The following overview of each year level is a work in progress, informed by teacher input and by trialing activities in the classroom. It is presented here to generate discussion as formative feedback.
During the first year of primary school it is important that children develop their natural sense of curiosity by exploring the world around them. Accordingly, the entry point is to share observations and answer questions about data which they have collected. Everyday data such as the contents of children’s lunches are recorded in tables as an introduction to data collection. In Term 2 the students use observations and reasoning to collect data and describe changes, such as the daily measurement of temperature to describe the weather. The second half of the year has more of a science focus using a traditional topic, as students explore the characteristics, needs and uses of living things. The final unit paves the way for designing as students identify observable properties of materials and explore how these properties affect their use. The names of these foundational units are:
(F.3) Living things
Year 1 starts with a focus on mathematics and making graphs as an extension of data collection as students reason about representations of data to describe and interpret the results. Additional mathematical understanding is explored as students recognise, represent and classify familiar two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects, to develop their spatial awareness and geometric reasoning. Some physics content is then introduced through everyday phenomena where students explore the sources and behaviour of light and sound energy and plan their own experiments to investigate phenomena. Year 1 concludes with a design focus as students generate and record design ideas through describing, drawing and modelling. The names of the Year 1 units are:
(1.3) Light and sound
Year 2 starts with students exploring number patterns as an introduction to algebra and algorithms. The focus for the second term incorporates problem solving in the context of farming as students explore how agricultural processes are used to grow plants and raise animals. The next unit introduces brainstorming for the implementation of design projects where students use materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity. The final unit introduces the concept of variables as students identify questions of interest and define variables to guide their investigations and presentations of relevant data. The names of the Year 2 units are:
(2.1) Algebra and algorithms
(2.3) Construction zone
(2.4) Data and variables
Year 3 commences with a science focus as students explore the historical significance of the heliocentric model and describe it in relation to night and day and seasonal changes. The idea of orbiting bodies is also applied to global communications and satellites. Classification constitutes the next focus as students compare features of living and non-living things to explore classification systems and devise new ones. Geometric knowledge is then applied to basic coding challenges where students engage in coding to interact with virtual and tangible objects. The final unit reinforces inquiry skills and working scientifically while they plan and conduct scientific investigations to answer questions using representations of data. The names of the Year 3 units are:
(3.4) Questioning and predicting
Students in Year 4 identify, explain and demonstrate a variety of contact and non-contact forces and learn about the concept of mechanical advantage. Students’ prior knowledge about materials is then combined with their latest understanding about forces to explore common modes of transportation to develop an integrated understanding of forces, materials, energy and design factors. Ideation is one of the ultimate goals of STEM education so this concept is further developed in Term 3 with a focus on communication as students select and use materials, tools and equipment to develop ethical solutions for societal needs and opportunities. Logistics rounds out Year 4 building on prior knowledge about graphs and variables as students design their own enterprises and explore how the associated logistics and data can be represented in different ways. The names of the Year 4 units are:
Year 5 begins with an integrated approach to farming and agriculture as students explain how food and fibre are produced sustainably in managed environments for health and nutrition. Prior knowledge about the mechanical advantages and affordances of simple machines enables children to explore manufacturing in a design context to solve problems through the safe and creative use of materials, tools and equipment. Visual communication and logic are explored in the next unit as students choose relevant variables to plan and conduct fair tests and communicate results using flowcharts. The SILO 4.3 unit on ideation is further extended into entrepreneurship and innovation as students use the design cycle to develop prototypes for inventions using appropriate technical terms and graphical representation techniques. The names of the Year 5 units are:
(5.1) Food and fibre
Energy is investigated as the first topic for Year 6 as students build electric circuits and explore the various sources and applications of energy. A focus on René Descartes is then introduced as students explore the Cartesian coordinate system linking geometry with algebra. The electrical knowledge from Term 1 is further extended into robotics in Term 3 as students use coding and electric sensors to interact with electronic devices. The focus for Term 4 is nanotechnology and the logic behind the metric system, which combines mathematics and science as students convert between metric units of length, mass and capacity and make relevant connections to the properties of water. The names of the Year 6 units are:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.