Science Department

The Science Department strives to create an environment which favours the pursuit of excellence and the development of the values of integrity and responsibility, whilst applauding the success and initiative of others we work alongside. We are committed to developing critical thinking skills and the building of a knowledge base that informs future action.

Students are encouraged to express their own ideas in an environment that is supportive and respects the dignity of the individual and their right to hold different opinions on issues. They are taught to recognise that scientific understandings evolve and must be adapted to reflect new discoveries.

The Science curriculum promotes awareness of our place in, and impact on, the environment and society. Concepts of diversity, sustainability and conservation are presented as challenging aspects of Science.

School developed resources have been written for use in the lower school years, offering a curriculum that challenges and extends students and forms a very strong foundation for the rigour of upper school science courses.

Year 7 Science Program

All students in Year 7 follow a common course of five units, beginning with:

Working as a Scientist (Science Inquiry Skills)

This course is an introduction to secondary science. Its aim is to provide students with the prerequisite knowledge and skills needed for all further secondary science studies. It covers:

  • an introduction to the science laboratory and laboratory skills
  • safety in the use of science equipment.
  • an introduction to the scientific method and its terminology
  • using these methods to carry out investigations to solve problems.

Forces and Simple machines (Physical Science)

There are many forces in nature. Students investigate forces, how they are measured and what they can do. All sorts of devices, tools and machines are used to put these forces to work. Students investigate simple machines and how they work.

Earth and Space (Earth and Space Science)

Students look at the positions of the sun, Earth and moon and there effect on changes in seasons and tides. How solar and lunar eclipses occur. The sun is an important source of energy and students investigate its effect on renewable and non-renewable resources and how it drives the water cycle.

Living Things (Biological Science)

All the millions of living things can be sorted into groups using differences. Classification uses these differences to help organise the diversity of life. Students investigate the characteristics of living things and the way they are classified into taxonomic groups. How we name living things scientifically. Students also look at how living things interact through food chains and webs. How human activity can affect these interactions.

Matter (Chemical Science)

Chemical substances can be elements, compounds or mixtures. Students look at the properties of these groups and how they can be separated using a range of techniques.

Thinking Science Program

All Year 7 students are also participating in the Thinking Science program through the Personal Growth and Citizenship lessons. This program is aimed to improve student’s cognitive development through the use of a problem solving activities. It encourages students to work cooperatively and allows students to reflect ion their own thinking and problem solving processes. The program is structured to run over two years and will therefore continue in their science lessons in Year 8.

Late update: April 2015


Year 8 Science Program

All students complete a common course of four units, beginning with:

Working Scientifically
This subject is an introduction to secondary science. Its aim is to provide students with the prerequisite knowledge and skills needed for all further secondary science studies. It covers:

  • an introduction to the science laboratory and laboratory skills
  • library research skills
  • the methods of science
  • using these methods to solve everyday problems.

The remaining units will be taught in different orders to different groups of classes.

They are:

Life and Living
This subject allows students to study living things, their characteristics and life processes. The subject covers:

  • the differences between living and non-living things
  • the characteristics of plants
  • the characteristics of animals
  • how the living world has been classified
  • the importance of plants and animals
  • investigation of life processes

Investigating Chemistry
This is an introductory chemistry subject. It examines atoms as the building blocks of matter, elements, the Periodic Table, compounds, solubility, simple separation techniques, chemical and physical changes as well as the preparation, properties and uses of some important gases.

Geology
Geology is the science of the Earth; how it was formed, what it is made of, its history and the changes that take place on it and in it. In a State such as Western Australia, a significant part of our wealth and prosperity comes from rocks and minerals mined here and exported all over the world. This unit is an introduction to the important geological concepts such as minerals, rocks, ores, crystals and Earth processes.

Simple Machines
There are many forces in nature. All sorts of devices, tools and machines are used to put these forces to work and make work easier. Students doing this course will do many activities to find out about forces, how they can be measured and what forces can do. In modern society knowledge about forces, machines and technology is very important.



Year 9 Science Program
All students in Year 9 follow a common course of four science units

These units are:

Body Works
All animals, including humans, live where they can get food, water, air and shelter. These studies will help students to understand how things are obtained from the surroundings and are important to life. Topics covered include: the need for a range of resources such as food, water, air and shelter for survival

where animals gain these resources and how they use them

  • how animal structure and function help obtain these resources
  • how animals affect their environment
  • how disease impacts on organ functioning.

Energy & Change (Heat & Electricity)

Students will learn about the science and technology of household energy and its uses. For example, an electric toaster uses electrical energy and changes it to heat energy which cooks the toast. As energy consumers, students will be able to make informed decisions regarding the safe use, purchase and conservation of energy. This subject covers:

  • what is meant by an electric current
  • the production, detection and transfer of electrical energy
  • making electric circuits
  • the use of the heating, lighting and magnetic effects of an electric current and interpreting circuit diagrams
  • heat transfer and how it can be used in everyday situations
  • the ways in by which household energy and appliances may be used safely.

Ecology
Ecology includes:

  • a study of humans and their relationship with their environment
  • the effect that non-living things have on the kinds of organisms that can live in an area
  • the effect that living organisms have on other living organisms
  • how matter and energy are used in the living world
  • the effect of human activities on nature
  • the use and conservation of the environment.

Interactions in Chemistry
The modern world is extremely dependent on chemicals used in items such as food, medicine, plastics, building, transport, fertilisers and toys – the list is endless. Students will study a variety of chemical processes and come to understand how modern society has become influenced by one particular branch of science.


 

Year 10 Science Program

All Year 10 students do a common pathway for Semester 1. On the basis of their scores during this semester, particularly in the Science exam, they will be placed into one of two (2) pathways for Semester 2.

