The Victorian state curriculum, like the new Australian national curriculum, calls for the teaching of scientific literacy and emphasises learner engagement, inquiry and thinking in science. Of interest to this study are the student performances prioritised (and thereby valued) by school curriculum planners and teachers and specifically those enacted in the Year 9 science classroom. A case study was undertaken to provide an in-depth understanding of the process of curricular interpretation and enactment. Methods included lesson observations (video), interviews and a teacher questionnaire. Curriculum documents, teaching materials and student work samples were also collected. This paper outlines the analytical process whereby classroom performances are categorised and compared with curricular goals at school and state level. The interpretive acts underlying each stage of the analysis are illustrated with selected examples, demonstrating how each stage of the analytical process contributes to our understanding of the process of curricular reconstruction and implementation.