Links to other learning areas

Learning in science involves the use of knowledge and skills learnt in other areas, particularly in English, mathematics and Humanities and Social Sciences.


There is strong support in schools across Australia for linking learning in science with learning literacy skills. The science tradition places a high priority on accurate communication. The Western Australian Curriculum: Science is supported by and in turn reinforces the learning of literacy skills. Students need to describe objects and events, interpret descriptions, read and give instructions, explain ideas to others, write reports and procedural accounts, participate in group discussions and provide expositions.


The science curriculum closely complements that of mathematics. In science, students process data using simple tables, lists, picture graphs, simple column graphs and line graphs. In the mathematics curriculum they will be developing these skills at similar year levels. In mathematics, students' data analysis skills will develop to include scatter plots, linear graphs and the gradient of graphs. This will enhance their ability to analyse patterns and trends in data as part of scientific investigations.

Students develop their use of metric units in both the mathematics and science curriculums. The ability to convert between common metric units of length and mass and their use of decimal notation in mathematics will enable them to represent and compare data in meaningful ways in science. In mathematics, students learn simple statistical methods and these skills will enable students to apply quantitative analysis of data as required in science. The concept of outliers, learnt in mathematics, will help them to identify inconsistencies in quantitative data in science.

When considering phenomena and systems at a vast range of scales in science, students use their mathematical knowledge of timescales and intervals. They use scientific notation in the representation of these values as required. Students' mathematical ability to solve problems involving linear equations can be utilised in science when investigating quantitative relationships.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Humanities and Social Sciences provides another avenue to the understanding of how science works. Science and its discoveries are a source of historical facts and artefacts. The strand Science as a Human Endeavour is an important link to historical developments. It is important that students learn that science and technology have grown through the gradual accumulation of knowledge over many centuries; that all sorts of people, including people like themselves, use and contribute to science. Historical studies of science and technology in the early Egyptian, Greek, Chinese, Arabic and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures extending to modern times will help students understand the contributions of people from around the world.

The Western Australian Curriculum: Science takes account of what students have learnt in these areas so that their science learning is supported and their learning in other areas enhanced.