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Ma te whakaaro nui e hanga te whare; ma te matauranga e whakau.

A visit to MOTAT to learn about electricity

Essence Statement

In science students explore how both the natural physical world and science itself work so that they can participate as critical, informed, and responsible citizens in a society in which science plays a significant role (MoE 2007, pg 17).

Science is a way of investigating, understanding and explaining our natural physical world and the wider universe. Science is able to inform problem solving and decision making in many areas of life.


The fundamental aims of science education are expressed as a series of achievement aims grouped by strand. The core strand is the nature of science, plus topic strands of living world, planet earth and beyond, physical world and material world (MoE 2007,pg 28-29).

Science will be explored through the topics of:

Sustainability (Term 2 even year):

  • Key Understanding: Protect our taonga for tomorrow
  • Driving Question: Am I a kaitiaki?

Systems (Term 3 even year):

  • Key understanding: Many parts make a whole
  • Driving Question: How do the parts connect?

Change (Term 2 odd year):

  • Key understanding: Moving from one state to another
  • Driving Question: What is changing?

Cycles (Term 3 odd year):

  • Key understanding: A re-occurring sequence
  • Driving Question: What happens next?

Innovation (Term 4 odd year):

  • Key understanding: Something new
  • Driving Question: What is the need?
Beach Clean Up
Removing rubbish from Onehunga Bay

Organisation of Science in school

Onehunga Primary is a green gold Enviro School. This means that enviro education permeates many of our learning areas. This is especially the case in science where many links are made to community and school projects such as beach clean-ups, recycling and the monarch butterfly project. Opportunities are often sought for education experiences outside the classroom such as trips to the museum, observatory or botanical gardens.

Monitoring and Assessment

Assessment follows the SOLO process through rubrics developed during collaborative planning, and linked to outcomes from the New Zealand Curriculum. 

In the past, ICAS tests were paper-based. This year 2019, the students will now take these tests online. 
Because of our limited digital resources, OPS will no longer provide this assessment. Hopefully in the near future, this will be driven again. 


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