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Geology
2017 Subject Outline
Stage 2
2017 is the last year for teaching
Stage 2 Geology.
Published by the SACE Board of South Australia,
60 Greenhill Road, Wayville, South Australia 5034
Copyright © SACE Board of South Australia 2010
First published 2010
Reissued for 2011 (published online October 2010,
printed January 2011), 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
ISBN 978 1 74102 586 6 (online Microsoft Word version)
ref: A544829
This subject outline is accredited for teaching at Stage 2 from 2011
CONTENTS
Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1
Subject Description .......................................................................................................... 1
Capabilities ...................................................................................................................... 1
Literacy in Geology .......................................................................................................... 3
Numeracy in Geology ...................................................................................................... 3
Ethical Study and Research ............................................................................................ 4
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowledge, Cultures, and Perspectives ............... 4
Learning Scope and Requirements..................................................................................... 6
Learning Requirements ................................................................................................... 6
Geological Investigation Skills ......................................................................................... 6
Content .......................................................................................................................... 12
Assessment Scope and Requirements ............................................................................. 29
Evidence of Learning ..................................................................................................... 29
Assessment Design Criteria .......................................................................................... 29
School Assessment ....................................................................................................... 30
External Assessment ..................................................................................................... 33
Performance Standards ................................................................................................. 34
Assessment Integrity ..................................................................................................... 38
Support Materials .............................................................................................................. 39
Subject-specific Advice .................................................................................................. 39
Advice on Ethical Study and Research ......................................................................... 39
INTRODUCTION
SUBJECT DESCRIPTION
Geology is a 20-credit subject at Stage 2.
In Geology, students acquire knowledge of geological principles and concepts. They
develop the ability to use that knowledge to identify questions, issues, opportunities, and
challenges, and to gain new knowledge through their own investigations. Students
develop the skills and abilities to explain geological phenomena and to draw evidencebased interpretations from the investigation of geology-related issues. In this way they
develop geological literacy skills that will assist them in the pursuit of various career
pathways. Students of Geology are better informed about the ways in which daily life is
affected by geological phenomena, which contributes to their ability to live and work as
reflective citizens.
By exploring the processes that have formed the Earth and are still changing it,
geologists debate and advance understanding of the world and how human actions may
affect its future. In Geology, students have the opportunity to engage with the work of
practising geologists and to participate in and/or initiate debates about how geology
impacts on their own lives and on society and the environment.
Research geologists use an inquiry approach. They gather information, evaluate
evidence, synthesise new knowledge, and apply their learning to related ideas and
issues. Students undertaking Geology apply these approaches to develop their
knowledge, skills, and understanding.
CAPABILITIES
The capabilities connect student learning within and across subjects in a range of
contexts. They include essential knowledge and skills that enable people to act in
effective and successful ways.
The five capabilities that have been identified are:
 communication
 citizenship
 personal development
 work
 learning.
The capabilities for learning and communication are the focus of the learning
requirements, supporting students’ development of skills in working geologically to
acquire, understand, and apply geological knowledge, and are reflected in the
performance standards. Through the capabilities for citizenship and work, students
develop an appreciation of the issues and ideas described in the content and learn to
apply geology in a broad, holistic manner. The capability for personal development is
Stage 2 Geology Subject Outline 2017
1
reflected in the learning requirements and content pertaining to the development of
students’ opinions and self-evaluation.
Communication
In this subject, students develop their capability for communication by, for example:
 accessing, using, and presenting information and ideas in different formats, using the
terminology and conventions of geology
 learning communication approaches for use with specific audiences and for a range of
purposes
 developing specific literacy and numeracy skills in geology
 using information and communication technologies to gather, sort, analyse, and display
data and information
 constructing knowledge through communication with others
 using various communication strategies for both cooperative and independent learning.
Citizenship
In this subject, students develop their capability for citizenship by, for example:
 understanding diverse local and global cultural perspectives on and values relating to
geological concepts
 developing an understanding of and a concern for preferred futures for social and
environmental sustainability
 using geological knowledge, processes, and evidence to support responsible social,
political, economic, and legal participation in community and environmental issues
 working ethically with others and in the environment.
Personal Development
In this subject, students develop their capability for personal development by, for
example:
 developing purpose, direction, and decision-making about personal futures, with
reference to geology
 appreciating their place in the world of geology
 acquiring skills of persistence, reflection, and self-evaluation
 acquiring an appreciation of risk and its implications for decision-making.
Work
In this subject, students develop their capability for work by, for example:
 acquiring skills and competencies such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and
numeracy that improve employability in a range of career pathways, including those
that are geology-related
 participating responsibly, actively, and safely in geology-related school, community, and
work activities
 working individually, and also collaboratively in teams
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Stage 2 Geology Subject Outline 2017

learning how to deal with a world changing at an increasing rate because of
developments in all areas of science and technology.
Learning
In this subject, students develop their capability for learning by, for example:
 acquiring skills in accessing, organising, and using geological data and synthesising
information into knowledge
 acquiring the ability to respond to challenges in relation to geological learning and
issues
 engaging in critical, creative, innovative, and reflective thinking, inquiry, and
problem-solving
 applying geological knowledge and skills
 understanding how the body of geological knowledge changes over time and is
influenced by people, including research geologists, the media, society, and
governments.
LITERACY IN GEOLOGY
Students have opportunities to develop specific literacy skills through their learning in
Geology. These skills enable students to:
 communicate within and beyond the geological community, using the terminology and
conventions of geology
 access and critically read and summarise geological texts
 summarise geological information, using formats appropriate to an audience
 select and use formats appropriate to their purpose and audience
 develop and display skills in the use of web-based presentations and visual, written,
and oral texts.
NUMERACY IN GEOLOGY
Students have opportunities to develop specific numeracy skills through their learning in
Geology. These skills enable students to:
 use measurement tools and units appropriate to the task
 display data, using appropriate geological conventions
 manipulate data into new formats
 evaluate and interpret field measurements and other data
 critically evaluate findings and/or recommendations of a study in light of the numerical
evidence presented
 predict trends and/or outcomes from data collected
 analyse data in order to supply evidence for or against a given proposal
 use relevant technology, such as spatial patterning and geographic information systems
(GIS).
Stage 2 Geology Subject Outline 2017
3
ETHICAL STUDY AND RESEARCH
Advice for students and teachers on ethical study and research practices is available in
the guidelines on the ethical conduct of research in the SACE on the SACE website
(www.sace.sa.edu.au).
Health, Safety, and Welfare
Conducting outdoor activities and handling a range of chemicals and equipment require
appropriate health, safety, and welfare procedures. Information about these procedures is
available from the school sectors.
