Safety Requirements in the Australian Curriculum for Science

The Australian Curriculum for Science [1] has been released for Years F to 10 and for each of the Senior Secondary Science subjects [2] for Years 11 and 12. The curriculum requires students to take an increasingly active role in considering safety and assessing risk in investigations as they progress from Year 3 to Year 12. Identification of risks is mentioned from Year 5, assessment of risk from Year 9 and conducting risk assessments in Years 11 and 12:

Year 3 "Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal technologies and digital technologies as appropriate" (Content description)
"Discussing safety rules for equipment and procedures" (Elaboration)
"[Students] describe how safety and fairness were considered in their investigations" (Achievement standard)
Year 4 "Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks" (Content description)
"Discussing possible hazards involved in conducting investigations, and how these risks can be reduced" (Elaboration)
"[Students] discuss ways to conduct investigations and safely use equipment to make and record observations" (Achievement standard)
Year 5 "Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks" (Content description)
"explaining rules for safe processes and use of equipment" (Elaboration 1)
"[Students] use equipment in ways that are safe and improve the accuracy of their observations" (Achievement standard)"
Year 6 "Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks" (Content description)
"discussing possible hazards involved in conducting investigations, and how these risks can be reduced" (Elaboration 1)
"[Students] identify variables to be changed and measured and describe potential safety risks when planning methods" (Achievement standard)
Year 7 ". . . ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed" (Content description)
"learning and applying specific skills and rules relating to the safe use of scientific equipment" (Elaboration 2)
Year 8 ". . . ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed" (Content description)
". . . safe investigation when planning investigations" (Elaboration 3)
Year 9 "assess risk" (Content description)
"identifying the potential hazards of chemicals and biological materials used in experimental investigations" (Elaboration 2)
Year 10 "assess risk" (Content description)
"identifying the potential hazards of chemicals and biological materials used in experimental investigations" (Elaboration 3)
"identifying safety risks and impacts on animal welfare and ensuring these are effectively managed within the investigation" (Elaboration 6)
Year 11
Year 12
"Conduct risk assessments" is one of the Science inquiry skills, and is mentioned in the content descriptions [3] in Biology Units 1-4, Chemistry Units 1-4, Earth and Environmental Science Units 1-4 and Physics Units 1-4.
"It is the responsibility of the school to ensure that duty of care is exercised in relation to the health and safety of all students and that school practices meet the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011, in addition to relevant state or territory health and safety guidelines" [4]

< More about Student RiskAssess


Footnotes

[1]
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Science/Curriculum/F-10

[2]
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Biology/Senior-secondary-Science-subjects

[3]
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Biology/Curriculum/SeniorSecondary
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Chemistry/Curriculum/SeniorSecondary
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Earth-and-Environmental-Science/Curriculum/SeniorSecondary
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Physics/Curriculum/SeniorSecondary

[4]
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Biology/Safety
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Chemistry/Safety
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Earth-and-Environmental-Science/Safety
http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/SeniorSecondary/Science/Physics/Safety