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Science learning objectives

Learning in science contributes to pupils continuing to build an understanding of the world around them. This learning allows all pupils, now and in the future, to contribute to the decisions which are shaping our world and the world of future generations.


In the Junior School , this subject is Science will be taught through a combination of:

  • a specifically Science-based topic (as part of the Topic Programme)
  • a unit where aspects of scientific study are integrated into the topic
  • classroom Science Table and News opportunities
  • charts and displays
  • displays in the Discovery Centre
  • homework challenges

.In the Prep Schools, the Science curriculum is delivered through the classroom timetable and increasing use of specialist teachers. The curriculum is divided into several major areas of study. Each year level will be taught a selection of topics selected from each area and linked by the development of common skills and attitudes. This selection will ensure that each area is covered and that a balanced programme is maintained at each year level appropriate to the maturity of the pupils.

Areas of study

Topics are selected from each of these areas: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Environmental Studies, Astronomy


The following are the general learning objectives in each of the areas of study:


In the study of topics in Biology, pupils will:

  • gain an understanding of the order and pattern in the diversity of living organisms, including the special characteristics of New Zealand plants and animals.
  • determine different ways of classifying organisms.
  • investigate and understand relationships between structure and function in living organisms.
  • Investigate and understand how organisms feed, move, grow, reproduce and sense their environment.
  • Investigate local ecosystems and understand the interdependence of living organisms and their relationship with their physical environment.


In their study of topics in Physics, pupils will:

  • gain an understanding of the nature of light, heat, sound, motion, electricity and magnetism from practical investigation and the consideration of scientific models.
  • establish scientific concepts of energy and investigate ways in which energy changes are put to use.
  • explore and understand trends, relationships and patterns involving physical phenomena.


In their study of topics in Chemistry, pupils will:

  • investigate the nature and properties of substances, identifying patterns in these properties.
  • apply their knowledge of the properties of substances to the safe and appropriate use of these.
  • Investigate reactions, and applications of these in chemical processes.


In their study of topics in Geology, pupils will:

  • investigate the planet Earth and gain an understanding of the processes which shape it.
  • investigate the geological history of planet Earth and understand that our planet has a long past and has undergone many changes.

Environmental Studies

In their study of topics in Environmental Studies, pupils will:

  • investigate how the decisions and activities of humans change planet Earth's physical environment.
  • develop a responsibility for the guardianship of planet Earth and it's resources.


In their study of topics in Astronomy, pupils will:

  • investigate and understand relationships between planet Earth and its solar system, galaxy and the universe.
  • investigate the technology that has been used to explore space, and consider the technology required to colonise other planets.

See also Science programme Year 4 - 6 and Science programme Year 7 & 8