Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Leading science at MacFarlane Primary School

About this Illustration of Practice

The leaders and teachers in this school describe hands-on and experiential approaches central to whole-school science teaching. Other strategies include the use of the Primary Connections science program from Foundation to Year 6, appointing a specialist science teacher for Years 5-6, as well as an ethnobiologist who provides expert advice on Indigenous flora and fauna. They discuss the valuable contributions of two Indigenous cultural leaders who offer traditional science perspectives to complement students’ science learning in classrooms.

Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.1
Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
Career stage
Lead initiatives within the school to evaluate and improve knowledge of content and teaching strategies and demonstrate exemplary teaching of subjects using effective, research-based learning and teaching programs.
Other descriptors
Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.4
Strategies for teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Career stage
Develop teaching programs that support equitable and ongoing participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students by engaging in collaborative relationships with community representatives and parents/carers.
  1. How might a 'hands on', experiential approach provide pathways into science content and concepts for different students in your school?
  2. What could you do to lead, evaluate and renew science teaching programs and strategies in your school?
MacFarlane Primary School
Northern Territory
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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MacFarlane Primary School is one of five primary schools located within Katherine, and one of six schools that form part of a wider system, based on geographical groupings, known as the Rivers Cluster. Cluster schools work collaboratively to establish local educational priorities relevant to their communities. The school has an ethnobiologist who visits the school regularly to enhance the teaching of science.

Content provider
Education Services Australia

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2013 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.