Science and Technology New Syllabus NSW 2017

The Science and Technology syllabus is changing for next year. Here is my wrap up of the major changes.

The syllabus changes for next year in Science are numerous. Honestly, they are a great change not only for the better but they are also full of features that should have been implemented a lot of time ago. This is how the syllabus splits as of next year for NSW.

Overall

Science

Technology

Science and Technology are now separate. No longer do they stay hand in hand which builds for greater understanding not only in the science sector but also the technology sector.

Skills breakdown

Design and Production

Working Scientifically

This is a fundamental change in the way that NSW does Science. We now need to include design thinking, understanding, inquiry and production within the scope of our subjects. This is a huge leap from the previous thinking was just engaging students in Science. They now need to see a whole process throughout the life and in every single subject area of Science that we cover in the primary classroom. They are also required to use a working Scientifically methodology which aligns students to Scientific thinking.

Strands of Science

Digital Technologies

Earth and Space

Living World

Material World

Physical World

The strands really haven’t changed except that Digital Technologies is now a separate strand. What does change though is that the syllabus almost forces a pedagogical approach. The approach, therefore, is aligned with inquiry or project-based learning pedagogies.

What does this mean as a teacher?

Digital Technologies is bringing coding into the classroom. Yes, that’s right from the Kindergarten level coding will now be exposed to students as they will be required to understand the basic fundamentals of technology and coding by the time they reach year 8.

Changes to Skills – The pedagogy and methodology that teachers and students follow vary slightly from previous syllabuses. Below is a breakdown of the skills and what they actually mean.

Design and Production –

  • Identifying and defining – Identify the problem and define how they will solve it
  • Researching and Planning – Using research and planning to solve the problems – I personally see this as the time for workshops and specific learning input time for scientific information.
  • Producing and implementing – Students physically producing or making mockups, experimenting, and solving their problems through their inquiry.
  • Testing and Evaluating – Testing and evaluating their solution and seeing if it was successful.

Working Scientifically

  • Questioning and Predicting
  • Planning and Conducting investigations
  • Processing and Analysing Data
  • Communicating

When you analyse the new skills that students are required to do work very much hand in hand with each other. For example, Researching and Planning in the Design and Production stage will work well with the Planning and Conducting investigations in the Working Scientifically skill set.

21st Century Skills – These now integrate easier throughout the strands and units and many of them work closely together with the other skills in design and production and working scientifically.

Inquiry Questions – For me, this means that the Science syllabus has forced teachers into inquiry-based and project-based learning within the classroom. To be honest it serves a great guide to base your unit on. I.e. How can electricity be used in a product or system (ST3-8PW-ST)

Conclusion

I hope this has cleared up any confusion on the new Science and Technology syllabus coming out in NSW next year. Please feel free to comment on my blog here with any questions you may have. In 2018 I’ve now converted two units to this new syllabus, click here to see my blog post about the circuits unit.

I don’t know how to teach coding

Don’t fear. I will be writing up a guide soon on how to teach coding for all year and grade levels.

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