The Ponds High School

Inspired Learning

Telephone02 9626 3562

Emailtheponds-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Science

A study of science is mandatory for all students from Kindergarten to Year 10.

Through the study of science, students investigate phenomena that occur over a range of scales, from the subatomic to the cosmological, from events that take place almost instantaneously to processes occurring over billions of years, from the origins of the universe to contemporary phenomena.

At The Ponds High School, the science faculty aims to equip students with the necessary tools and knowledge, and encourage appropriate values and attitudes, to allow students to engage at many levels with the world of science.

Curriculum

Stage 4

In Years 7 and 8, students will experience a range of context areas (topics) where aspects from all the branches of science will be integrated.

  • Welcome to Science
  • Blue Planet
  • Crystal Clear
  • Living Things
  • Energy
  • Our Wild Environment
  • Elements of Matter
  • May the Force Be With You
  • All Systems Go
  • Dynamic Earth

 

Stage 5

In Years 9 and 10, students will experience a range of context areas (topics) where aspects from all the branches of science will be integrated.

  • Plug It In
  • Nature's Fury
  • Useful Chemicals
  • Keeping It Under Control
  • Making Waves
  • On the Move
  • Mystery Solutions
  • Life Goes On
  • Star Wars
  • Ecosystems

Stage 5 Electives

Elective Science (Interest based only)

This course is aimed at students who are enthusiastic about Science. Through the offering of this elective, The Ponds High School is extending students’ knowledge of Core Science topics though Project Based Learning activities. Students who are interested in ‘STEM’ subjects, and who have an inquiring mind should choose this elective. Your elective fees will go towards purchasing additional materials to support the practical nature of this unit.

Assessment

As a result of these experiences students will be assessed and reported on outcomes in science not only on their knowledge and understanding but also on their skills in working scientifically.

Assessment tasks in science will include:

  • Skill tests and activities (eg. skills in drawing and analysing graphs, tables, etc.)
  • Practical tasks at school or at home
  • Research tasks
  • Examinations

Excursions

Taronga Zoo

Each year as part of the Year 7 Science Program, ‘Living Things' a visit to Taronga Zoo enables students to experience and appreciate the diversity of animal life found on our planet. Students attend an interactive presentation given by zoo staff, covering topics such as diversity among vertebrates and invertebrates, classification and adaptations. 

Science and Maths Exposed

Each year, up to 60 students from year 9 venture to Western Sydney University at Parramatta to be exposed to the range of interesting and fulfilling work and study opportunities available to them in the fields of Science and Mathematics.

Opportunities in Science

ICAS Science Competition

An international test style competition run by The International Competitions and Assessments for Schools. It assesses students' skills in interpreting data, applying data and higher order skills including investigating, reasoning and problem solving. Students in Years 7-10 have the opportunity to participate in the Science Competition.

Victor Chang Award

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute School Science Award has been developed to encourage an interest in science among secondary school students and promote science as a rewarding career choice. This award is given to one Year 11 student per year.

Stage 6 

  • Investigating Science
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Physics
  • Science Extension (Year 12)

 

Investigating Science 

The study of Investigating Science in Stage 6 enables students to develop an appreciation and understanding of science as a body of knowledge and a set of valuable processes that provide humans with an ability to understand themselves and the world in which they live. Through applying Working Scientifically skills processes, the course aims to enhance students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, in order to make evidence-based decisions and engage with and positively participate in an ever-changing, interconnected technological world.

The course promotes active inquiry and explores key concepts, models and phenomena. It draws and builds on the knowledge, understanding, skills, values, and attitudes gained in Science Stage 5. The Stage 6 course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the value of evidence-based investigations and the use of science-based inquiry in their lives. 

The Investigating Science course is designed to complement the study of the science disciplines by providing additional opportunities for students to investigate and develop an understanding of scientific concepts, their current and future uses, and their impacts on science and society. The course draws on and promotes interdisciplinary science, by allowing students to investigate a wide range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related issues and concepts in depth.

Investigating Science encourages the development of a range of capabilities and capacities that enhance a student’s ability to participate in all aspects of community life and within a fast-changing technological landscape. The knowledge, understanding and skills gained from this course are intended to support students’ ongoing engagement with science, and to form the foundation for further studies and participation in current and emerging STEM-related post-school activities and industries. 

