Uses observation, experience and experimentation to explain phenomena and make decisions

Students at this level are curious about the world around them. They notice and explore phenomena and ideas, making connections to their own experience.

They make predictions based on their observations and use strategies such as trial and error to check them.

Students at this level are asking questions and can plan and undertake processes to explore their areas of interest

On the basis of their observations, they can design and carry out processes that show they recognise causal relationships. They collect and record data in order share their findings and make decisions.

They question some assumptions and viewpoints within a claim.

Students at this level develop inquiry questions related to their interests and conduct investigations to test their predictions.

They take account of the main variables when designing their investigations, collecting and organising data from repeated tests.  They identify patterns or themes within the data and use this evidence to draw conclusions. They notice errors in their own processes and suggest improvements. They ask question to clarify the reasonableness of others’ claims.


Students at this level pose and test hypotheses, applying investigative methods to clarify/explore their new understandings.

They formulate testable inquiry questions in response to complex issues and ideas. They develop methodologies to test hypotheses using controls and isolating variables. They make specific suggestions for improving investigations and reducing error. They propose one or more solutions articulating feasibility and impacts. Their explanations are consistent with the data, recognising the scope and limitations of their findings. They evaluate claims to develop an informed position taking into account the validity and reliability of evidence.

Students at this level systematically refine hypotheses to develop authoritative knowledge from their investigations.

They construct and test hypotheses employing a flexible approach to their inquiry by exploring alternative or contradictory perspectives and methodologies. They produce robust data to draw justifiable conclusions. They reflect on methodologies to refine investigation design. They propose creative and innovative solutions that account for multiple contextual factors. They suspend judgement, ethically evaluating claims with consideration for the potential impacts.

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