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The Living Smart Schools Good to Grow program is specifically designed to capture the interest of primary school aged students, to reveal what they know and, just as importantly, what they think they know about the everyday things that make up the four key components of the year 2 Science Understanding from the Australian Curriculum:

1.    Biological Sciences
2.    Chemical Sciences
3.    Earth and Space Sciences
4.    Physical Sciences

Living Smart Good to Grow integrates Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour components into the activities.
Through an integration of science and literacy, students are engaged and guided toward an inquiry based learning approach that aids their understanding and assists them to form scientific methods to answer their questions. Further excitement is generated through the use of local species and habitats that children can recognize, bringing two of the 3 cross curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, and Sustainability, right here into our own backyards!

AIMS of The Australian Curriculum for Science:
(Reproduced from

  • an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live
  • an understanding of the vision that science provides of the nature of living things, of the Earth and its place in the cosmos, and of the physical and chemical processes that explain the behaviour of all material things
  • an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning; planning and conducting experiments and investigations based on ethical principles; collecting and analysing data; evaluating results; and drawing critical, evidence-based conclusions
  • an ability to communicate scientific understanding and findings to a range of audiences, to justify ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims
  • an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account ethical and social implications of decisions
  • an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
  • a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge.

SOSE Learning and Assessment Focus: By the End of Year 3²

Students use their fascination with people and places to make sense of their world. They investigate societies and environments and develop an understanding of their relationships with other people and places. They identify values in everyday situations and local contexts. They see the place of social and environmental inquiry in people’s work and community lives.
Students gain awareness of the history and diversity of lifestyles of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people throughout Australia.

Students use the essential processes of Ways of working to develop and demonstrate their Knowledge and understanding. They develop the ability to use inquiry processes to build understandings and make connections to their world. They communicate and share ideas using texts and terminology associated with social and environmental studies, and they individually and collaboratively use strategies to respond to community issues. They reflect on their learning and on their values in everyday situations.

Students use tools and technologies, including information and communication technologies (ICTs). They explore the use of ICTs to inquire, create and communicate within social and environmental contexts.

Students demonstrate evidence of their learning over time in relation to the following assessable elements:
  • knowledge and understanding
  • investigating
  • communicating
  • participating
  • reflecting

Essential Learning: Knowledge and Understanding²

Changes and continuities are identified through events, people’s contributions and the stories of local communities.
  • Aboriginal people’s and Torres Strait Islander people’s continuous association with the land and the sea can be seen in stories and events that pre-date European colonisation
  • Contributions of individuals and groups to communities can be identified by symbols and stories

Place and space

Local natural, social and built environments are defined by specific features and can be sustained by certain activities.
  • Local environments are distinguished by natural features, places of importance to particular groups, and public spaces
  • Resources and environments can be used, conserved and protected by valuing and applying sustainable practices

Culture and identity

Local communities have different groups with shared values and common interests.
  • Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islander peoples are Australia’s Indigenous peoples and their influences are evident and valued in Australian communities
Stories about significant events and individuals reflect cultural diversity in local and other Australian communities
  • Citizenship involves belonging to groups and communities and valuing different contributions and behaviours such as caring for other members

Political and economic systems

Communities have systems to make rules and laws, govern, and manage the production and consumption of goods
  • Australians are connected to other people and places by shared interests, including travel, exchanging goods and services, and environmental issues
  • People and resources are involved in the production and consumption of familiar goods and services

Ways of working

Students are able to:
  • pose questions for investigations
  • plan simple investigations based on questions
  • identify and collect information and evidence from narratives and familiar sources
  • make judgments about the usefulness of the information and evidence
  • draw conclusions and give explanations, using information and evidence
  • communicate social and environmental ideas, using texts and terminology to match audience and purpose
  • share ideas, and plan and enact responses to group or community issues
  • participate in group decision making to achieve goals
  • reflect on and identify values associated with fairness, protecting the environment and behaving peacefully
  • reflect on learning to identify new understandings.

ACARA Content Description: Year 2 Science¹

The content descriptions at each year level set out the knowledge, understanding, skills and processes that teachers are expected to teach and children are expected to learn. They do not prescribe approaches to teaching.

The Australian Curriculum: Science has three interrelated strands: Science Understanding, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills.

Together, the three strands of the science curriculum provide students with understanding, knowledge and skills through which they can develop a scientific view of the world. Students are challenged to explore science, its concepts, nature and uses through clearly described inquiry processes.

The content in the Science Understanding strand is described by year level. The content in the Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills strands is described in two-year bands.

Each strand is organised by sub-strands that provide more detail about the content.

