About Primary Connections
Primary Connections: Linking science with literacy is an innovative program developed by the Australian Academy of Science linking the teaching of science with the teaching of literacy in primary schools.
Our program focuses on developing students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in both science and literacy, through an inquiry-based approach.
Primary Connections provides exemplary curriculum resources and a comprehensive and practical professional learning program.
Primary Connections has developed a suite of units for Foundation to Year 6 based on the 5Es teaching and learning model. Each unit provides a clear and practical teaching approach including comprehensive teacher advice and all the student resources required for use in the classroom.
The professional learning program is designed to build teacher confidence and improve student learning outcomes in science and literacy. It focusses on the pedagogical principles underpinning Primary Connections, and shows how these can be easily applied in the classroom.
The professional learning program gives teachers the tools to understand the Primary Connections approach, its philosophy and goals. Through interactive workshops, participants develop their pedagogical content knowledge. Teachers also explore how to effectively use, adapt and extend curriculum units to suit their students' needs, or write their own units using a unit planner.
Primary Connections is fully aligned with the Australian Curriculum: Science. It covers the three interrelated strands—Science Understanding, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Inquiry Skills.
Primary Connections also aligns with many content descriptions of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics and English.
The Primary Connections resources are also aligned with the general capabilities and the cross-curriculum priorities as they relate to Science, Mathematics and English.
Literacy focuses are embedded in every unit to assist students to use their everyday literacies to learn the new literacies of science. Students think about, reason and represent their understanding of science by using science journals, graphs, Venn diagrams, tables, role-plays and word walls.
Current research highlights that successful science education requires teachers to be supported not only with curriculum resources, but also with professional learning to boost their understanding of the teaching of science and literacy. The Primary Connections program provides both, and has undergone substantial trialling and independent evaluation.
The first stage of Primary Connections was to develop a conceptual model for the project. The model proposed a professional learning program supported by a comprehensive curriculum resource, designed to meet the needs of primary school teachers and students across Australia. This first stage was funded in late 2003 by the Australian Academy of Science through its Australian Foundation for Science.
A collaborative Reference Group was established with representatives from Commonwealth, state, territory, Catholic and independent education jurisdictions, education researchers, the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Science Teachers Association, the Primary English Teaching Association and the Australian Literacy Educators' Association.
The Primary Connections concept received wide support in discussions with the Reference Group and the broader education community, and gained approval from state and territory education jurisdictions.
In August 2004, the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, announced support for Primary Connections and agreed to fund the second stage under the Australian Government Quality Teacher Programme. A Professional Learning Program and eight curriculum units were developed and trialled in 2005, by 106 trial teachers in 56 trial schools across Australia. The research component was designed and carried out by Edith Cowan University and La Trobe University.
The results of the research showed a strong positive impact on schools. A third stage of the project was therefore funded for 2006-2008. This included the publication of a total suite of nineteen curriculum units, training of Professional Learning Facilitators across the country, ongoing research and evaluation, and the Incorporation of Indigenous perspectives. The Reference Group was expanded to include representative from the Australian Council of Deans of Education and the Primary Principals Association. For further information about Stage 3 see: