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NSW Syllabuses

Science K–10 (inc. Science and Technology K–6) - Life Skills Chemical World

Chemical World: Properties of Substances


A student:

  • SCLS-22CW

    recognises the properties of common substances

  • SCLS-23CW

    explores how common chemicals affect everyday life

Related Stage 4/5 outcomes: SC4-16CW, SC5-16CW, SC4-17CW


  • Solids, liquids and gases have different properties.
  • Students:
  • recognise common materials in their surroundings, eg cup, water, table or air
  • identify matter existing as either a solid (ice, desk), a liquid (milk, soft drink, water) or a gas (air from a fan, air in balloons, bubbles in water)
  • recognise that matter can change its state, eg ice cream melts to become a liquid, boiled water becomes gas (steam) when it is heated and breath turns to liquid (condensation) in cold temperatures
  • investigate the effect of heat on the states of matter, eg evaporation, melting, boiling, condensation and freezing N
  • recognise some properties of materials, eg strength, flexibility, elasticity or hardness
  • recognise things made from metal, eg coins, taps, saucepans, pipes or window frames
  • describe some of the properties of metals, eg shiny appearance, silver or gold in colour, heats quickly, changes shape without breaking, most are solids and good for conducting electricity
  • identify and categorise familiar objects according to whether they are metals or non-metals
  • Mixtures can be separated using a range of techniques.
  • Students:
  • recognise common mixtures that are naturally occurring and those that can be made, eg sea water, muddy water, cordial, tea containing milk and sugar or rice cooking in water
  • recognise some substances that can be dissolved, eg sugar, liquid dishwashing detergent, oil in petrol for motor fuel or carbon dioxide gas in water for soft drinks
  • observe the effects of dissolving a substance into another substance, eg sugar in water
  • participate in an investigation to identify substances that can be dissolved and substances that cannot be dissolved
  • identify different ways of separating mixtures, eg draining rice with a sieve, filtering coffee or evaporating water from salt water
  • explore reasons for separating mixtures, eg water purification
  • separate the components of some common mixtures through techniques including filtration, decantation, evaporation, crystallisation (dissolve sugar in water and leave in the sun to evaporate into sugar crystals) and chromatography (place coloured lollies in water and observe the food colouring separate using filter paper) WE
  • Common chemicals have different uses.
  • Students:
  • recognise common foods that contain acids, eg lemons and oranges, yoghurt and vinegar
  • recognise the uses of a variety of natural materials in different cultures, eg the use of common plants as dyes for clothing and shelter by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples AHC
  • recognise uses of metals in familiar contexts, eg cutlery, cooking utensils, cars, furniture, window frames or door handles
  • describe the properties of materials in relation to a useful function, eg elastic bands are flexible so that they fit a variety of objects
  • describe the properties of metals in relation to a useful function, eg metal as a good conductor to make simple circuits or metal as a poor insulator to keep drinks warm
  • describe common uses for a variety of substances, eg styrofoam cups or coolers
  • investigate the best substance to use for a particular purpose, eg the best material to insulate a coffee cup CCT
  • identify common chemicals in the home, eg vinegar, baking soda, salt, sugar, soap, nail polish remover, bleach, motor oil or paint WE
  • identify and associate common household chemicals with their uses, eg detergents for removing grease or bleach for sanitising
  • identify common chemical safety/hazard symbols WE
  • recognise and note the language used to describe how hazardous a product is, eg 'danger', 'warning' or 'caution' WEPSC
  • describe the need for safe use and storage of household chemicals, including strategies to minimise harm SE
  • describe the effects of an identified household chemical that is not used or stored safely
  • explore and/or participate in the safe use and storage of household chemicals PSC

Chemical World: Chemical Change


A student:

  • SCLS-24CW

    investigates a variety of chemical changes

Related Stage 4/5 outcome: SC5-17CW


  • When a chemical change occurs, new substances may be formed.
  • Students:
  • observe some types of chemical changes, eg baking a cake, making bread, lighting a sparkler or gas bubbles forming in water
  • recognise that some substances change when heated, eg burning magnesium
  • recognise that in a chemical change there may be the appearance of a new substance, eg rust forms on iron materials or the disappearance of an original substance, eg acid is added to a piece of chalk
  • investigate the requirements for rusting, including oxygen and water from the air
  • identify ways to prevent rusting, eg painting or plating
  • describe some ways to remove rust from metals, including using sandpaper or soaking in lemon juice
  • There are different types of chemical reactions that can be used in our everyday life.
  • Combustion
  • Students:
  • identify common things that burn, eg paper, cardboard, wood and leaves
  • recognise that materials change when they burn, eg paper turns to ash
  • identify that burning things produce heat and light
  • investigate the requirements for combustion, eg fuel, heat and oxygen (air)
  • identify safety issues relating to combustion, eg prevention and storage procedures PSC
  • recognise highly combustible materials, eg petrol, paint in spray cans or nail polish
  • Reactions of acids
  • Students:
  • distinguish between acids and alkalis by observing the colour change when adding red cabbage juice to a variety of household chemicals, eg vinegar, floor or window cleaner, soap, lemon juice, milk, shampoo, lemonade or soda water
  • investigate the reaction of acids, eg the effect of adding vinegar to baking soda