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Astronomy in the New Zealand Curriculum

Astronomy in the New Zealand curriculum is detailed in the Achievement Objectives for  Planet Earth and Beyond -> Astronomical Systems.

For details go here. This lists for each level the achievement objectives for components of the Science learning area, one of which is Planet Earth and Beyond.


Summarised over the various year levels this looks as follows:

School Year Age Group NZC Level Achievement Objectives Category
Yr 1 - 4 5 - 9 1 Share ideas and observations about the Sun and the Moon and their physical effects on the heat and light available to Earth.  Junior Primary
Yr 5 - 6 9 - 11 3 Investigate the components of the solar system, developing an appreciation of the distances between them.  Senior Primary / Intermediate
Yr 7 - 8 11 - 13 4
Yr 9 - 10 13 - 15 5 Investigate the conditions on the planets and their moons, and the factors affecting them. Junior Secondary
Yr 11 15 - 16 6 Investigate the interactions between the solar, lunar, and Earth cycles and the effect of these on Earth. Senior Secondary
Yr 12 16 - 17 7 Explain the nature and life cycles of different types of stars in terms of energy changes and time.
Yr 13 17 - 18 8 Explore recent astronomical events or discoveries, showing understanding of the concepts of distance and time.


The “Category” column indicates how we have defined Curriculum Level in the READ database. If you are not working with the New Zealand curriculum, refer to the column “Age Group” to assess the appropriate level.