Ethical and Safety Practices in Fieldwork
The following ethical and safety practices must be observed in all fieldwork:
 Obtain permission if conducting fieldwork on private land and Indigenous lands.
 Be environmentally sensitive in deciding where to collect samples and the amount of
samples needed.
 Do not collect specimens or cause damage when visiting conservation sites.
 Follow safety procedures when observing features on sides of roads and in road
cuttings.
 Use appropriate safety gear when visiting quarries and collecting samples.
 Observe care when visiting coastal areas to minimise the risk posed by freak waves.
Safety Practices in the Laboratory
The following safety practices must be observed in all laboratory work:
 Use equipment only under the direction and supervision of a teacher or other qualified
person.
 Follow safety procedures when preparing or manipulating apparatus.
 Use appropriate safety gear when preparing or manipulating apparatus.
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER KNOWLEDGE,
CULTURES, AND PERSPECTIVES
In partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and schools and
school sectors, the SACE Board of South Australia supports the development of highquality learning and assessment design that respects the diverse knowledge, cultures,
and perspectives of Indigenous Australians.
The SACE Board encourages teachers to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
knowledge and perspectives in the design, delivery, and assessment of teaching and
learning programs by:
 providing opportunities in SACE subjects for students to learn about Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, and contemporary experiences
 recognising and respecting the significant contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples to Australian society
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Stage 2 Geology Subject Outline 2017
drawing students’ attention to the value of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
knowledge and perspectives from the past and the present
 promoting the use of culturally appropriate protocols when engaging with and learning
from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities.

Stage 2 Geology Subject Outline 2017
5
LEARNING SCOPE AND REQUIREMENTS
LEARNING REQUIREMENTS
The learning requirements summarise the knowledge, skills, and understanding that
students are expected to develop and demonstrate through their learning in Stage 2
Geology.
In this subject, students are expected to:
1. identify and formulate questions, hypotheses, concepts, and/or purposes that may
guide geological investigations, and design such investigations
2. conduct collaborative and individual geological investigations, using appropriate
observations, records, and interpretations of geological phenomena
3. use technology and numeracy skills to represent, analyse, interpret, and evaluate
geological investigations
4. analyse and critically evaluate geological ideas from different sources and present
informed conclusions and personal views on social, ethical, and environmental issues
5. communicate knowledge and understanding of geological concepts, relationships, and
information, using appropriate geological terms and conventions
6. demonstrate and apply geological knowledge and understanding to a range of
contexts and problems and present alternative explanations.
GEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATION SKILLS
Conceptual knowledge and understanding in Geology are supported through geological
inquiry and communication about geological phenomena. Students undertake geological
investigations — field, practical, and issues-based — to develop their knowledge and
understanding. Data and information, including observations, from these investigations
provide the evidence on which decisions can be made.
Geological investigations may be carried out by students through individual and/or
collaborative tasks.
Practical Investigations
Students collect and interpret their own data in practical investigations that involve a
range of activities and experimentation. They develop and select investigable questions
and measurable hypotheses, collect data using appropriate equipment and measurement
skills, display and analyse data, and present conclusions appropriate to the initial
question or hypothesis. Students critically evaluate the outcomes of practical
investigations and consider a range of explanations for their observations. Literacy and
numeracy skills are developed by questioning, displaying, and analysing data, and by
communicating outcomes.
Experiments are a part of practical and field investigations in Geology.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Issues Investigations
In issues investigations, students use information from different sources, which may
include primary source data they generate themselves such as observations and
measurements made in the field. Students develop questions for investigation, undertake
research approaches, and collect evidence to inform their investigations. They learn to
think critically and reflectively when relating their evidence to the issue under
investigation. They describe the different views people hold on an issue, based on the
evidence they collect.
Teachers assist students to develop a framework within which an investigation is
undertaken. Frameworks developed around the assessment design criteria enable
students to present the most suitable evidence of their learning.
Communication
A vast amount of information is available on a wide range of geology-related topics, and
many means exist for obtaining that information. Students have opportunities to become
proficient in a range of techniques for obtaining and evaluating information. Students use
a variety of information and communication technologies to collect, manipulate, and
display data and to present the findings of their investigations.
In geological investigations it is important that procedures and results are open to
scrutiny. This requires the clear and accurate communication of the details of an
investigation. In this subject, communication skills may be assessed through oral
presentations and through essays on geological issues, reports of practical
investigations, and other written assignments.
Students develop their literacy skills as they acquire knowledge of geological terminology
and its appropriate application, gain understanding of contextual uses of data and
concepts, and critically analyse information from different sources.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
7
Skills
The ways in which geological investigation skills are expressed are set out in the
following table on intended student learning.
Key Ideas
Students should know and understand the
following:
Intended Student Learning
Students should provide evidence that they are
able to do the following:
Purposes of Investigations
Investigations have a clearly defined purpose.
State the purpose of the investigation.
Investigations are based on existing information
or issues.
For a given topic, state the key ideas or issues
relevant to the information required, and identify
the type of resource that might provide the
information.
Before searching for information it is necessary
to have a clear idea of the information required,
the level of detail needed, and the appropriate
facilities for extracting the information.
Before undertaking an information search it is
necessary to be familiar with search techniques,
the way in which the information is structured,
and the means of retrieving the information.
Identify key search words and phrases for a
given topic.
Use an information source (e.g. library
catalogue, CD-ROM, or the Internet) to obtain
information about a topic.
Questions and Hypotheses
Investigable questions guide investigations on
geological issues.
Formulate a question for an investigation based
on a geological issue.
Investigations are often designed to explore
questions and to pose solutions to those
questions.
Suggest possible investigations to test the
question.
Experiments may be used to test hypotheses.
State a testable hypothesis, where appropriate.
Designing Investigations
Design
Geological inquiry involves the design of
procedures, including investigations based on
the scientific method or observations made in
the field, to investigate questions. Designing an
investigation involves identifying:
 what needs to be observed
 the measurements that need to be taken
 the techniques that need to be used
 the equipment, apparatus, or measuring
instruments needed.
Design procedures to investigate posed
questions or hypotheses.
Every step in a practical, field, or issues
investigation serves a purpose.
Describe the steps of an investigation.
8
Design and carry out investigations to explore a
geological issue.
Design and carry out experiments, using
scientific procedures.
Record and analyse observations.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Students should know and understand the
following:
Intended Student Learning
Students should provide evidence that they are
able to do the following:
Variables
Many practical investigations involve
deliberately changing one quantity and
determining the effect on another quantity.
These quantities are referred to as ‘variables’.
Identify the variables in a practical investigation.
The quantity being deliberately changed is
called the ‘independent variable’. The quantity
that changes as a result, and is measured, is
called the ‘dependent variable’.
Classify appropriate variables in a practical
investigation as independent or dependent.
