The recently released draft of the NSW Science syllabus is part of the process of implementing much-needed and welcomed reforms to education in NSW.

In 2020, Professor Geoff Masters proposed an ambitious reform that sought to re-organise both the structure and content of the wider curriculum so that students would be placed at the centre of decisions, meaning that at an individual level, students are supported towards educational attainment.

The curriculum imagined by Masters would enable students to learn with deep understanding, build skills in applying knowledge, and be supported at an individual level to progress along a learning continuum.

A science syllabus needs to provide an overview of the progression of key concepts for K-12. Despite the strong rationale for a new syllabus, our overall conclusion is that the new draft syllabus released by NESA does not meet the intended reform goals and will leave NSW students at a disadvantage.

The Science Teachers Association of New South Wales (STANSW) gathered a think tank of expert practitioners, surveyed its members and met with the Head Teachers Network to review the draft syllabus. Through this process, we identified a number of significant gaps.

By Margaret Shepherd and Irena Tasevska, STANSW