Introduction to the NSW Science Extension Stage 6 Draft Syllabus
The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) is developing a new Science Extension Stage 6 syllabus reflecting the Stronger HSC Standards reforms. The reforms are designed to help motivate and challenge students to achieve at their highest possible level and provide greater skills and career options.
The Science Extension course is designed to extend the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the new 2 unit Science disciplines and provide greater opportunities for students with an aptitude in the STEM disciplines. Further information about the NESA syllabus development process and Stronger HSC Standards reforms can be found on the NESA website.
Science Extension is a 1 Unit course studied in Year 12. It is structured to provide opportunities for high achieving students to engage with complex concepts and theories and to critically evaluate new ideas and discoveries through contemporary data collection and scientific research.
The draft syllabus is now available for consultation. It contains features that are consistent with Stage 6 syllabuses including:
Proposed course structure
The course comprises the study of four modules which support the writing of a Scientific Research Report
A description of the four modules is provided below:
Module 1 – The Foundations of Scientific Thinking
This module examines the historical development of contemporary scientific research. It positions students at a time in history and challenges them to continue with our search for scientific knowledge.
Module 2 – The Scientific Research Proposal
In this module students formulate a research question through reviewing contemporary scientific literature.
Module 3 – The Data, Evidence and Decisions
In this module students analyse patterns and trends in data and use statistical analysis to support or refute their hypothesis. Data and information is sourced from current scientific researchers and institutions both in Australia and internationally.
Module 4 – The Scientific Research Report
This module involves the finalisation of the Scientific Research Portfolio and completion of the Scientific Research Report.
Proposed course content
- investigate the development of current scientific thinking and scientific research methodologies including the statistical analysis of large data sets
- conduct a professional literature review to determine a research question
- find patterns and trends in data using statistical analysis to determine evidence that supports or refutes their hypothesis
- write an authentic Scientific Research Report.
School-based assessment requirements reflect the Stronger HSC Standards reforms and are consistent with the new Stage 6 syllabuses released in February. HSC examination specifications and sample materials will be released in Term 3 2017. Examination questions will focus on the application knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to scientific process.
School-based assessment requirements
Proposed HSC examination specifications
A 1.5 hour examination
Short response questions
Structured response questions with one or more parts
How can feedback be provided?
NESA is seeking feedback from teachers, key stakeholders and members of the public on the draft syllabus.
Consultation begins on Monday 27 February 2017 and continues until Sunday 9 April 2017.
Feedback can be provided by:
- attending a metropolitan or regional consultation meeting
- completing an online survey
- submitting written feedback.
Further information about consultation meeting venues and dates can be found on the NESA website.