Other variables are held constant, if possible,
throughout a practical investigation.
Identify any variables that are deliberately held
constant throughout a practical investigation.
Conducting Investigations
Procedures
Practical investigations require a particular set
of actions to be carried out in a well-defined
order.
Follow instructions accurately and safely.
Safety and Ethics
Work ethically with members of the team, the
general public, and representatives of
companies visited.
Ethical practices must be followed when
conducting investigations in either the laboratory
or the field.
Respect differing opinions and the location
being visited.
Acknowledge the work of other people
(including photographs).
Safety must be considered when carrying out
investigations in the laboratory or the field.
Recognise hazards and work safely during a
practical investigation in the laboratory or the
field.
Many investigations involve the collaborative
efforts of a team.
Negotiate procedures with the other members of
a team.
Clarify the role of each member.
Errors in Measurements
Measurements are affected by random and/or
systematic errors.
Identify sources of error and uncertainty that
may occur in a practical investigation.
Where applicable, increasing the number of
samples or repeating a practical investigation
improves the reliability of the data.
Explain the importance of increasing the number
of samples or repeating a practical investigation,
where feasible.
Reliability and Accuracy
The reliability of data collection is related to the
reproducibility of the measurements.
Where possible, collect data, using
measurements that can be reproduced
consistently.
Measurements are more reliable when there is
less scatter in the results.
Determine which of two or more measuring
instruments or sets of measurements is most
reliable.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
9
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Students should know and understand the
following:
Students should provide evidence that they are
able to do the following:
Reliability depends on the extent to which
random errors are minimised.
Use averages or graphing as a means of
detecting or minimising the effects of random
errors.
The resolution of a measuring instrument is the
smallest increment measurable by the
measuring instrument.
Select an instrument of appropriate resolution
for a measurement.
The number of significant figures for a
measurement is determined by the
reproducibility of the measurement and the
resolution of the measuring instrument.
Record and use measurements to an
appropriate number of significant figures.
Information and Data
Investigations based on experiments and
geological issues involve evidence, which may
be qualitative or quantitative.
Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative
evidence.
Valid conclusions depend on gathering
appropriate evidence.
In investigations, make and record careful and
honest observations and measurements.
Data can be more easily interpreted if presented
in a well-structured table.
Where appropriate, present data in an
appropriate tabular form. Include a title, column
headings showing the quantities measured or
observations made and units used, and the
values recorded.
Graphs are a useful way of displaying some
forms of data. When a graph is plotted, the
independent variable (or a quantity derived from
it) is plotted horizontally and the dependent
variable (or a quantity derived from it) is plotted
vertically.
Plot a graph of a dependent variable versus an
independent variable. Include a title, labelled
axes, and appropriate scales and units.
A line of best fit can show relationships between
variables in an experiment.
Draw a line of best fit through a series of points
on a graph such that the plotted points are
scattered evenly above and below the line of
best fit.
Understanding of a topic, issue, or question is
enhanced by using information from different
sources.
Obtain information from different sources.
Information obtained should be critically
examined for accuracy and its suitability for the
purpose for which it was sought.
Evaluate information for bias, credibility,
accuracy, and suitability.
The source of information should be recorded
so that the information is accessible to others.
List the sources of information, using an
appropriate format.
Interpretation and Evaluation
Careful observation in a practical or field
investigation is essential for analysis and for
comparison with other investigations.
Describe a pattern observed in the results of an
investigation.
The scatter of data points above and below the
line of best fit is probably due to random errors.
Using the scatter in the graphs of data from
similar investigations, compare the random
errors.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Students should know and understand the
following:
Students should provide evidence that they are
able to do the following:
Subsequent investigations can be improved by
the critical evaluation of the procedure and
results.
Analyse and evaluate information from a series
of observations or an investigation and suggest
improvements or indicate the additional
information needed.
A conclusion should be written at the end of
each investigation or series of observations in
the field.
Write a conclusion that is based on the results
of an investigation and related to the question
posed and the purpose of, or the hypothesis for,
the investigation.
Draw a conclusion from a series of observations
in the field.
Alternative Views
The evidence collected through investigations
may be interpreted in a variety of ways.
Present more than one interpretation of the
evidence collected through an investigation.
Arguments can be presented for and against an
issue on the basis of information selected from
different sources.
Construct for-and-against arguments on an
issue, based on information gathered from
different sources.
Personal views should be substantiated by the
evidence collected through an investigation.
Present a justification of, or evidence for, a
personal view.
Communication
Communication in geology uses specific
terminology, conventions, diagrammatic
representations, and symbols.
Use geological terminology, conventions,
diagrammatic representations, and symbols that
are appropriate for the purpose of the
communication.
Communication for different audiences requires
the use of a format suitable for the purpose.
Select the appropriate format for a particular
audience.
All communication needs to be well structured,
well organised, and clearly presented.
Present communications (oral, written, and
multimedia) clearly and logically, using
geological concepts appropriate to the
audience.
Written reports should describe the aim,
procedure, and results of an investigation and
analyse both the results and the conclusions
drawn from the results. Sufficient information
should be included to enable the procedure or
field observations to be repeated by others.
Write a report of an investigation that includes a
description of its purpose and procedure,
results, analysis, alternative interpretations, and
conclusions.
Multimedia presentations use minimal language
and a variety of graphics to present an
argument.
Use concise language and graphics to present
information.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
Write a field report detailing observations and
interpretations and including a discussion of
alternative interpretations of the phenomena
studied.
11
CONTENT
Stage 2 Geology is a 20-credit subject in which the topics are prescribed. The content is
organised into the topics listed below.
The Rock Cycle

Minerals
The Cycle of Change
 Regional Processes

Global Patterns and Processes


Global Patterns
Global Processes
The History of the Earth

Uniformitarianism
Rock Relationships
 The Geological Time-scale
 Geological Mapping and Remote Image Interpretation

Geological Hazards
The Impact of Human Activities on the Earth

Civil Engineering
 The Importance of Resources
 Sustainable Future
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Details of Topics
The topics are presented below in two columns as a series of key ideas side-by-side with
intended student learning.
Field investigations and practical investigations are relevant to all aspects of this subject.
Those elements of the intended student learning that are italicised must form part of the
field and/or practical investigations. The external examination will not include questions
about specific fieldwork sites.
The Rock Cycle
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Minerals
The Earth is made up of minerals that are the
constituents of rocks.
State five criteria for categorising a substance
as a mineral.
Name the seven most important mineral groups
(silicates, oxides, carbonates, sulfides, sulfates,
halides, and native elements).
Explain how minerals are classified into these
groups according to their chemical composition.
Describe, for mineral specimens:
 colour
 streak
 cleavage
 hardness
 lustre
 density
 magnetism
 reaction to dilute hydrochloric acid.
