Primary Connections: Linking science with literacy

Primary Connections is a flagship primary school science program from the Australian Academy of Science linking the teaching of science with the teaching of literacy. It is an innovative approach to teaching and learning which aims to enhance primary school teachers' confidence and competence for teaching science. The history of Primary Connections demonstrates an ongoing commitment to support the evolving needs of teachers.

Primary Connections offers curriculum resources and professional learning; a comprehensive, evidence-based, and practical program that supports teachers to implement inspiring and engaging science. The approach focusses on the development of students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy, framed by the 5E model of guided-inquiry.

Our Values

We value learning.
We value learners and educators.
We value high quality.
We value the importance of scientific literacy.
We value science as a way of knowing, thinking, and communicating.

The Primary Connections approach - 6 guiding principles

1. Guided inquiry framed by the 5E model

Primary Connections is a comprehensive approach to primary science education. The Primary Connections approach is framed by the
5E model of guided-inquiry.

2. Link literacy with science

Literacy is central to the way in which students develop their understanding of science concepts and processes. It is a key feature in all Primary Connections resources and professional learning. For example, literacy foci are embedded in every curriculum unit to assist students to use literacy skills to learn science in context.

3. Align with the Australian Curriculum

Primary Connections curriculum resources are fully aligned with the Australian Curriculum: Science. Curriculum units address the three interrelated sub-strands—Science Understanding, Science as a Human Endeavor, and Science Inquiry Skills. Primary Connections resources also align with many Content Descriptions of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, Technologies, and English, and the General Capabilities and the Cross-Curriculum Priorities as they relate to Science, Mathematics and English.

4. Student investigations

Students plan and conduct multiple hands-on investigations across their inquiry to test their predictions, collect and analyse data, and represent their observations of phenomena.

5. Embedded assessment

Through professional learning and curriculum resources, Primary Connections supports teachers to make evidence-based judgements that inform student assessment, and guide teaching and learning.

Suggested assessment is informed by the 5E model, embedded throughout inquiry, and guides teachers’ ongoing monitoring, review and adjustment of learning experiences.

6. Collaborative learning

Students engaged in collaborative learning observe and consider multiple perspectives, take on different roles in investigations, and contribute to evidenced based discussions that lead to shared understanding.

Curriculum resources

Guided by the Primary Connections approach, resources are developed to support teachers to facilitate evidence-based science education. Resources include classroom strategies and pedagogies, an approach to STEM, assessment guides, editable student resource sheets, an Indigenous Perspectives Framework, and classroom displays. A suite of curriculum units for Foundation to Year 6, based on the 5E model, exemplify how teachers could implement the Primary Connections approach.  Each unit has been trialled by classroom teachers and provides clear and practical guidance including comprehensive teacher advice and student resources.

Professional learning

Primary Connections professional learning program is designed to grow teacher confidence and improve student learning outcomes in science and literacy. It focuses on the pedagogical, evidence-based principles underpinning Primary Connections, and demonstrates how these are easily applied in the classroom. Teachers develop their pedagogical content knowledge, and explore how to effectively use, adapt, extend or create engaging science learning experiences to suit their students' needs.

Research

All resources are based on contemporary research and extensively trialled by Australian teachers. Primary Connections has undergone substantial trialling and independent evaluation. Read more here.

Our Team

Director-Education: Claudette Bateup

Program Manager: Nicola Dziadkiewicz

Senior Education Specialist: Melanie Hughes

Project Officer: Jennifer Lawrence

Stakeholder and Community Engagement: Allison Hornery

Education Administration Officer (Finance): Amy Lee

Funding Acknowledgement

Primary Connections is supported by the Australian government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Primary Connections is one of three school education programs of the Academy of Science. The others are Science by Doing and reSolve