Pathway 1

UNITS:

  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Classical Physics
  • New Generations

This is the most challenging pathway in Year 10 and leads to any Science course in Year 11 provided the student achieves success. (see below)

Pathway 2

UNITS:

  • World Around Us
  • Microbiology
  • Forensic Science

This is designed for those students who do not wish to do ATAR Chemistry and Physics in Year 11. It allows them to study units which are less mathematical. If completed successfully, this pathway will allow students to select ATAR Biology, ATAR Human Biology and General Integrated Science.

Within pathways, different classes will undertake different enrichment tasks and investigations depending on their interests and abilities.

To be able to select particular subjects in Year 11 students must meet certain prerequisites.

Year 11 Course Prerequisite Required
ATAR Chemistry 65% or more in Exam
ATAR Physics 65% or more in Exam
ATAR Biology 55% or more in Exam
ATAR Human Biology 55% or more in Exam
ATAR Psychology 60% or more in English Exam
GENERAL Integrated Science No Prerequisite


Astronomy (Earth and Space Science)
This course is an introduction the fascinating Science of Astronomy. Here the Earth and its relationships with the Moon, the Sun and the other planets of our Solar System, along with quasars, blackholes, etc, are studied in some depth. This unit will lead students to the very edge of the universe!

Microbiology (Biological Science)
The study of microbes is crucial in our modern society where we have share the earth with numerous bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Some of these may even threaten the human species survival, yet others are critical to our existence.

Forensic Science (Chemical Science)
This course looks at the many applications of Science used to solve crimes. Techniques such as DNA analysis, maggot identification, blood groups, hand writing analysis, blood splatter and many others are considered.

Year 10 Science Electives

There are 2 electives offered to Year 10 students:

Science Discovery
This course is designed for students keen to take their science understandings beyond the square. Students will explore topics like Forensic Science, Physics of Car Design, Kitchen Chemistry, Cosmetics, The Stars and Beyond, Rocketry or the Science behind Toys.

Science Discovery is for students who have a strong interest in science.

Science - Year 10

Science - Year 10 (2)

Medical Science
This course is designed for students with an interest in pursuing careers in the medical industry, such as medicine, dentistry, radiography, etc

Students will explore topics like the human body, microbiology, diseases, health and lifestyle choices or modern medical technologies.

Med Sci 1 Med Sci 4

Medical Science Program
Significant numbers of Rossmoyne Senior High School students eventually study medical courses at university; particularly Medicine and Dentistry.

The Medical Science Program is designed to make all students more aware of the vocational opportunities available in the branch of Science endeavour. There are a number of aspects to this program:

Significant numbers of Rossmoyne Senior High School students eventually study medical courses at university; particularly Medicine and Dentistry. The Medical Science Program is designed to make all students more aware of the vocational opportunities available in the branch of Science endeavour. There are a number of aspects to this program:

  1. Science as a Human Endeavour: an important component of the Science Australian Curriculum is the consideration of how Science influences all aspects of our lives. This component is referred to as “Science as a Human Endeavour” (SHE) and where ever possible the Science teachers at Rossmoyne SHS will use examples which have links to Medical Science. The aims to make students not only aware of the vocations of Medicine and Dentistry, but also those many other diverse medical fields such as radiography, nuclear medicine, microbiology, etc.
  2. Medical Science Elective: a new elective for Year 10 students has been developed. This course is designed for students with an interest in pursuing careers in the medical industry, such as medicine, dentistry, radiography, etc. Students will explore topics like the human body, microbiology, diseases, health and lifestyle choices or modern medical technologies.
  3. Medical Work Experience: a number of Year 10, 11 and 12 students are able to do work experience in various institutions, such as hospitals, universities, etc. This is an extremely informative way of gaining insights into the various fields of medical science. These sessions are usually full time for a week and conducted during vocations.
  4. ATAR Psychology: this new Year 11 and 12 course has been introduced for those interested in this field of medical science. Being an ATAR subject this allows students to study psychology at a high level. They can potentially use their score for tertiary entranceand as a prerequisite for various university courses.

Late update: May 2015


Year 11 and 12 Science Courses

The following science courses are available. (Click on the subject to view details of a course).

Entry to all courses, apart from Integrated Science 1A1B in Year 11, is subject to prerequisites being met from Year 10. Most students wishing to study these courses in Year 12 would be expected to have completed the corresponding course in Year 11. Detail of these requirements can be found in the relevant Student Handbook.


Facilities

In 2007 the new state of the art science building opened. This features six new maxi-laboratories and two well equipped science classrooms, as well as open areas for group or individual computer research and display. These new facilities, together with six other older, but well equipped laboratories; enable the school’s science program to be strongly activity based and hands-on. The new science block opens onto the Bullcreek Reserve, a wonderful remnant bushland area that is a focus for environmental studies by most students and rehabilitation activities, especially those conducted by the Bushranger Cadets.

The school is consistently acknowledged as one of the top 10 schools in WACE Science subjects. The percentage of students at this school attempting science courses in Year 11 and 12 is larger than in any other school in the State. Many students study three sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Human Biological Science being a common combination. Biological Sciences, and Integrated Science are also offered.

The percentage of students sitting at least one WACE science course at this school is very large and the success of the school in preparing students can be judged by the consistent high performance.  Up to 10% of the annual intake into the Faculty of Medicine at UWA has been of Rossmoyne students.


Pursuit of excellence

In addition to running a PEAC program for primary school students, an Academic Extension program offers students in Years 8, 9 and 10 the opportunity to laterally and vertically extend their science understanding. This program is available to students nominated by their science teacher.

Many of our students choose to sit for competitions like the Rio Tinto Big Science Competition and the UNSW International Competitions and Assessments in Science. Consistently they demonstrate high levels of success in a range 12% – 26% above the State average.