Identify the following common rock-forming
minerals, and know the mineral group to which
each belongs:
 quartz
 feldspar
 biotite mica
 muscovite mica
 calcite
 olivine
 hornblende
 augite
 clay minerals (e.g. kaolinite).
Identify the following metallic ores, know the
mineral group to which each belongs, and name
the extracted metal:
 galena
Stage 2 Geology 2017
13
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
 chalcopyrite
 malachite
 sphalerite
 bauxite
 haematite
 magnetite.
Explain the difference between a mineral
deposit and an ore deposit.
The Cycle of Change
Rocks are generally classified as igneous,
sedimentary, or metamorphic.
In general terms, describe the formation of
igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks.
Rocks are in a constant process of change.
Relate specific temperature and pressure
conditions that occur in different parts of the
Earth’s crust to mineral changes.
Use a simple diagram to explain how processes
and materials interact to make up the rock cycle.
Regional Processes
Melting and Crystallisation
Magma and lava (molten rock) crystallise to
form igneous rocks.
Describe the differences between magma and
lava.
Explain how the rate of cooling determines the
grain size of igneous rocks.
State that the minerals commonly found in
igneous rocks are quartz; orthoclase and
plagioclase feldspars; biotite and muscovite
micas; amphibole; pyroxene; and olivine.
State, with the aid of a diagram, the order in
which the minerals listed above crystallise from
a melt, and relate this order to the mineral
composition of rocks.
Explain how metallic ores are concentrated by
gravity-settling and hydrothermal processes.
Explain how igneous rocks are classified
according to texture (grain size and
arrangement) and mineral composition.
Identify the following igneous rocks and explain
how each is formed:
 granite
 rhyolite
 pegmatite
 basalt
 andesite
 gabbro
 dolerite.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Describe the textures of the igneous rocks listed
above.
State the mineralogies of the igneous rocks
listed above.
Explain the formation of:
 batholiths
 dykes
 sills.
Explain the effect of temperature, silica content,
and volatiles on the viscosity of a magma and
hence on the:
 nature of volcanic eruptions
 shapes and sizes of the resulting volcanic
land-forms.
Explain the formation of the following extrusive
igneous land-forms:
 shield cones
 composite cones
 cinder cones
 flood basalts.
Surface Processes
Rocks on the surface of the Earth are
continually changed by weathering.
Define the term ‘weathering’.
Explain the principles of physical and chemical
weathering.
Explain how weathering processes change
rocks on the surface of the Earth.
Explain the difference between weathering and
erosion.
The products of weathering are eroded by wind,
water, ice, and gravity, and eventually
deposited.
Describe and explain the actions of wind, water,
ice, and gravity as agents that transport the
products of rock weathering.
Compare the sorting and rounding effects of
these transporting agents.
Explain the relationship of the energy of an
environment to the type of material transported
and deposited.
In the field, study and record examples of
different forms of weathering and erosion, and
the resulting land-forms.
Sedimentary rocks are formed from products of
weathering and erosion.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
Explain how sediments are changed into
sedimentary rocks by compaction and
cementation over time.
15
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Identify the following sedimentary rocks, and
explain how each is formed:
 conglomerate
 sandstone
 shale
 tillite
 fossiliferous limestone
 calcrete.
Describe the textures of the sedimentary rocks
listed above.
Determine the clast and cement composition of
medium-grained and coarse-grained
sedimentary rocks.
Describe how the processes of weathering,
erosion, and deposition concentrate metallic
ores.
Deformation
Compressional and tensional forces acting on
rocks cause joints, faults, and folds.
Contrast the conditions under which rocks are
likely to break or fold.
Explain the difference between a joint and a
fault.
Explain the difference between normal, reverse,
and lateral faults.
Describe forces that cause each type of faulting
to occur.
Explain the difference between an anticline and
a syncline.
Recognise, in the field, at least one of the
deformation structures listed above.
Metamorphism
Rocks change in the solid state to become
metamorphic rocks.
Define the term ‘metamorphism’.
Thermal metamorphism is caused by heat from
an igneous intrusion.
Explain the formation of a metamorphic aureole
surrounding an igneous intrusion.
Explain how heat, pressure, fluids, and time
contribute to metamorphism.
Identify the following thermal metamorphic
rocks, name their parent sedimentary rocks, and
describe the textural and mineralogical changes
that have occurred:
 hornfels
 quartzite
 marble.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Regional metamorphism is due to directed
pressure and heat.
Intended Student Learning
Explain the difference between load pressure
and directed pressure.
Explain, with the aid of diagrams, the
development of foliation by directed pressure.
Explain the difference between cleavage and
bedding in rocks that have been subjected to
regional metamorphism.
Identify the following regional metamorphic
rocks:
 slate
 gneiss
 schist.
Describe the textures and mineralogies of the
rocks listed above.
Describe the progressive formation of these
three regional metamorphic rocks from their
parent sedimentary rock, shale.
Explain why the changes may occur in both
thermal and regional metamorphism.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
17
Global Patterns and Processes
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Global Patterns
The Earth’s Crust
Continental crust is different from oceanic crust.
With the aid of maps and sectional diagrams,
compare continental crust and oceanic crust in
terms of their:
 global distribution
 thickness
 composition and density
 topographical features
 age.
Continental crust consists of shields, orogenic
belts, and sedimentary basins.
Describe the typical ages, processes of
formation, and topographic features of, and the
rock types associated with, shields, orogenic
belts, and sedimentary basins.
On a map of Australia, mark the locations of the
Western Australian, Gawler, Adelaide, Tasman,
and Eromanga crustal elements.
State the ages of each of the crustal elements
listed above.
List the distinguishing rock types in each crustal
element listed above.
Identify the tectonic crustal type in each crustal
element listed above.
Use the information above to explain how the
Australian continent has developed.
The Earth’s Interior
Evidence for the nature of the Earth’s interior
can be obtained from seismic waves.
Explain the meaning of the terms ‘focus’ and
‘epicentre’ as they apply to an earthquake.
Describe the properties of P-waves and
S-waves.
State the relative arrival times of P-waves and
S-waves, as shown by a typical seismogram.
Explain how the different arrival times of
P-waves and S-waves can be used to find the
epicentre of an earthquake.
Explain how the presence of shadow zones
provides information about the layered structure
of the Earth.
Using a diagram, describe the structure of the
Earth’s interior, showing the crust, mantle, outer
core, and inner core.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Describe the relative thickness, composition,
and state of each layer.
Global Processes
Plate Tectonics
Continental drift provides evidence to support
the theory of plate tectonics.
Explain how continental drift is supported by
matching:
 the margins of continents
 the continuation of geological structures
 rock types and fossils
 palaeoclimatic zones on widely separated
continents.
