Science_What's New

What's New

K–9 curriculum

The Science K–9 curriculum supports a place-based approach to science learning and ensures that environmental learning is present throughout the subject area. Additionally, First Peoples perspectives are embedded in the curriculum, strong linkages are made with the scientifically educated citizen discussed in the Rationale and Goals, and learning in multi-grade classrooms is supported through a thoughtful flow of concepts.

Features of the Science curriculum include the following:

  • Each grade has four areas of science: biology (including ecology), chemistry, physics, and Earth/space science
  • There are four Big Ideas per grade, one for each area of science, and Big Ideas include sample questions to support inquiry with students
  • The focus on inquiry is apparent in the organization of the Curricular Competencies, which use an inquiry process, as well as through the sample questions for students provided in the Elaborations
  • Elaborations are included as hyperlinks throughout the curriculum as a support for teachers. Elaborations are not mandatory. They include definitions of key science terminology, examples of science concepts, sample questions to support the exploration of concepts, and guidance on the level of depth suggested in the content
  • A focus on place in British Columbia is emphasized throughout the curriculum. Place is defined and supported in the Curricular Competencies Elaborations through reflective questions for students to consider in developing their understanding of this important concept
  • Content has been aligned within the K–9 progression to provide a strong conceptual story of science
  • First Peoples perspectives are reflected in the Curricular Competencies, Content learning standards, and Elaborations in each grade

The Science curriculum retains important aspects of the previous curriculum:

  • The familiar skills and processes of science remain an integral part of the Science curriculum and reside in the Curricular Competencies. Previously, these skills and processes were introduced a few at a time by year; now they are introduced in Kindergarten and grow in sophistication through to Grade 12
  • The areas of science (i.e., biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth/space science) are still represented in the redesigned curriculum. In K–9 they include a strengthened focus on ecology and environmental education, and in the senior grades this focus is expanded into curriculum for Environmental Science 11 and 12

Drafts for Grades 10–12 curriculum

The Science drafts for Grades 10–12 have been designed with the scientifically educated citizen in mind. Scientifically educated citizens may complete their science learning during Grades 10–12, may go on to further science learning through post-secondary opportunities, or may enjoy lifelong science learning. The purpose of the Grades 10–12 Science courses is to provide a variety of opportunities for students to engage in science learning, opportunities that are supportive of multiple pathways. To acknowledge and support the range of learning environments, program models, and school structures in secondary schools across British Columbia, the curriculum comprises a Science Grade 10 course and 11 course options to choose from at Grades 11 and 12 to fulfill the graduation program requirement.

The Science Grade 10 draft curriculum includes the same curricular features as the K–9 curriculum (i.e., Big Ideas, Curricular Competencies, Content, and Elaborations) and completes the conceptual story of science that begins in Kindergarten. Consistent with the Science K–9 curriculum, the Science Grade 10 draft curriculum includes four areas of science: biology, chemistry, physics, and Earth/space science. (The existing curriculum organizes the subject by processes of science, life science, physical science, and Earth/space science.)

The focus on inquiry is expanded in the Science Grade 10 draft curriculum, as the Elaborations include both sample questions that are aligned with the inquiry process headings in the Curricular Competencies and an inquiry progression for each area of science. The area of physics, for example, includes the following progression:


Grade 10 Curricular Competencies Elaborations: Physics

and predicting

Why do some roller coasters go faster than others?

and conducting

How would you design a roller coaster to test a variable?

and analyzing data and information

What variables affect your roller coaster’s speed?


What factors would you change to increase the roller coaster’s speed? Would it be appropriate to go faster? How would you improve your experiment?

and innovating

How would you build a cart for your roller coaster that has as little friction
as possible


How would you promote your roller coaster design based on scientific evidence?

The Science draft curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 includes a hands-on science survey course as well as discipline-specific science courses in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, and Environmental Science. The existing 13 Integrated Resource Packages (IRPs) would be replaced by 11 course options:

Current IRPs

Draft Provincial Curriculum

Biology 11

Life Sciences 11

Biology 12

Anatomy and Physiology 12

Chemistry 11

Chemistry 11

Chemistry 12

Chemistry 12

Physics 11

Physics 11

Physics 12

Physics 12

Applications of Physics 11


Applications of Physics 12


Earth Science 11

Earth Sciences 11

Geology 12

Geology 12

Sustainable Resources 11

Grade 12 Computer Science

Sustainable Resources 12

Environmental Science 11

Science and Technology 11

Environmental Science 12


Science for Citizens 11*

* new science survey course

The 11 courses are composed of modules, with most modules being core to the course and some courses offering modules to choose from.

In Physics 11 and 12, teachers choose modules, based on personal passions and student interest, to teach with modules which are core to the course. In Physics 11, for example:

Physics 11: This course comprises seven modules — all students take five modules which are core to the course and teachers choose an additional two modules to complete the course.

Module Core to the Course

Modules to Choose:
Choose any two of the modules below to complete the course.

1D Kinematics

Waves and Optics

1D Dynamics


1D Momentum

Special Relativity


Nuclear Physics

Electric Circuits


Chemistry 11 and 12 are the only curricula that have the feature of a module that teachers may choose to include in the course. This feature is designed to provide “white space” within the curriculum where teachers have two options: they can go deeper into the modules core to the course or include the additional module within the course. In Chemistry 12, for example:

Chemistry 12: This course comprises four modules and one module (Reaction Kinetics), which teachers may choose to include.


Modules You May Choose to Include:

Dynamic Equilibrium

Reaction Kinetics

Solubility Equilibrium


Acids and Bases




Whether students choose to pursue deeper or broader study in science or not, this new curriculum design ensures that they are able to pursue their individual interests and passions.

The Science curriculum retains important aspects of the previous curriculum:

  • The Grade 10 science course and the discipline-specific science courses at the Grade 11 and 12 levels (e.g., Life Sciences 11, Environmental Science 12, Physics 12) still include learning focused within the disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics and Earth/space sciences.
  • Senior-level course options continue to support diverse learners with varying levels of interest in science and take into consideration the variety of learner pathways following Grade 12.
  • While Science and Technology 11 has not been carried forward, Science for Citizens 11 is proposed as a course option that would provide a similar hands-on approach to science learning with a high level of practicality. The course is organized around personal/home science, local/workplace science, and global science and supports the development of scientifically educated citizens.
  • The formulae, which are integral to the current Physics 11 and 12 IRPs, continue to remain key to conceptual learning in physics and can be accessed from a formula sheet found at:
  • The Sustainable Resources 11 and 12 IRPs have also not been carried forward, but the sustainability concepts from these courses can be found in the new Environmental Science courses, which feature a local focus at Grade 11 and a global focus at Grade 12.
  • Concepts from Applications of Physics 11 and 12 can still be found in Physics 11 and 12 within the Curricular Competencies and Content learning standards.
  • While respecting the personal beliefs of students, the curriculum has continued to distinguish between concepts based on the application of scientific methods and those based on religious teachings and associated beliefs.
Last updated: July 21, 2016