The Australian Curriculum Science English Language Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The authors of the Nelson iScience series have embraced the Australian Curriculum - Science and produced a truly twenty-first century science resource for students. Nelson iScience provides a resource that fully integrates the overarching ideas, general capabilities, cross-curriculum priorities and three strands of the Australian Curriculum - Science into the fascinating story of science.

Nelson iScience combines higher-order thinking tools and ICT to promote innovate and creative problem-solving and approaches to learning science. It builds on the collaborative nature of learning by enabling students to learn with and from one another by sharing their work, ideas and thoughts through the vast capabilities of ICT. Nelson iScience has adopted a differentiated practical approach to the learning of science, providing many opportunities for hands-on and minds-on activities. Many of these activities challenge students, assisting them in organising their thoughts and understandings. Many others require students to unpack information and ideas and repackage or manipulate them to show their understanding. It provides each student with many and diverse opportunities to excel.

Whether students continue with the study of science or not, they are sure to learn lifelong and valuable lessons and skills that are transferrable from the Nelson iScience series.

Nelson iScience 10 Teacher Edition has been designed to support teachers with the implementation of Australian Curriculum - Science at the Year 10 level using Nelson iScience 10.

Key features of this book include:

teaching plans for each unit to assist you in programming

advice on how to set up and manage a class wiki

advice on how to set up and manage a blog

mappings to the Australian Curriculum content descriptions, overarching ideas, general capabilities, cross-curriculum priorities and links to other learning areas

replication of pages from the student book with wraparound text written specifically to assist the teacher with extra information and advice

answers to questions appearing within the student book

ideas on assessment of the culminating assessment tasks.

For more information on these features see How to use this book on page v.

Neil Champion would like to thank his wife Gaye for her patience during the gestation of this work. Xenia Pappas would like to thank her husband Chris and her colleagues Brema Samuel and Jenn Alabaster at Korowa Anglican Girls' School.

Nelson iScience 10 is written to meet the requirements of the ACARA Australian Curriculum - Science.

Nelson iScience 10 Teacher Edition is the companion resource to the Nelson iScience 10 student

book. The Australian Curriculum - Science outlines the structure and requirements of the course.

To see the latest version of the curriculum, visit Click

'Curriculum' in the menu view the full curriculum.

The Australian Curriculum - Science details the requirements of the curriculum. Presented below is a brief summary of its structure. For full details visit the Australian Curriculum website. ACARA updates the online curriculum, so always check that you are reading the latest version.

The content of the course is organised by three interrelated strands. The curriculum requires that these three strands be taught in an integrated way. Each strand is broken down into substrands:

Each substrand is described by a number of content descriptions. Each content description has several elaborations attached to it. The elaborations provide direction, but do not make up part of the curriculum. Teachers are free to interpret the content description and use their own examples.

Several themes or ideas flow through science to provide unity across and between year levels. The

Australian Curriculum refers to these as overarching ideas, listing six that provide a scaffold to the content:

Current students studying science are the citizens of the future. As such, the Australian Curriculum outlines knowledge, skills, behaviours and character that will enable students to function and prosper in the environment of the future. These are called the general capabilities. There are seven general capabilities common across all Australian Curriculum courses. They are:

There are three cross-curriculum priorities that are embedded in the Australian Curriculum across all courses. The nature of the learning area will determine the focus of each priority.

Skills and knowledge learnt in science can be used in other areas; conversely, skills and knowledge learnt in other areas can be used in science. The Australian Curriculum - Science mandates that links are provided from science to other learning areas - particularly Maths, History and English.

Nelson iScience 10 integrates all the requirements of the Australian Curriculum - Science into the story of science as presented in each unit. The Nelson iScience 10 Teacher Edition assists you in unravelling these requirements, as described on page v.

Detailed mapping tables are provided for each of the requirements of the curriculum, on pages viii-xiv. The unit wraparound text boxes, headed 'Mapping to the Australian Curriculum', flag where each requirement is met in the actual pages of the student book.

The mapped requirements of the Australian Curriculum - Science comprise:

Helpful additional information is provided throughout each unit to assist you in class organisation, by suggesting extra activities or providing you with extra information or resources. Look for 'More information' text boxes.

Advice is given for activities throughout the units. Look for 'Advice' boxes, for ideas on how to best organise the class to complete an activity, hints, safety tips and other things to watch out for. Weblink, video and web 2.0 advice is also provided, where applicable. Answers are provided for the 'What have you learnt?' activities and unit reviews in each unit, and for other activities where applicable, in 'Answers' text boxes.

The answers to selected activity sheets and connections on NelsonNet are also provided in the wraparounds. The culminating assessment task forms the major assessment for each unit. Extra information on the specific task is provided in the 'Culminating assessment task' text boxes that appear in each unit.

