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What do my students need to learn?

Begin by identifying what your students already know and introduce scientific knowledge, skills, and attitudes in contexts which are relevant and familiar to the students. 

Nautilus image from NZ Curriculum

To do this you need to:

  • use strategies to find out what they know
  • identify the big ideas of science that your students need to understand
  • know how to build that understanding.

These resources support planning and assessment for primary and secondary learners.

The New Zealand Curriculum sets the direction for science learning and provides a framework for your local curriculum.

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The Assessment Resource Banks provide support for formative assessment.  

Use the resource bank items to find out what your students already know. Then, plan their next learning steps.

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This series of 64 books is for primary school teachers in years 1-6.

The books provide a structured approach for teaching of science concepts. They build students' understanding from simple to more complex scientific ideas, relating them to students' existing understandings of the world around them. 

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The National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) gives a broad picture of student achievement in New Zealand. It does this by assessing representative samples of New Zealand school students in years 4 and 8 at successive points in time. Reports provide information on what students know and can do in specific learning areas, how they are achieving against the New Zealand Curriculum, progress made by students between year levels, and differences between subgroups. 

NMSSA – Science

Downloadable practical supports for teachers:

  • Science toolkit for teachers of Year 7 and 8 students
  • Science guide for teachers
  • What children are learning in Science: A guide for whānau

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The NCEA standards alignment science is for teachers working with students at years 11–13. Download assessment resources for internally assessed Level 1, 2, and 3 registered achievement standards, including resources for:

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Access science subject resources for internal and external standards:

Scholarships are offered in Earth and Space Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Agriculture and Horticulture. 

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The science exemplars are annotated pieces of students' work from levels 1 to 5. Each exemplar highlights students' learning needs and suggests next steps. Use exemplars to that let students reflect on their own work.

Note: these exemplars relate to the curriculum levels and achievement objectives described in the previous New Zealand Curriculum, published in 1994. These, and the progressions of learning described, may not correspond with those described in the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum. Some links and videos within these exemplars may no longer work.

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