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Integrating NZ Curriculum elements into science teaching

Learner inquiry

Students are encouraged to engage individually or in groups with the big questions posed for each topic. Teachers work with students and provide direction and support. Student pages aim to encourage independent inquiry.

Using the big ideas and science concepts

Big ideas and science concepts show pathways for scaffolding knowledge and inquiry as well as suggesting appropriate curriculum levels.

New Zealand Curriculum connections in detail 

New Zealand Curriculum connections are suggested for each topic and provide initial guidance about how inquiry might align with curriculum content, including core subjects like mathematics and English

A detailed breakdown of the NZC connections is available in the Curriculum Connections page of this website.

Teaching aligned with the Nature of Science 

Soil, Food and Society aims to develop students’ understanding about science; build their knowledge through asking questions and conducting investigations; and share, interpret and communicate their findings and views.

Integrating Science Capabilities

Science Capabilities reflect the Nature of Science achievement aims. Science Capabilities include gathering data and evidence, interpreting and using data and evidence, and engaging with others regarding their findings and views.

Curriculum objectives

Science Capabilities

Five basic science capabilities have been identified from the Nature of Science curriculum.


  1. Gather & interpret data. Learners make careful observations and differentiate between observation and inference.

  2. Use evidence. Learners support their ideas with evidence and look for evidence supporting others' explanations.

  3. Critique evidence. Not all questions can be answered by science.

  4. Interpret representations. Scientists represent their ideas in a variety of ways, including models, graphs, charts, diagrams and written texts.

  5. Engage with science. This capability requires students to use the other capabilities to engage with science in “real life” contexts.

Curriculum Objectives

NZ Curriculum Objectives are suggested in order to support a quick and clear understanding, particularly for teachers who are new to science.


By including suggested NZC connections each of the topic pages provides an immediate sense of the possible connections into the Nature of Science curriculum as well as other curriculum areas.


The NZC connections offered are intended as a starting point and can be broadened by teachers to reflect their particular inquiry and students' interests and direction. A detailed breakdown of the NZC connections can be found in the Curriculum Connections page of this website.

Curriculum Objectives


Publishing is an opportunity to integrate science capabilities or different curriculum areas into activities and inquiry.


  • Publishing may require the production of a table or graph and consideration of statistics. It may require written skills and support a literacy discussion.

  • Publishing may include a discussion of accessibility and lead to learning about accessibility in cultural contexts or accessibility for people of differing capabilities.

  • Publishing can support the development of digital skills and the Science Capability of sharing of findings and conclusions. 

  • Publishing can be used to learn about collaboration skills and provide opportunities to work in groups.

  • Publishing can be used to engage an external audience and create relationships with and between peers, peer groups and the wider learning community. Engagement by parents, in particular, can enhance the engagement of students with the learning material.

  • A detailed breakdown of the NZC connections can be found in the Curriculum Connections page of this website.

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