Explain how the evidence given above was
used to reconstruct Gondwana.
Sea-floor spreading results in the generation of
new oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges.
Explain how each of the following forms of
evidence supports the observation that new
oceanic crust is being generated at mid-ocean
ridges:
 palaeomagnetic striping
 symmetry of age
 thickness of sediment.
The plate tectonics theory is a model that
explains global tectonics in terms of the
generation and subduction of lithospheric plate
material.
Describe, by means of well-labelled diagrams,
the processes that occur at the following types
of plate boundary:
 constructive or divergent
 conservative or transform
 destructive, convergent, or collisional
– oceanic–oceanic
– oceanic–continental
– continental–continental.
Explain the contribution of each type of
boundary to the overall movement of the plates,
and describe the forms of igneous and
earthquake activity that occur.
Explain how the existence of a Benioff zone
contributes to the understanding of the process
of subduction.
Discuss mechanisms that have been suggested
as explanations of plate movement.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
19
The History of the Earth
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Uniformitarianism
The processes occurring in the present can be
used to explain processes that occurred in the
past.
Explain the principle of uniformitarianism, giving
examples.
Understand the limitations of this principle.
Explain how the texture, colour, and other
characteristics of a rock provide information
about its history.
Apply the principle of uniformitarianism to
interpret geological features seen in the field.
Fossils may provide information about past
environments.
Define the term ‘fossil’.
Relate the present environment of living
organisms to the past environment of fossils of
similar organisms.
Rock Relationships
The principle of superposition states that in an
undisturbed sedimentary sequence the oldest
rocks are at the bottom.
Explain, with the aid of diagrams, how the
principle of superposition can be used to
determine the relative ages of rock strata.
Determine the relative ages of rocks found in
the field.
Depositional structures and features that occur
on the surfaces of sediments enable the facing
of strata to be determined.
Explain, with the aid of diagrams, how features
such as ripple marks, mud cracks, crossbedding, and graded bedding provide
information about whether a rock stratum or
sequence of strata has been overturned.
An igneous intrusion must be younger than the
rocks into which it has intruded.
Explain the concept of cross-cutting
relationships.
Determine the relative ages of igneous
intrusions and/or sedimentary strata.
Index fossils are useful in determining the
relative ages of rocks in a sequence, and in
correlating rock strata.
Explain why some fossils are useful as index
fossils.
An unconformity represents a break in the
geological history of an area.
Define the term ‘unconformity’.
Explain how index fossils may be used to
correlate rock strata from different locations.
Explain, with the aid of diagrams, how an
unconformity may be formed.
Identify an unconformity on a map, photograph,
or diagram, or in the field.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Geological histories of regions can be
determined by using the concepts of
uniformitarianism, superposition, cross-cutting
relationships, facing, and index fossils.
Intended Student Learning
Use these key ideas to interpret the geological
histories of regions shown on maps,
cross-sections, and diagrams.
Use these key ideas to interpret the geological
history of an area studied in the field.
The Geological Time-scale
Fossil evidence was used to develop the
geological time-scale.
Explain the relationship between the fossil
record and the eras in the geological time-scale.
Explain why the fossil record is inevitably
incomplete, especially for organisms that lived
more than 600 million years ago.
Identify each of the following fossils and explain
its significance within the geological time-scale:
Ediacaran fauna
Archaeocyatha
trilobites
graptolites
dinosaurs
mammals.
ammonites
Isotopic dating is a means of assigning absolute
ages to rocks.
Explain, in terms of parent/daughter elements
and half-life, the concept of radioactive decay.
Interpret decay curves.
Geological Mapping and Remote Image
Interpretation
Geological maps and images provide
information about structures and rock types.
Explain the meanings of the terms ‘dip’ and
‘strike’.
Interpret the dip and strike symbols on
geological maps.
Identify the following structures on geological
maps, cross-sectional diagrams, block
diagrams, aerial photographs, and satellite
images, as appropriate:
 normal, reverse, and lateral faults
 synclines and anticlines, both non-plunging
and plunging
 the axis of a fold.
State the direction of plunge, where relevant.
Draw block diagrams to illustrate geological
structures.
Interpret the geological history of an area shown
on a geological map, block diagram, or
cross-section.
Interpret maps, images, or photographs that
relate directly to the area studied in the field.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
21
Geological Hazards
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Volcanic activity can have effects at the local to
global scales.
Describe the impact caused by different forms of
volcanic ejecta, including:
 lava flows
 pyroclastics
 poisonous gases.
Explain how the following phenomena may
provide warnings of impending volcanic
eruption:
 earth tremors
 distortion of the shape of a volcanic cone
 changes in the chemistry of volatiles.
Discuss the reasons for and implications of
living in a volcanically active region.
Earthquakes may cause severe damage at a
local scale.
Describe the types of damage that earthquakes
can cause in urban areas.
Relate this damage to the particle motion of
surface waves.
Compare the essential features of the Richter
and Mercalli scales for measuring earthquakes.
Discuss the relationship between earthquake
damage and underlying rock types.
Explain how buildings and other structures can
be constructed to minimise earthquake damage.
Discuss the predictability of an earthquake.
Describe the causes and likely effects of a
tsunami.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
The impact of extraterrestrial bodies can cause
major changes to Earth systems.
Intended Student Learning
Describe the effects of the impact of an
extraterrestrial body on the surface and
atmosphere of the Earth.
Discuss the theory of and evidence for the
extinction of life forms as a result of the impact
of an extraterrestrial body at the Cretaceous–
Tertiary boundary.
Explain how the following types of evidence are
used to identify craters caused by the impact of
an extraterrestrial body on the surface of the
Earth:
 shocked quartz
 a layer of iridium
 tektites
 a circular crater.
Discuss the possibility that an extraterrestrial
body may make a significant impact in the
future.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
23
The Impact of Human Activities on the Earth
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Civil Engineering
The surface of the Earth has been considerably
altered to meet the perceived needs of
technological societies.
Discuss the range of deliberate alterations that
human beings have made to the surface of the
Earth.
Describe local examples of these changes.
The construction of large civil engineering
structures requires knowledge of the geology of
the area concerned.
Explain how the geology of an area dictates the
location and nature of each of the following
structures:
 dams
 roads and railways
 building foundations.
Describe causes of slope failure and preventive
measures that can be taken.
The Importance of Resources
People use the geological resources of the
Earth to help satisfy their needs and wants.
Understand that all lifestyles depend on the use
of geological resources.
Describe, using examples from a variety of
cultures (including Indigenous Australian), the
ways in which geological resources are used
for:
 modifying the environment
 tools
 craft
 agriculture.
The uses of geological resources are related to
their properties.
