Engadine High School has been providing a comprehensive secondary science education since it opened in 1969. Physically, the school is located between two very important landmarks in different aspects of Australian science:
- The Royal National Park was the second national park established in the world (in 1879), to preserve natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to provide people with places for recreation and biological research (see www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/parks.hsf/).
- The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) at Lucas Heights manages the only nuclear fission reactor in Australia (OPAL, commissioned in 2006-07), and makes products and conducts research that the Australian community, in general, finds valuable (see www.ansto.gov.au).
Surrounded by this scientific history and continuing practice, the Science Faculty at Engadine High School is committed to the provision of excellence in science education for young people in a comprehensive high school. Student learning in science at Engadine High School is centred on six student learning outcomes:
- A student develops knowledge and understanding of science.
- A student develops skills in planning scientific investigations.
- A student develops skills in conducting scientific investigations, individually and in teams.
- A student develops skills in gathering, processing and analysing scientific information.
- A student develops skills in presenting scientific information.
- A student develops skills in communicating clearly and confidently.
These outcomes form the basis of teaching, assessing and reporting in all courses in the Science Faculty.
Overview Stage 4 and 5
Years 7-10Students in Years 7 to 10 follow a program based on the NSW Board of Studies’ syllabus “Science 7-10” (see www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/schoolcertificate/). In Stage 4 Science (taught in Years 7 and 8), the main aim is to harness students’ natural interest and inquisitiveness, and engage students in scientific methods and ideas (although we never provide as many explosions as students would like). In Stage 5 Science (taught in Years 9 and 10), the main aim is to develop a more detailed and critical understanding of science and its place in the world, in preparation for adult life, or further scientific study. In particular, students are prepared in knowledge, skills, and learning practices for the external School Certificate Science examination.
In Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10), the Science Faculty also offers the elective subject Marine and Aquaculture Technology.
All students in Years 7-10 must follow the same Science syllabus. In Years 7 and 8, the better-performing students across core subjects are grouped in two graded classes. In Years 9 and 10, the better-performing students in Science are grouped in two graded classes. These students work on the same programs and learning outcomes as other students, but are offered study of the content to a greater depth and breadth, and are able to aim at higher levels of achievement of the course outcomes.
Year 7 Topics
Let’s Start Science – an introduction to the study of science, human senses, measurement (units, scales and instruments) and the science laboratory (equipment and techniques, and safe working practices).
Mixtures – a study of common substances, and methods of separating mixtures using a variety of laboratory methods.
Energy – the idea of energy, substances and objects that contain stored energy, the ways in which energy is changed form one form to another, and the ways in which people use energy.
The Earth’s Surface – the rocks that form the Earth, weathering and erosion that change rocks and landforms, economically important ores and minerals in Australia, and Australian Aboriginal explanations for the origins of geological features.
Living Things – the variety of living things, microscopic observation and cells, and methods of description and classification that organise biological information.
The Atmosphere – the composition and structure of the atmosphere, the properties of air, and human use of gases and care for the atmosphere.
Year 8 Topics
Heat and Matter – students observe and describe how heat (and cold) change matter, and use the particle theory of matter to explain some of these changes.
The Human Body – how the systems of the human body work together to keep the cells that form the body alive.
Starting Chemistry – a study of chemical elements and how they are arranged in the Periodic Table; metals and non-metals; the ideas of atoms and chemical symbols.
Walking Lightly on the Earth – the relationships between living things in ecosystems, human impacts on natural ecosystems, and resources from the Earth used by humans.
Making Life Easier? – simple machines, the human skeleton as an example of levers at work, and a wide range of historical and contemporary technology, including Australian Aboriginal technology.
The Earth in Space – objects in the universe, and how the motion of the Earth produces day, night, seasons and years.
Students also plan and carry out a group or individual science research project during Year 8. In 2011, we will be trialling an integration of this project with the CSIRO CREST program (see http://www.csiro.au/resources/CrestAwards.html).
Year 9 Topics
Forces – the wide variety of pushes, pulls and twists that students experience in their everyday lives, including gravity, friction, electrostatics, and magnetism.
Plants and Australian Ecosystems – the anatomy and physiology of flowering plants, the variety of plant and animal groupings that form Australian ecosystems, and uses that Australian Aborigines made of native plants.
Electricity – observing and explaining static electric phenomena, and the safe use of electric current in DC circuits to transfer energy.
Where Did I Come From? – asexual and sexual reproduction in living things, including humans, and the role of genes in the inheritance of characteristics.
Light and Sound – the behaviour of energy travelling as sound waves and light waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, and uses humans make of waves.
The Universe is Big!– how humans obtain information about stars and planets, and descriptions and explanations of various local and distant events in the universe.
Conquering Chemistry – the concept of a chemical reaction, and various examples of chemical reactions, including the reactions of acids with metals, carbonates and bases.
Students also plan and carry out an individual science research project during Year 9. In 2011, we will be trialling an integration of this project with the CSIRO CREST program (see http://www.csiro.au/resources/CrestAwards.html).
Year 10 Topics
The History of the World – evolution by means of natural selection, and plate tectonics, as examples of scientific theories that have been built up from evidence gathered over long periods of time.
Motion and Road Safety – basic physical descriptions and explanations of moving objects, and the relationship between humans and everyday examples of motion.
Atoms and Energy – how energy is stored in the atomic nucleus and in bonds between atoms, and how this energy can be released and used.
Staying Healthy – how the human body co-ordinates its actions, the causes and effects of disease, and how the body protects itself from disease.
Years 11 and 12 students at Engadine High School are offered all five of the NSW Board of Studies’ Science subjects. All of these subjects can be studied for the NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC), and contribute towards the Australian tertiary Entrance Rank (ATAR).These subjects are:
- Earth and Environmental Science
- Senior Science
The NSW Board of Studies syllabuses for these subjects can be found at www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_hsc/ . The school publishes to students a range of materials about these subjects, including assessment guidelines and schedules.
|Mr G ALEXANDER (Head Teacher Science)||Mr C BEAN||Mrs BRIDGEMAN|
|Ms J DELA CRUZ||Ms B GIBSON||Mrs M MASSEY|
|Mrs M MATHEW||Mrs J PUNCH||Mrs S DAVIS|
|Mr J RIGG - Head Teacher Administration|