Activity sheets, connections, workspaces, unit tests and assessment rubrics for iScience are provided as fillable form-enabled or typewriter-enabled pdfs on NelsonNet. Fillable forms and typewriter-enabled pdfs allow students to complete, save and submit their work digitally. This promotes interactivity, reduces paper waste and allows students to build on ICT capabilities as part of the Australian Curriculum general capabilities.

Steps may vary depending on your operating system and browser, but in general, to save changes to a fillable form, you should follow the steps below.

1 Login to the NelsonNet website at

2 Launch the Nelson iScience 10 website from the dashboard. (Alternatively, you could skip Step 1, navigate directly to, and login from there.)

3 Navigate to the pdf file you wish to complete. Right-click on the file link and select 'Save link as …', 'Save target as …' or 'Download linked file as …'

4 Save your file in the chosen location on your hard drive.

5 From your hard drive, launch the file in Adobe Reader, Acrobat Pro, or in another pdf viewer program, such as PDFXChange viewer, which is a free download from

6 Complete the text boxes, check boxes and dropdown fillable fields.

7 Click 'File' and 'Save' to save any changes.

8 Instruct students to attach the saved file to an email, upload it to a shared network drive or upload it to a

A wiki is a simple-to-use online collaboration tool. Students can create content and upload it to the wiki to share with the rest of the class. Students can comment on each others' material. It is an ideal tool to meet the ACARA Australian Curriculum - ICT capability (general capabilities), which requires students to '…use ICT effectively and appropriately when investigating, creating and communicating ideas and information at school, at home, at work and in their communities … Communication technologies facilitate a collaborative approach among students that models the methods of contemporary science and offers opportunities for the communication and sharing of students' ideas and results both within and beyond the classroom' (© Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority 2012. This is an extract from the Australian Curriculum.)

You may already have a favourite collaboration tool that you would like to use, or your school's learning management system may provide you with a suitable tool. If not, wikispaces is ideal to use in a classroom as you can control who is invited to add material to the wiki and who can comment on that material. One person writes the initial text, and another person can comment on or change that text. All versions of the text are retained so changes can be tracked.

Wikispaces provides an ad free section where teachers can create educational wikis for their classes (Wikispaces for Educators).

Visit 'Wikispaces for Educators' ( to create your free class wiki.

You will need to select a username, password and email address. Your wiki name will be part of your wiki's URL, that is, if your wiki name is nelsoniscience10, then your URL will be Your wiki name must be 3-32 characters long.

Choose your level of permission carefully. If you choose Public, then everyone can view and edit your wiki. This is not recommended in a school situation. If you choose Protected, everyone can view your wiki but only invited members can edit it. If you choose Private, only invited members can view and edit your wiki. Private is recommended for a classroom situation.

A range of video tours are available to show you how to personalise and use your wiki, beginning with an introduction at Use the dropdown to view other videos, such as:

Once you have set up your wiki as you want, invite all the students in the selected group to join your wiki by going to the Manage Wiki page and clicking Invite People. Tell your students that they will receive an email inviting them to join the wiki. They are to accept this invitation. Once they have done this they will be a member of your wiki.

The first wiki task in Nelson iScience 10 appears on Page 15, Unit 1. Make sure that you create a new page on your wiki for this. Click on Pages and Files to create your new page. Give your page a title, such as 'Meiosis'. To add content to the page, click Edit.

In the first task, students are asked to create a wordle ( After creating their wordle, they will take a screenshot and then upload it to the class wiki.

Students will need to save the screenshot as a JPEG or PNG before uploading to the wiki. To do this they have to convert the screenshot into JPEG or PNG format, perhaps using Microsoft Paint or Zamzar (

To upload a file to your wiki, click on Edit, and then on File. By clicking on +&&Upload Files, you can search for the file you want to upload. Once you have chosen the file it should appear in the list on the screen.

Simply click on this file and click on +&&Upload Files.

Students could comment on the wordle as a homework task. To add a comment, students simply click on Edit and then on Comment. From there students type in their comments.

Remind students that as administrator of the wiki you can see who made, and when, each comment. You might like to discuss some rules for commenting on the wiki and being a good online citizen. You might like to mention the Grandma Rule: Only ever write things that you could say to the nicest of grandmas. This would fit in with the general capabilities: Ethical behaviour.

As administrator, you can manage the wiki in a number of ways. Through the Recent Changes tab on the left of the screen you can see who has made changes and when those changes were made. It also allows you to view the actual changes that were made.

If you would like a greater level of monitoring, you can do this through the Manage Wiki page. Here you can request to be sent an email every time a change is made to the wiki.

Either way, it is important for the students to understand that you can monitor what and when they make changes to the wiki. If any unsuitable material is added to the wiki you will need to act quickly to remove it, to find the student who added it and to deal with them appropriately.