Understand that the geological resources of the
Earth may be divided into two groups: metallic
and non-metallic.
Explain the relationship between the properties
and use of the metal extracted from one of the
following resources:
 chalcopyrite
 haematite
 rutile
 gold
 bauxite.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Explain the relationship between the properties
and use of one of the following non-metallic
resources:
 sand
 clays (including ochre)
 coarse aggregate
 building stones
 gemstones
 flint.
Fossil fuels are commonly used as an energy
resource.
Define the term ‘fossil fuel’.
Describe the characteristics of coal and
petroleum.
Describe the processes by which coal is formed.
Explain the meanings of the terms ‘porosity’ and
‘permeability’.
Describe the processes by which petroleum is
formed, migrates, and is trapped.
With the aid of diagrams, describe structures
within which petroleum may be trapped.
Describe the processes by which
unconventional gas is formed and is trapped.
Explain how fossil fuels are used as an energy
resource.
Uranium can be used as an alternative to fossil
fuels.
Explain how enriched uranium is used to
generate electricity.
Soil and water are fundamental to life.
Understand that soil is essentially a mixture of
mineral particles, organic matter, air, and water.
Discuss, with the aid of examples, the
relationship between a soil, its origin, and its
possible uses.
Draw a diagram that shows the formation,
structure, and operation of a groundwater basin.
The diagram must include the following
features:
 recharge area
 water table
 aquifer
 aquiclude.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
25
Key Ideas
The Earth’s atmosphere is dynamic and
determines global climate patterns.
Intended Student Learning
Name the principal gases in the Earth’s
atmosphere and state their approximate
proportions.
Describe the evolution of the atmosphere,
including the importance of photosynthetic
organisms in increasing the oxygen level.
Explain how the following phenomena document
the atmospheric and climatic changes that have
occurred throughout the history of the Earth:
 glacial stratigraphy obtained from ice cores
 the distribution of rocks such as tillite and
limestone.
Relate the evidence above to changes in the
level of the following atmospheric factors:
 carbon dioxide
 methane
 temperature.
Sustainable Future
The management of geological resources is
necessary to ensure that the needs of present
and future generations are met.
Understand that renewable resources may be
diminished or sustained over time.
Understand that non-renewable resources may
be exhausted over time.
Discuss the sustainability of the following
resources:
 metallic resources
 non-metallic resources
 uranium
 soil
 fossil fuels
 water
 atmosphere
 oceans.
Discuss the relationship between the resources
listed above and their classification.
Understand the need to manage the use of
these resources to ensure a sustainable future.
Discuss the need for, and limitations of,
alternative sources of energy.
Describe the principles and limitations of
geothermal energy.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Describe the following exploration techniques
for finding metallic deposits:
 geophysical surveys (magnetic and gravity)
 geochemical surveys.
Explain how seismic surveys are used in
petroleum exploration.
Describe the requirement of the Aboriginal
Heritage Act 1988 (or its Northern Territory
equivalent) that Aboriginal objects, remains, and
sites of spiritual, archaeological,
anthropological, and historical significance must
be protected during exploration for, and the
extraction of, minerals.
Describe, with the aid of diagrams, the essential
features of the following mining activities:
 open-cut
 underground
 in situ leaching.
Explain how petroleum is extracted from the
Earth.
Compare the economic and environmental
impacts of coal and nuclear power plants for
generating electricity.
The exploration for and extraction of geological
resources have an impact on the natural
environment.
Discuss the possible effects that the exploration
for and extraction of geological resources can
have on the environment.
Companies that operate extractive industries
are required by law to minimise environmental
damage during operations and to rehabilitate
the site when these operations cease.
Identify the key features that must be addressed
by companies producing environmental impact
statements.
Understand the aims of a progressive
rehabilitation plan for an extraction site.
Discuss possible rehabilitation procedures
required by government regulations, including:
 the stabilisation of slopes
 revegetation
 visual impact.
Describe the operations and environmental
management of an extractive industry visited.
Human activities can degrade the soil.
Describe and explain how human activities can
cause erosion and changes in salinity.
Discuss measures that can be undertaken to
reduce the salinity and erosion of soil, and
assess their effectiveness.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
27
Key Ideas
Intended Student Learning
Human activities can affect groundwater and the
atmosphere.
Describe how usable groundwater supplies can
be affected by human activities.
Discuss the management of groundwater in
terms of water-table recharge and the nature of
the aquifer.
Describe the use of aquifer storage and
recovery as a means of conserving water.
Discuss the possible relationship between
human activities over the past 200 years and
changes in the levels of the following
atmospheric factors:
 carbon dioxide
 temperature.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
ASSESSMENT SCOPE AND REQUIREMENTS
All Stage 2 subjects have a school assessment component and an external assessment
component.
EVIDENCE OF LEARNING
The following assessment types enable students to demonstrate their learning in
Stage 2 Geology:
School Assessment (70%)
 Assessment Type 1: Investigations Folio (40%)
 Assessment Type 2: Skills and Applications Tasks (30%)
External Assessment (30%)
 Assessment Type 3: Examination (30%).
Students should provide evidence of their learning through eight to ten assessments,
including the external assessment component. Students undertake:
 at least one field investigation, at least two practical investigations, and one issues
investigation for the folio
 at least three skills and applications tasks
 one examination.
At least one investigation or skills and applications task should involve collaborative work.
ASSESSMENT DESIGN CRITERIA
The assessment design criteria are based on the learning requirements and are used by:
 teachers to clarify for the student what he or she needs to learn
 teachers and assessors to design opportunities for the student to provide evidence of
his or her learning at the highest possible level of achievement.
The assessment design criteria consist of specific features that:
 students should demonstrate in their learning
 teachers and assessors look for as evidence that students have met the learning
requirements.
For this subject the assessment design criteria are:
 investigation
 analysis and evaluation
 application
 knowledge and understanding.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
29
The specific features of these criteria are described below.
The set of assessments, as a whole, must give students opportunities to demonstrate
each of the specific features by the completion of study of the subject.
Investigation
The specific features are as follows:
I1
Design of geological investigations.
I2
Selection and acknowledgment of information about geology and issues in geology
from different sources.
I3
Manipulation of apparatus, equipment, and technological tools to implement safe
and ethical investigation procedures.
I4
The obtaining, recording, and display of findings of investigations, using
appropriate conventions and formats.
Analysis and Evaluation
The specific features are as follows:
AE1 Analysis of data and concepts and their connections, to formulate conclusions and
make relevant predictions.
AE2 Evaluation of procedures, with suggestions for improvement.
Application
The specific features are as follows:
A1
Application of geological concepts and evidence from investigations to solve
problems in new and familiar contexts.
A2
Use of appropriate geological terms, conventions, and diagrammatic
representations.