Biology

The Biology Stage 6 Syllabus explores the diversity of life from a molecular to a biological systems level. The course examines the interactions between living things and the environments in which they live. It explores the application of biology and its significance in finding solutions to health and sustainability issues in a changing world.

The Year 11 course investigates cellular structure and provides a base for understanding the way in which multicellular organisms transport and absorb nutrients and carry out gas exchange. Exploring variations in the structures and functions of organisms provides an understanding of the effects of the environment on living things and how this leads to biodiversity. Fieldwork is also mandated in Year 11 and is an integral part of the learning process.

The Year 12 course investigates reproduction, inheritance patterns and the causes of genetic variation in both plants and animals. Applications of this knowledge in biotechnology and various genetic technologies are explored in the light of their uses in the treatment, prevention and control of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Biology uses ‘working scientifically’ processes to develop scientific investigative skills. It focuses on developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills in order to understand and support the natural environment. When working scientifically, students are provided with opportunities to design and conduct biological investigations both individually and collaboratively.

The study of biology, often undertaken in interdisciplinary teams, complements the study of other science disciplines and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related courses. Through the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, students are encouraged to solve problems and apply knowledge of biological interactions that relate to a variety of fields.

Chemistry

The Chemistry Stage 6 Syllabus explores the structure, composition and reactions of and between all elements, compounds and mixtures that exist in the Universe. The discovery and synthesis of new compounds, the monitoring of elements and compounds in the environment, and an understanding of industrial processes and their applications to life processes are central to human progress and our ability to develop future industries and sustainability.

Chemistry involves using differing scales, specialized representations, explanations, predictions and creativity, especially in the development and pursuit of new materials. It requires students to use their imagination to visualize the dynamic, minuscule world of atoms in order to gain a better understanding of how chemicals interact.

The course further develops an understanding of chemistry through the application of ‘working scientifically’ skills. It focuses on the exploration of models, understanding of theories and laws, and examination of the interconnectedness between seemingly dissimilar phenomena.

Students will undertake at least one depth study in both Year 11 and Year 12. Depth studies provide opportunities for students to pursue their interests in chemistry, acquire a depth of understanding, and take responsibility for their own learning. Depth studies promote differentiation and engagement and support all forms of assessment, including assessment for, as and of learning. Depth studies allow for differentiation of a range of working scientifically skills.

Earth and Environmental Science

The Earth and Environmental Science course explore Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources and environmental issues. An understanding of Earth’s resources and the ability to live sustainably on the planet is a central purpose of the study of Earth and Environmental Science.

Students undertake practical and secondary-sourced investigations to acquire a deeper understanding of the Earth’s features and naturally occurring phenomena and cycles. Earth and Environmental Science involves the analysis, processing and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data in order to formulate explanations and solve problems.

Physics

The Physics Stage 6 Syllabus involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts that include energy and force. Physics deals with the study of phenomena on scales of space and time – from nuclear particles and their interactions up to the size and age of the Universe. This allows students to better understand the physical world and how it works, appreciate the uniqueness of the Universe, and participate in navigating and influencing the future.

The problem-solving nature of Stage 6 Physics develops students’ ‘working scientifically’ skills by focusing on the exploration of models and the analysis of theories and laws, which promotes an understanding of the connectedness of seemingly dissimilar phenomena.

Students who study Physics are encouraged to use observations to develop quantitative models of real world problems and derive relationships between variables. They are required to engage in solving equations based on these models, make predictions, and analyse the interconnectedness of physical entities. Physics

The Physics Stage 6 Syllabus involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts that include energy and force. Physics deals with the study of phenomena on scales of space and time – from nuclear particles and their interactions up to the size and age of the Universe. This allows students to better understand the physical world and how it works, appreciate the uniqueness of the Universe, and participate in navigating and influencing the future.

The problem-solving nature of Stage 6 Physics develops students’ ‘working scientifically’ skills by focusing on the exploration of models and the analysis of theories and laws, which promotes an understanding of the connectedness of seemingly dissimilar phenomena.

Students who study Physics are encouraged to use observations to develop quantitative models of real world problems and derive relationships between variables. They are required to engage in solving equations based on these models, make predictions, and analyse the interconnectedness of physical entities.