Do not let one or two students spoil the enjoyment of using a class wiki. Set up the ground rules early, adhere to them and you should find that students will use the wiki responsibly. After all, this is the aim of the exercise.

For each subsequent task create a new page and give it a title that reflects the task. Set the page up appropriately for the students so they only have to add content.

When planning your pages on the wiki remember that a good wiki should summarise what has been completed in each unit. Students could use the wiki to revise for the unit test.

Throughout the Nelson iScience series we encourage you to create a class wiki (see page xx). In Nelson iScience 9 and Nelson iScience 10 we also encourage you to get your students to create their own personal blog. The students can then use the wiki to upload their creations and collaborate with other students (Australian Curriculum General capability: ICT capability) and they can use their blog to reflect on their learning.

A blog is an online personal diary, each entry on a blog is called a post. Blogs are chronological in their organisation, the newest post appears at the top, pushing the older posts down the page. The blog owner can choose how many posts are displayed on the front page of the blog at one time. All posts are kept just as in a paper diary.

Most blogging software will allow students to control who can see and comment on their blog and this is recommended for their iScience blog. In Nelson iScience 9 & 10 we recommend that only the teacher be able to view each student's blog. This way it is a communication only between the student and the teacher. It is more likely that the student will be open and honest in their posts. The teacher can use these posts to customise each student's learning to improve areas where the student is weak and reinforce and build on areas where the student is confident. The blog post might reveal misconceptions the students have and the teacher can address these based on the context in which they are written.

'Reflection is indicative of deep learning, and where teaching and learning activities such as reflection are missing…only surface learning can result.' (Biggs: 1999)

It is important to give students the space to reflect not only on what they are learning but also how they are learning. This gives them a chance to think about what they are doing well and areas that require improvement. Reflection can bring about improvement on the original. Reflection can help students to:

• better understand their strengths and weaknesses

• identify and question their values and beliefs

• acknowledge and challenge any assumptions on which their ideas or feelings are based

• recognise areas of bias

• identify areas for improvement

• identify learning tools that can best assist them to organise their learning.

Throughout Nelson iScience 9 and Nelson iScience 10 students are prompted to go to their blog and record their thoughts. This can be completed as part of their schoolwork or work at home.

Many students may find it difficult to reflect on their work to start with. Some useful questions to pose to the students to get them started are:

• Which parts did I find the most difficult?

• Which parts did I find to be easy?

• What have I learnt from doing this?

• How have I developed my skills?

• What did I enjoy?

• If I had the opportunity to do this again, how would I do it differently?

• Did I achieve what I set out to achieve? What did I do that enabled me to achieve what I set out to do?

What hindered my progress?

Did I use my time well? Why or why not? How was my time organised? What can I do to improve my time management?

• Am I proud of what I achieved/produced? What am I most proud of? What will I share with others?

Many students will not undertake or complete work that is not assessed and contributes towards their end of semester or year mark. They consider non-assessed work to be not important. If this is the case then go ahead and assess the use of their blog as a reflective space. A suggested rubric for assessment of the blog is shown below; feel free to adapt for your own purposes.

Excellent (4)

Good (3)

Needs improvement (2)

Poor (1)

Not shown (0)

Quality of reflection

Deeply reflective on topic and/or what they learnt from topic/activity.

Shows signs of deep reflection but not consistent across all posts.

Some reflection evident in some posts.

No reflection evident

Not shown.

Ideas for self improvement

Suggested several ideas for self improvement and has shown signs that these have been implemented

Suggested some ideas for self improvement and has shown signs that some of these have been implemented.

Suggested one or two ideas for self improvement and has shown signs that one of these have been implemented.

Suggested no ideas for self improvement

Not shown.

Use of ICT

Formatting of blog makes it interesting and easy to read. Many pieces of multimedia used.

Formatting of blog makes it interesting or easy to read. 2-3 pieces of multimedia used.

Formatting of blog needs work to make it interesting or easy to read. One piece of multimedia used.

Formatting of blog is poor. No multimedia is used.

Not shown.


All words spelled correctly; no grammatical errors

Few spelling and grammatical errors

Several spelling and grammatical errors

Many spelling and grammatical errors

Not shown.

Consistency in using a blog

All blogging activities completed.

60-80% of blogging activities completed.

40-60% of blogging activities completed.

Less than 40% of blogging activities completed.

Not shown.

A number of different blogging software is recommended and it is up to you which one you recommend to the students. Blogger ( and Wordpress ( are both free blogging sites and both provide tutorials and help on how to get started.

Students can make their blog their own space by customising it with templates, colours, fonts, layout and background. They can also upload photos to their blog and embed multimedia such as videos and podcasts.

The first blogging task in Nelson iScience 10 is on Page 2 where students are asked to create a blog for year 10 science and send the address of the blog to their teacher. Students are directed to add posts to this blog throughout Nelson iScience 10.