A3
Demonstration of skills in individual and collaborative work.
Knowledge and Understanding
The specific features are as follows:
KU1 Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of geological concepts.
KU2 Use of knowledge of geology to understand and explain social, economic, or
environmental issues.
KU3 Communication of knowledge and understanding of geology in different formats.
SCHOOL ASSESSMENT
Assessment Type 1: Investigations Folio (40%)
Students undertake at least one field investigation, at least two practical investigations,
and one issues investigation to include in the folio. They inquire into aspects of geology
through practical discovery and data analysis, or by selecting, analysing, and interpreting
information.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
As students design and carry out investigations they learn to pose questions about the
world around them. They use their observations and gather data and information to
generate evidence, which enables them to construct reasonable explanations in response
to these questions and to develop a better understanding of themselves and their
environment.
Those elements of the intended student learning that are italicised in the ‘Content’ section
must form part of the field and/or practical investigations.
Field Investigations
Students investigate features observed and recorded in the field (including related
geological issues), accessing information from different sources, analysing their findings,
and critically evaluating the evidence from their investigation.
Students communicate their understanding of the investigation in a range of formats.
The following must be included in the report(s) presented:
 an introduction giving the setting of the investigated features
 relevant geological history
 geological significance of features
 different interpretations of observations
 an evaluation of information gathered
 a summary of results or findings and the conclusions drawn
 citations and a reference list.
Suggested formats for presentation of a field investigation report include:
 an extended written response
 an individual or collaborative written, oral, or multimedia presentation.
A field investigation report should be a maximum of 1500 words if written or a maximum
of 10 minutes for an oral presentation, or the equivalent in multimedia form. The report
should include a field notebook as an appendix. In their report students should refer to
observations recorded in the field notebook. The field notebook itself is not assessed and
does not contribute to the word-count.
Practical Investigations
Students formulate questions and hypotheses, design and conduct practical
investigations, collect, analyse, and interpret data, evaluate results, draw conclusions,
and communicate their knowledge and understanding of concepts. These processes may
occur in one assessment or in separate assessments. Practical investigations may be
conducted individually or collaboratively, but each student presents an individual report.
Students submit at least two practical investigation reports. The following must be
included across the range of reports presented:
 graphing results
 designing and performing an investigation to answer a question
 displaying and interpreting results
 relating results to relevant concepts
 identifying and explaining the sources of errors
 evaluating an investigation and suggesting improvements
 formulating a conclusion and making relevant predictions
 describing and explaining safety considerations in a practical investigation.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
31
Note that one practical investigation might serve several of these functions. For example,
one investigation designed by the student might be used for graphing and could also be
evaluated and used to demonstrate understanding of aspects of safety.
At least one practical investigation must give students the opportunity to design the
method.
Suggested formats for presentation include:
 a written report
 a multimedia product.
Issues Investigation
Students undertake one issues investigation in which they investigate an issue of
personal, social, economic, or environmental relevance in geology. The issues
investigation may be an extension of a field investigation, or it may be based on a human
impact topic.
Students formulate a question and conduct the investigation. They gather information
from different sources, identify and discuss at least two different points of view that
members of the community hold on the issue, analyse their findings, critically evaluate
the evidence, and develop and explain their conclusions from their investigation. Students
use appropriate geological terms and conventions to explain links between geological
data, concepts, and issues.
The issues investigation should include:
 an introduction that identifies the geological issue investigated
 relevant geological background on the issue
 the identification of alternative views or interpretations
 an explanation of the perspectives of the issue
 an evaluation of information gathered
 a summary of results or findings and conclusions drawn
 citations and a reference list.
The issues investigation may be divided into smaller sections that can be presented in
different formats. Students select from a range of formats to communicate their
understanding of the issue, such as an extended response or an oral or multimedia
presentation.
The issues investigation should be a maximum of 1500 words if written or a maximum of
10 minutes for an oral presentation, or the equivalent in multimedia form.
For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning in relation to the
following assessment design criteria:
 investigation
 analysis and evaluation
 application
 knowledge and understanding.
For more information about conducting investigations, refer to the ‘Geological
Investigation Skills’ section in Learning Scope and Requirements.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Assessment Type 2: Skills and Applications Tasks (30%)
Skills and applications tasks require students to use their knowledge and understanding
of relevant geological ideas, facts, and relationships in a range of tasks that may be:
 routine, analytical, and/or interpretative
 posed in new and familiar contexts
 individual or collaborative assessments, depending on the design of the assessment.
Students undertake at least three skills and applications tasks. Students may undertake
more than three skills and applications tasks, but at least three should be under the direct
supervision of the teacher. The supervised setting (e.g. classroom, online, laboratory,
and/or field) should be appropriate to the task.
Skills that could be assessed include using geological terms, conventions, and notations;
making calculations; demonstrating understanding; applying knowledge; graphing;
drawing, analysing, and annotating diagrams; analysing and annotating photographs; and
drawing conclusions.
Students should be able to select appropriate data and relevant geological evidence and
information to successfully solve a range of problems. Some of these problems should be
set in a personal, social, or global context.
Skills and applications tasks may include:
 a data interpretation exercise
 a multimedia product
 an oral presentation
 a practical demonstration or model
 an extended response
 a written assignment
 multiple-choice questions
 short-answer questions
 a structured interview
 a response to text(s) (e.g. newspaper article).
For this assessment type, students provide evidence of their learning in relation to the
following assessment design criteria:
 investigation
 analysis and evaluation
 application
 knowledge and understanding.
EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT
Assessment Type 3: Examination (30%)
Students undertake one 2-hour written examination consisting of questions of different
types, such as multiple-choice, short-answer, and extended-response. Questions cover
all topics, and some may require students to integrate their knowledge from a number of
topics.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
33
A geological time-scale is included in the examination question booklet.
The following specific features of the assessment design criteria for this subject may be
assessed in the external examination:
 investigation — I1 and I4
 analysis and evaluation — AE1
 application — A1 and A2
 knowledge and understanding — KU1, KU2, and KU3.
PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
The performance standards describe five levels of achievement, A to E.
Each level of achievement describes the knowledge, skills, and understanding that
teachers and assessors refer to in deciding how well a student has demonstrated his or
her learning on the basis of the evidence provided.
During the teaching and learning program the teacher gives students feedback on their
learning, with reference to the performance standards.
At the student’s completion of study of each school assessment type, the teacher makes
a decision about the quality of the student’s learning by:
 referring to the performance standards

assigning a grade between A and E for the assessment type.
The student’s school assessment and external assessment are combined for a final
result, which is reported as a grade between A and E.
