animals and micro-organisms, as well as their interdependence and interactions with each other and their environment. They explore their life cycles and structural features and how these aid survival.
  • Material World (MW) – students develop their understanding of the properties of materials, the way they behave and the changes they undergo as well as how these properties influence the way materials are used by people in objects, products, places and spaces.
  • Built Environments (BE) – students develop their understanding about places and spaces, and their uses. People create, construct and modify their surroundings for a wide range of purposes. The environments people build are an important part of our communities and culture.
  • Information (I) – students develop their understanding about the design and use of information for the purpose of conveying messages. Information and communication systems are fundamental to human activity. People create, communicate and access information using highly developed media and information technologies.
  • Products (P) – students develop their understanding of products that include objects, systems and artefacts, and the nature of materials and resources used to produce them. Products range from those that are individually crafted through to those that are produced commercially or in large quantities.


In developing and delivering teaching programs teachers should be aware of, and adopt, relevant guidelines and directives of their education authorities and/or schools. Teaching programs should recognise and reflect relevant State and Commonwealth legislation, regulations and standards, including Work Health and Safety Standards, Chemical Safety in Schools and Animal Welfare guidelines. Teachers need to be aware of activities that may require notification, certification, permission, permits and licences.

Teachers should be aware that students may have food allergies that can result in anaphylaxis, a severe and sometimes sudden allergic reaction which is potentially life-threatening and always requires an emergency response. This is an important consideration in selecting the foods to be handled and consumed.