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Version date: 06 May 2013
Key changes: Version 2
Subject facilitator email: [email protected]



What is this guide about?

This teaching and learning guide describes: what constitutes valued knowledge in science at curriculum levels 6, 7, and 8; what good teaching and learning in science looks like; how science forms part of the wider The New Zealand Curriculum.

The guide also introduces teachers to pūtaiao, the science curriculum for Māori-medium learning.

Why do teachers need this guide?

This guide provides comprehensive elaboration of the science learning area statement and achievement objectives found in The New Zealand Curriculum.

The New Zealand Curriculum requires teachers to focus on the Nature of Science as the overarching, unifying strand in the science curriculum. This guide will help them design senior programmes that centre on this strand.

Note that this guide refers to the four contextual strands of the curriculum (living world, material world, physical world, and planet earth and beyond) by their more familiar names of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth and space science, except where the curriculum is directly sourced (as with the achievement objectives).

Chemistry, physics, biology and earth and space science provide the contexts for students to develop scientific knowledge and learn about how scientists work. Detailed elaboration of these contextual strands can be found in this guide.

Following the alignment of NCEA standards to The New Zealand Curriculum and the inclusion of Nature of Science in the new science standards, teachers have new opportunities to design teaching and learning programmes that will engage their students in science learning.

Who needs the guide?

This teaching and learning guide will be useful for:

  • experienced science teachers when aligning their programmes to The New Zealand Curriculum
  • teachers new to teaching senior secondary science
  • teachers new to teaching science in New Zealand
  • parents looking to discover what learning in science is about
  • students wanting to know why they should study science
  • curriculum leaders when reviewing the place of science in their senior programmes.

Who wrote the guide?

The writers of this guide were leading teachers selected for their subject expertise, their innovative practice, and their understanding of how to focus teaching and learning on the Nature of Science strand

Science curriculum guide content

Use the links below to access the sections of this guide. To navigate through the guide's web pages, select from the section and sub-section menu in the left-hand navigation.

Teaching and learning guides are produced in HTML. They have been designed to be viewed online.

To print individual pages, select the 'Print' button at the top right of each page.

Last updated August 14, 2017