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Stage 2 Geology 2017
Stage 2 Geology 2017
Performance Standards for Stage 2 Geology
-
Investigation
Analysis and Evaluation
Application
Knowledge and Understanding
A
Designs logical, coherent, and detailed
geological investigations.
Critically and systematically analyses
data and their connections with concepts,
to formulate logical and perceptive
conclusions and make relevant
predictions.
Applies geological concepts and
evidence from investigations to suggest
solutions to complex problems in new
and familiar contexts.
Consistently demonstrates a deep and
broad knowledge and understanding of a
range of geological concepts.
Critically and logically selects and
consistently and appropriately
acknowledges information about geology
and issues in geology from a range of
sources.
Manipulates apparatus, equipment, and
technological tools carefully and highly
effectively to implement well-organised,
safe, and ethical investigation
procedures.
Uses appropriate geological terms,
conventions, and diagrammatic
representations highly effectively.
Uses knowledge of geology perceptively
and logically to understand and explain
social, economic, or environmental
issues.
Demonstrates initiative in applying
constructive and focused individual and
collaborative work skills.
Uses a variety of formats to communicate
knowledge and understanding of geology
coherently and highly effectively.
Clearly and logically analyses data and
their connections with concepts, to
formulate consistent conclusions and
make mostly relevant predictions.
Applies geological concepts and
evidence from investigations to suggest
solutions to problems in new and familiar
contexts.
Demonstrates some depth and breadth
of knowledge and understanding of a
range of geological concepts.
Logically evaluates procedures and
suggests some appropriate
improvements.
Uses appropriate geological terms,
conventions, and diagrammatic
representations effectively.
Critically and logically evaluates
procedures and suggests a range of
appropriate improvements.
Obtains, records, and displays findings of
investigations, using appropriate
conventions and formats accurately and
highly effectively.
B
Designs well-considered and clear
geological investigations.
Logically selects and appropriately
acknowledges information about geology
and issues in geology from different
sources.
Manipulates apparatus, equipment, and
technological tools carefully and mostly
effectively to implement organised, safe,
and ethical investigation procedures.
Obtains, records, and displays findings of
investigations, using appropriate
conventions and formats mostly
accurately and effectively.
Applies mostly constructive and focused
individual and collaborative work skills.
Uses knowledge of geology logically to
understand and explain social, economic,
or environmental issues.
Uses a variety of formats to communicate
knowledge and understanding of geology
coherently and effectively.
35
36
-
Investigation
Analysis and Evaluation
Application
Knowledge and Understanding
C
Designs considered and generally clear
geological investigations.
Analyses data and their connections with
concepts, to formulate generally
appropriate conclusions and make simple
predictions, with some relevance.
Applies geological concepts and
evidence from investigations to suggest
some solutions to basic problems in new
or familiar contexts.
Demonstrates knowledge and
understanding of a general range of
geological concepts.
Evaluates some procedures in geology
and suggests some improvements that
are generally appropriate.
Uses generally appropriate geological
terms, conventions, and diagrammatic
representations, with some general
effectiveness.
Selects with some focus, and mostly
appropriately acknowledges, information
about geology and issues in geology
from different sources.
Manipulates apparatus, equipment, and
technological tools generally carefully
and effectively to implement safe and
ethical investigation procedures.
Applies generally constructive individual
and collaborative work skills.
Uses different formats to communicate
knowledge and understanding of
geology, with some general
effectiveness.
Applies some evidence to describe some
basic problems and identify one or more
simple solutions, in familiar contexts.
Demonstrates some basic knowledge
and partial understanding of geological
concepts.
Attempts to use some geological terms,
conventions, and diagrammatic
representations that may be appropriate.
Identifies and explains some geological
information that is relevant to one or
more social, economic, or environmental
issues.
Obtains, records, and displays findings of
investigations, using generally
appropriate conventions and formats with
some errors but generally accurately and
effectively.
D
Prepares the outline of one or more
geological investigations.
Selects and may partly acknowledge one
or more sources of information about
geology or an issue in geology.
Uses apparatus, equipment, and
technological tools with inconsistent care
and effectiveness and attempts to
implement safe and ethical investigation
procedures.
Obtains, records, and displays findings of
investigations, using conventions and
formats inconsistently, with occasional
accuracy and effectiveness.
Describes basic connections between
some data and concepts, and attempts to
formulate a conclusion and make a
simple prediction that may be relevant.
For some procedures, identifies
improvements that may be made.
Uses knowledge of geology with some
logic to understand and explain one or
more social, economic, or environmental
issues.
Attempts individual work inconsistently,
and contributes superficially to aspects of
collaborative work.
Communicates basic information about
geology to others, using one or more
formats.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
Stage 2 Geology 2017
-
Investigation
Analysis and Evaluation
Application
Knowledge and Understanding
E
Identifies a simple procedure for a
geological investigation.
Attempts to connect data with concepts,
formulate a conclusion, and make a
prediction.
Identifies a basic problem and attempts
to identify a solution in a familiar context.
Demonstrates some limited recognition
and awareness of geological concepts.
Uses some geological terms or
diagrammatic representations.
Shows an emerging understanding that
some geological information is relevant to
social, economic, or environmental
issues.
Identifies a source of information about
geology or an issue in geology.
Attempts to use apparatus, equipment,
and technological tools with limited
effectiveness or attention to safe or
ethical investigation procedures.
Attempts to record and display some
descriptive information about an
investigation, with limited accuracy or
effectiveness.
Acknowledges the need for
improvements in one or more
procedures.
Shows emerging skills in individual and
collaborative work.
Attempts to communicate information
about geology.
37
ASSESSMENT INTEGRITY
The SACE Assuring Assessment Integrity Policy outlines the principles and processes
that teachers and assessors follow to assure the integrity of student assessments. This
policy is available on the SACE website (www.sace.sa.edu.au) as part of the SACE
Policy Framework.
The SACE Board uses a range of quality assurance processes so that the grades
awarded for student achievement, in both the school assessment and the external
assessment, are applied consistently and fairly against the performance standards for a
subject, and are comparable across all schools.
Information and guidelines on quality assurance in assessment at Stage 2 are available
on the SACE website (www.sace.sa.edu.au).
38
Stage 2 Geology 2017
SUPPORT MATERIALS
SUBJECT-SPECIFIC ADVICE
Online support materials are provided for each subject and updated regularly on the
SACE website (www.sace.sa.edu.au). Examples of support materials are sample learning
and assessment plans, annotated assessment tasks, annotated student responses, and
recommended resource materials.
ADVICE ON ETHICAL STUDY AND RESEARCH
See the ‘Ethical Study and Research’ section in the Introduction for information on:
 ethical study and research practices
 health, safety, and welfare
 ethical and safety practices in fieldwork
 safety practices in the laboratory.
Stage 2 Geology 2017
39