Science

Gabrielle Gunn 
Head of Science

‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.’- Albert Einstein

'Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.' Carl Sagan

Year 7 and 8

In Year 7 and 8 we want to encourage your natural curiosity about the world around you, develop your observational and thinking skills and inform your problem solving and decision-making.

You will learn about the scientific method, plan your own experiments and constructively criticise your own investigations, seeing yourselves as scientists. Studying forensic science and environmental education will develop your skills in problem-solving, co-operation and evaluation. Year 7 students learn about the concept of kaitiakitanga and the importance of being guardians of the environment,based on Māori world view. You will also complete an independent investigation for your first CREST Award and work towards Science badges. In Year 8 you also have the opportunity to complete your Junior Eureka Award.

A weekly CASE activity (from King’s College University of London’s Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education) gives your brain a workout.

Year 9

Many of the major challenges and opportunities that confront our world need to be approached from a scientific perspective. Through the sciences, you develop an understanding of the world, built on current scientific theories and use scientific knowledge for problem-solving to consider its implications and relevance in your own lives.

You will learn to recognise the importance of scientific knowledge and processes in the home, industry and the world around you, through studies of plants and animals, chemicals and physical phenomena. Development of observation, problem solving, research skills, relationships and patterns and scientific attitudes are also important. During the year, you undertake several independent investigations and complete challenges. Working towards the Bronze Crest Awards and participating in the School CREST exhibitions will promote high level, ethical and independent scientific thinking.

Year 10

Many of the major challenges and opportunities that confront our world need to be approached from a scientific perspective. Through the sciences, you will develop an understanding of the world built on current scientific theories and use their scientific knowledge for problem solving, to gain an understanding of its relevance in your own lives. During the year, you will undertake several independent investigations, including an innovative task on New Zealand’s biodiversity, linking the methodical and creative aspects of both Science and Art.

You will choose a field of interest to develop personal challenge investigations over the year. There are also opportunities for creativity and research. You will plan and undertake an individual action “to make a difference” during your investigations into sustainability.

In Year 10, motivated and interested students may begin preparation for the Brain Bee, a competition in neurosciences open to Year 11 students.

Year 11

A scientific perspective is essential when exploring many of the major challenges and opportunities that confront our world. Through the sciences, you develop an understanding of the world, built on current scientific theories and use scientific knowledge for problem-solving and to gain an understanding of its implications and relevance in your own lives.

The Science course is divided into three modules: Biology,Chemistry and Physics. The course includes internally and externally assessed achievement standards. The classes rotate in order to share the expertise of specialist teachers in each of the scientific disciplines. 

In Year 12, Science splits into three separate courses: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. You need a minimum of 16 credits in Level 1 to progress to Level 2 and to have achieved the externally assessed standard(s) relevant to the science subject(s) you plan to continue studying.

Year 12 and 13

Many of the major challenges and opportunities that confront our world need to be approached from a scientific perspective. Through the sciences, students develop an understanding of the world built on current scientific theories and use their scientific knowledge for problem solving and to gain an understanding of its implications and relevance in their own lives.

Biology (Option)
Biology is a subject of wide general interest where students learn about the way living things interact with each other and the environment. It is particularly relevant to current issues regarding environmental sustainability, conservation, gene technology and biotechnology. Biology is a prerequisite for a range of careers, including health sciences, plant, animal and food sciences.

Year 12
The content of this course includes ecology, cell structure and function, genetics and plant and animal adaptations to their way of life. Field work and laboratory work are important components of the course. An enhancement tutorial course will be run for interested students.

Year 13
Level 2 Biology is strongly recommended as a prerequisite for Level 3. During this course you will study animal behaviour, plant responses, homeostasis, evolutionary processes and trends in human evolution. You also carry out investigation in a biological context and undertake research into an area of your choice, to produce a report showing development of an informed response to a socio-scientific issue which is relevant to New Zealand. Scholarship Biology is a regular tutorial programme for students with a keen interest in this subject.

Chemistry (Option)
Chemistry leads to a diverse range of career opportunities. Achievement in Year 13 Chemistry is mandatory for some careers, such as the Health Sciences and is also a useful background to other physical, biological and applied science careers.

Year 12
The course provides a foundation for any further studies in Chemistry. There is a considerable emphasis on practical work. Major topics in the course are: atomic structure, bonding and energy changes; qualitative and quantitative analysis; organic chemistry; oxidation-reduction and aspects of chemical reactivity. Competence in Mathematics and achievement in the Level 1 Chemistry standards are strongly recommended as prerequisites.

Year 13
Level 2 Chemistry is an essential prerequisite for Year 13 study. Concepts discussed at Level 2 are developed to a more sophisticated level, with increasing emphasis on quantitative aspects, thus confidence with mathematical techniques, such as simple algebra, logarithm functions and graphs, is essential. Laboratory work continues to be an important component.

Major topics in the course are: spectroscopic analysis; atomic structure, bonding and energy changes; aqueous equilibria; oxidation-reduction; organic and inorganic chemistry. Support is available for students who wish to sit Scholarship Chemistry.

Physics (Option)
Physics is a fundamental science concerned with the nature of the physical universe and includes the concepts of gravity, motion, electromagnetism, radiation, the origins of the universe and the structure of the atom. Physics is a recommended subject for a number of careers, such as aviation, engineering, industrial design, surveying, health sciences, and veterinary science. If you are anticipating tertiary study in these disciplines, you will benefit from a thorough grounding in the essential aspects of Physics taught at Levels 2 and 3.

Year 12
Level 2 Physics introduces the fundamental concepts and formulae relating to waves, mechanics, electricity, electromagnetism and atomic and nuclear physics, including optics and energy. There is a substantial mathematical content and students without reasonable competence in Mathematics may find this subject challenging. Physics at Level 2 is a prerequisite for Level 3 Physics.

Year 13
Concepts introduced in Year 12 Physics are developed at a more sophisticated level in Year l3 and you must be competent with the practical skills acquired at Level 2 and Level 3 Mathematics. Mathematics with Calculus is highly recommended if future Physics study is intended. Explanatory writing and problem solving are essential skills for success in Level 3 Physics. Support is available for highly motivated and able students who wish to pursue Scholarship Physics.


Please feel free to contact our Science Department.