As children grow, their sense of themselves and their world expands. They begin to see themselves as members of larger communities. They are interested in and like to speculate on other times, places and societies. They begin to understand and appreciate different points of view, develop the ability to think in more abstract terms and undertake sustained activities for longer periods.
Students’ abilities to work collaboratively and to develop their social skills should be fostered by activities which require group planning and decision making, and interaction with people inside and outside their classroom. They should be given increased responsibility for managing and organising activities, individually and in groups of varying sizes.
As in the early years, activities will typically be integrated across learning areas. An investigation into the ecosystem of a local park or bushland, for example, could provide an opportunity to achieve outcomes from a variety of learning areas.
In exploring their physical, social, cultural and technological world, students should be encouraged to pose more focused questions and to carry out investigations in which they form predictions, hypotheses or conjectures, test them and reflect on their findings. The investigation of categories and patterns in their world should become more refined and include relationships, structures, systems and processes. As in the early years, this will include exploration of behaviours, values, language and social practices as well as physical phenomena.
Increasingly students will be learning to draw on a wider range of sources of information in answering questions and consider phenomena more widely. This ability will be enhanced by introducing them to experiences beyond their immediate environment including those of people from other times, places and cultures, both directly and vicariously. These learning experiences should emphasise and lead to an appreciation of both the commonality and diversity of human experience and concerns.
Students explore a wider range of technologies and forms of communication and representation, and experiment with them to investigate the advantages of different representational forms and technologies for different materials, purposes and situations. They develop a sound grasp of written language and numeric conventions and use these in a range of different learning situations in purposeful ways to achieve outcomes across all learning areas.
Students reflect on their learning and work practices and consider ways in which these might be improved, modified or adapted for different situations.