Know and Do

How will I find out what the students know?
Each module has introductory activities designed to expose what students know, or think they know, about the relevant content.

Formative Assessment

How will I monitor student understanding along the way?
Activities have practical responses such as written or verbal that reveal student understanding along the way.

Summative Assessment

How will I provide concrete evidence of student learning?
Each module has activity sheets for formal assessments, at least one practical component and opportunities for recording information and results in individual science journals.

Safety first!

Central to working scientifically is learning how to use materials and equipment in a safe manner that considers self, others, and the environment. In this context environment refers both to immediate surroundings, and to the extended areas of landscape and waterways throughout the activities and cleanup. In order to identify potential safety issues, teachers must review each lesson or activity prior to engaging students and be aware of relevant individual school policy.

Some additional things to consider:
  • Classroom layout and suitability for particular activities
  • Student awareness – discuss safe practice such as listening to instructions, cleaning up spills or notifying staff immediately if breakages occur
  • Individual student ability, allergies, or other health issues

Tools for Comprehension

Using props in the classroom can stimulate learning, connect ideas and aid comprehension. For props that are adaptable, enhance sensory perception, encourage interaction, sharing and storytelling, consider the following:

Ideas for the classroom

Set up a permanent place for a classroom NATURE display table:
Integrate discovery into every day nature table discussion. These are opportunities for every child to participate in the story telling of their collection.  Stories often come from class and family discussions which are wonderful “teachable moments” that support comprehension. 

The Nature Table will:
  • Promote an understanding of diversity as the weird and wonderful begin to take significant places in view of the class.  
  • Encourage children’s curiosity to flourish which will develop “finding out” skills (research), language (include scientific), speaking and presentation skills, respecting the speaker, taking turns, listening, sharing stories, thinking of questions to ask, respecting knowledge, who knows what,  connecting family stories.  
  • Create opportunity for students to engage in tangible experiences – bringing nature indoors for every child
  • Incorporate a sense of anticipation and excitement in to learning– “what has been added this week?!”

Listening in on group learning sessions is an opportunity to prepare students to recognize their still sitting skills before they practice in the outdoors.  Click on this link to access the resource sheet.

Music to their ears

It is not always practical to start the day outside, nor to spend time in quiet contemplation in the school grounds, however, children may still benefit from listening to recorded sounds of nature. Schedule a regular session (daily or weekly) where children can sit quietly, closing their eyes and tuning in to a CD or downloaded sounds of birds, frogs, rainforest sounds etc. By tuning in to the recording, students may become focused, relaxed and better prepared for activities that follow on from these sessions. Send a note home to families about this activity to extend learning into out of school hours. By tuning into recorded sounds, students will become more aware of the background sounds of nature in our everyday lives. Send a note home to families about this activity so children have the opportunity to extend it out of the classroom.

Research Project

This activity can be tailored to your individual resources and learning objectives. Would your students prefer to make a booklet? A poster? A power point presentation? Use the fact sheets provided in each module for information about local species and, for inspiration; check out Greening Australia’s “research project” or the puppet play activity below.

Puppet Play

These familiar birds may be considered to be annoying by some. By looking in to their lives to see why they do what they do, we can promote tolerance and understanding of the need for some animals to adapt to the way humans have modified their natural environments in order to survive.

For more detailed information about practicing observation, please click here.

Observe, research, record and discuss biodiversity in your school grounds, local natural reserves, parks, gardens, backyards, beaches and coastline. Get to know familiar habitats and species of plants and animals all around you and encourage children to take a closer look at their favourite places by conducting a biodiversity audit of their school grounds.

Ideas for out of the classroom

Observation Practice

Using the outdoors to practice the discipline of stilling the mind allows all physical senses to open, receive and retain information. Still sitting is a skill featuring qualities of focus and attentiveness, memory retention, observation, developing thoughtfulness.   There are many positives in the urbanized world as it becomes busier with increasing distractions.  Children are growing up in increasingly dynamic and stimulating intellectual environments.  To balance ‘busyness’, the discipline of stilling the mind develops an enduring ability to focus at will, to centre attention and deeply engage in an experience to the benefit of the growing intellect. Teaching your class the art of sitting still prior to engaging them in out of the classroom learning may help them gain the maximum benefit from their activities. Alternatively, breaking up the lesson by integrating outside learning may aid comprehension and provide opportunities for reflection.

Extend this activity to out of classroom hours by informing families about the benefits of observation. An introductory note is available here (insert link).

The Living Smart “Good to Grow” resource has a range of outside activities specifically for primary school children that is incorporated in to individual modules. To skip straight to the content, please click on this link.


² Queensland Studies Authority