Science 7–10 (2023) Syllabus – information for school leaders

The Science 7–10 (2023) Syllabus replaces content in the Science 7–10 (2018) Syllabus. Planning and preparation will commence in 2024 and be implemented from 2026 onwards.

The NSW Science 7–10 Syllabus (2023) recognises the important role Working scientifically plays across all areas of science and the connection to scientific knowledge and concepts.

What you need to know

There are a range of models for implementation. The department is recommending a staggered implementation to ensure continuity of learning for Years 7 to 10. It is recommended for the Science 7-10 (2023) syllabus that:

  • in 2024 and 2025, teachers engage with the syllabus, and plan and prepare for implementation of the curriculum
  • in 2026, implementation commences in schools for Year 7 and Year 9
  • in 2027, implementation commences in schools for Year 8 and Year 10.

Teachers may require professional learning to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of specific elements such as new content and depth studies.

The Science 7–10 syllabus includes:

  • A revised structure that emphasises science's interdisciplinary nature, including the nature and practice of science. The focus areas Data Science 1 and Data Science 2 are new content for Science 7–10. Some teachers may need professional learning to teach and assess this content.
  • All content and skills outcomes must be taught, other mandatory elements of the Science 7–10 syllabus include depth studies and some scientific investigations.
  • The Student Research Projects in Science 7–10 have been replaced with depth studies. In the new course, students must undertake at least one depth study every year across Stage 4 and Stage 5. A depth study is any scientific investigation that allows students to pursue their interests and deepen their scientific understanding of one or more focus areas.
  • A requirement that at least 50% of course time should be allocated to scientific investigations. These include both practical investigations and secondary source investigations.
  • A Data Book (PDF 1.65 MB) published by NESA to support the implementation of the Science 7–10 Syllabus.
  • A Data Book guide (PDF 571.32 KB) published by NESA to support teachers using the Science 7–10 Data Book.
The image shows the overview of the Science 7-10 Syllabus structure. The 16 focus areas of the syllabus are split into 2 sets of columns for Stage 4 and Stage 5. The image shows the overview of the Science 7-10 Syllabus structure. The 16 focus areas of the syllabus are split into 2 sets of columns for Stage 4 and Stage 5.
Image: The image shows the overview of the Science 7-10 Syllabus structure.

This overview image is from the Science 7–10 (2023) Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, (2022)

Prior to implementing the Science 7–10 (2023) Syllabus, leaders will need to consider the following:

  • supporting teachers’ understanding of the changes to the syllabus structure and familiarisation with the digital curriculum platform to ensure the syllabus is taught as intended.
  • building teachers' understanding of scientific investigations, new content areas, scientific literacy, and depth studies.
  • resource and budget implications including adequate release days for professional learning and collaboration and purchasing appropriate resources and equipment (for example, digital data collection sensors).
  • complexities for out-of-field staff teaching Science 7–10 and ensuring adequate support and professional learning where relevant.

The Science 7–10 (2023) Syllabus is based on evidence summarised in the bibliography published by NESA.

Science 7–10 © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, [2023].

  • What evidence is there that staff have understood syllabus changes and familiarised themselves with the new syllabus?
  • What school practices and systems exist to support teacher professional learning?
  • How are these evaluated to maximise support for teachers?
  • How has the school engaged with department resources and support for curriculum implementation, for example, Curriculum Reform Communities, curriculum resources, professional learning, and DEL network initiatives?
  • How will the current skills and understanding of staff enable collaborative curriculum implementation?
  • What explicit systems are in place to foster collaboration?
  • What structures exist for tailored professional support for all staff to strengthen curriculum implementation?
  • What else might be required for this syllabus?
  • How are expert teachers identified and used to build their colleagues' teaching knowledge and capacity?
  • What resources are required to implement the syllabus and meet planning, programming, assessing, and reporting requirements?
  • What enablers and barriers to successful curriculum implementation have been identified?
  • What plans are in place to overcome the barriers and leverage the enablers?
  • How will the new syllabus affect classroom practice?
  • What mechanisms are in place to support and evaluate this practice?

Further support

See the NSW Department of Education Curriculum Reform webpage for updates and additional information.

Science Statewide Staffroom (on MS Teams): The primary means of disseminating information from the Science Curriculum Team. Complete this form to join the Science statewide staffroom.

Science Curriculum Team: Science7-12@det.nsw.edu.au

Category:

  • Teaching and learning

Topics:

  • Classroom teachers
  • Curriculum and Reform
  • Educational Standards
  • Teaching and learning
  • Web page

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
  • Educational Standards
Return to top of page Back to top