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.

 

Separating Substances (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.

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 and how we name living things scientifically. Students also look at how living things interact through food chains and webs and how human activity can affect these interactions.

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.

The Sky and Earth’s Resources (Earth and Space Science)

Students look at the positions of the sun, Earth and moon and their 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.

 Thinking Science Program

All Year 7 students are also participating in the Thinking Science program. 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.

Last updated: October 2017


Year 8 Science Program

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

Investigating Chemistry (Chemical Sciences)

Students use the kinetic theory to explain the properties of solid, liquids and gases. They examine atoms as the building blocks of matter and how they are classified as elements in the Periodic Table. Students investigate chemical and physical changes. They look at the preparation, properties and uses of some important gases.

Energy (Physical Sciences)

Energy appears in different forms. Students investigate the types and sources of energy, energy transformations and the efficiency of appliances.

Body Systems (Biological Sciences)

Students investigate cells and how they are the building blocks of living things. They use the structures found in plant, animal and fungi cells to classify them and look at the specialised functions of those structures. Students then examine the systems in multicellular organisms to enable them to survive and reproduce.

Geology (Earth and space Sciences)

Students use the rock cycle to explain how rocks, minerals and soil are formed over time. Students investigate the minerals and ores mined in Western Australia and recognise that a significant part of our wealth and prosperity in the state comes from the mining area.

NOTE: Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour are integrated into each science unit.

 

Last updated: October 2017



Year 9 Science Program

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

Heat and Electricity (Physical Sciences)

Students will investigate how energy is able to be transferred through different mediums using heat and electricity. Students will learn about the science and technology of household energy and its uses. As energy consumers, students will be able to make informed decisions regarding the safe use, purchase and conservation of energy.

 

Ecology (Earth and space Sciences, Biological Sciences)

Students will investigate the components of an ecosystem and understand that ecosystems change over time. They will use the theory of plate tectonics to explain how ecosystems have changed over time due to changing weather patterns. How Australia has a diverse and unique range of flora and fauna due to the change in land masses over time. They will study the effect of human activities on ecosystems and the importance of conservation in maintaining ecosystem diversity.

 

Maintaining Balance (Biological Sciences)

Students will investigate how living things maintain a constant internal environment. They will study how body systems interrelate to supply cells with resources and remove waste.
They will investigate how pathogenic disease affects the functioning of the organ systems and the lines of defence multicellular organisms have to protect themselves.

 

Interactions in Chemistry (Chemical Sciences)

Students investigate the structure of atoms and their electron configurations. They use valencies to write formulae and balanced chemical equations. Students investigate the properties of acids and bases. They study a variety of chemical processes including those involving acids, oxygen and fuels.

NOTE: Science Inquiry Skills and Science as a Human Endeavour are integrated into each science unit.

Last updated: October 2017


 

Year 10 Science Program

All Year 10 students do a common pathway for Semester 1. On the basis of their subject selections for Year 11 and results in the Semester 1 Science exam, they will be placed into one of two (2) pathways for Semester 2.

Physical Science Pathway

UNITS:

  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Classical Physics
  • Earth Sciences

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)

Biological Science Pathway

UNITS:

  • Biology
  • Earth Sciences

This is designed for those students who wish to do ATAR Human Biology and Biology 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 Semester 2 Exam
ATAR Physics 65% or more in Semester 2 Exam
ATAR Biology 60% or more in Exam
ATAR Human Biology 60% or more in Exam


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.