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NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority

7–10Science 7–10 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation in 2026
Expand for detailed implementation advice

Overview

Syllabus overview

Organisation of Science 7–10

Figure 1 shows the organisation of the Science 7–10 Syllabus. The organisation of the syllabus illustrates the important role Working scientifically plays across all areas of Science and the connection to scientific knowledge and concepts. Content has been included in focus areas which represent the interdisciplinary nature of science.

A diagram showing the focus areas for Science 7–10. Detail in text below.
Figure 1: The organisation of focus areas for Science 7–10

Image long description: The 16 focus areas of Science 7–10 are split into 2 sets of columns for Stage 4 and Stage 5. The focus areas for Stage 4 include: Observing the Universe; Forces; Cells and classification; Solutions and mixtures; Living systems; Periodic table and atomic structure; Change; and Data science 1. The focus areas for Stage 5 include: Energy; Disease; Materials; Environmental sustainability; Genetics and evolutionary change; Reactions; Waves and motion; and Data science 2. A rectangle at the bottom of the image, extending across Stage 4 and 5, states that a depth study is to be conducted from one or more focus areas. All these items are enveloped by a box labelled Working scientifically.

Course requirements

The mandatory curriculum requirements for eligibility for the award of the Record of School Achievement (RoSA) include that students:

  • study the Board-developed Science syllabus substantially in each of Years 7–10
  • complete at least 400 hours of Science study by the end of Year 10.

Course numbers:

  • Science: TBA
  • Science Life Skills: TBA

Exclusions: Students may not access Life Skills outcomes and other outcomes from the same subject.

Requirements for investigations

Scientific investigations include both practical investigations and secondary-source investigations. At least 50% of the course time should be allocated to scientific investigations, including time allocated to investigations during depth studies.

Practical investigations

These include:

  • undertaking laboratory experiments, including fair tests and controlled experiments that involve the use of appropriate digital technologies
  • undertaking fieldwork
  • models and simulations.

Some students with disability may require adjustments and/or additional support to engage in practical investigations.

Secondary-source investigations

These include:

  • locating and accessing a wide range of secondary data and information
  • analysing, using and reorganising secondary data and information.

Depth studies

A depth study is any type of scientific investigation that provides students with an opportunity to pursue their interests and deepen their scientific understanding of one or more focus area. Depth studies may be completed individually or collaboratively. Students are encouraged to reflect on their learning by developing a portfolio of work to demonstrate their Working scientifically processes.

Students are required to undertake at least one depth study every year across Stage 4 and Stage 5.

Guidelines for depth studies are below:

  • 5 hours of class time is recommended per year
  • at least one practical depth study per stage
  • at least 2 Working scientifically processes should be covered.

A depth study may include:

  • a practical investigation or series of practical investigations
  • a secondary-source investigation or series of secondary-source investigations
  • presentations, research assignments or fieldwork reports.

Safety, risk management and animal welfare

Schools are required to ensure they follow safety and risk management, including the welfare of animals, in delivering the Science 7–10 Syllabus.

Life Skills outcomes and content

Students with disability can access the syllabus outcomes and content in a range of ways. Decisions regarding curriculum options should be made in the context of collaborative curriculum planning.

Some students with intellectual disability may find the Years 7–10 Life Skills outcomes and content the most appropriate option to follow in Stage 4 and/or Stage 5. Before determining whether a student is eligible to undertake a course based on Life Skills outcomes and content, consideration should be given to other ways of assisting the student to engage with the Stage 4 and/or Stage 5 outcomes, or prior stage outcomes if appropriate. This assistance may include a range of adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment activities.

Life Skills outcomes cannot be taught in combination with other outcomes from the same subject. Teachers select specific Life Skills outcomes to teach based on the needs, strengths, goals, interests and prior learning of each student. Students are required to demonstrate achievement of one or more Life Skills outcomes.

Balance of content

The amount of content associated with a given outcome is not necessarily indicative of the amount of time spent engaging with the respective outcome. Teachers use formative and summative assessment to determine instructional priorities and the time needed for students to demonstrate expected outcomes.

The knowledge, understanding and skills described in the outcomes and content of each focus area provide a basis for students to successfully progress to the next stage of learning. Focus areas may be reordered if required in line with instructional priorities and learner needs.

Content groups describe in more detail how the outcomes are to be interpreted and demonstrated, and the intended learning appropriate for the stage. In considering the intended learning, teachers make decisions about the sequence and emphasis to be given to particular groups of content based on the needs and abilities of their students.

The ‘in context’ focus areas are designed to provide students with opportunities to apply their learning in context. This content group could provide the basis for depth studies.

Data Book

A Data Book (PDF, 1.67MB, 20 pages) has been published to support the implementation of the Science 7–10 Syllabus.

Data Book guide

A Data Book guide (PDF, 571.32KB, 3 pages) has been published to support teachers in using the Science 7–10 Data Book.

Working scientifically

The Working scientifically processes are an integral component of the Science 7–10 Syllabus and are embedded in outcomes and content.

The Working scientifically processes present in the syllabus are:

  • observing
  • questioning and predicting
  • planning investigations
  • conducting investigations
  • processing data and information
  • analysing data and information
  • problem-solving
  • communicating.

Students learn to work scientifically by using these processes in an interconnected way through regular participation in a range of practical experiences.

Through working scientifically, students extend their understanding of the nature of science and how scientific ideas, explanations and concepts develop through the processes of scientific inquiry. They understand the unique interdisciplinary nature of science and the importance of scientific evidence in making informed decisions.

Teachers may choose to include additional Working scientifically processes as appropriate.