The Western Australian Curriculum ensures that Science provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of important science concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, of science’s contribution to our culture and society and its applications in our lives.
The curriculum supports students to develop the scientific knowledge, understandings and skills to make informed decisions about local, national and global issues and to participate in science-related careers if they choose. It includes six overarching ideas that highlight common approaches to a scientific view of the world and which can be applied to many of the areas of science understanding. These overarching ideas are patterns, order and organisation; form and function; stability and change; systems; scale and measurement; and matter and energy.
At Cape Naturaliste College, the Science Learning Area programs integrate the latest evidence-based approaches to Science education to ensure the themes and content of the WA Science Curriculum are met; not only to provide students with a strong academic base to take into Upper School but also to investigate and understand science in the real world which they are part of. We integrate STEM-focused activities throughout our programs as we believe the Science aspects of STEM cannot be taught separately from the technological, engineering and mathematics based skills and knowledge that students need to access the increasingly complex role of science and technology in our lives.
The core curriculum strands in Years 7-10 are Biological Science, Chemical Science, Earth and Space Science and Physical Science. Investigations and open-ended tasks (Scientific Inquiry) and the social impact of science discoveries (Science as Human Endeavour) are embedded in these content strands. These are developed sequentially from Years 7 to 10, ensuring each subject is covered in-depth to develop a high level of understanding in preparation for Upper School Science.
In Upper School, we offer ATAR Chemistry, Human Biology, Physics and Psychology which provide students with options to study the core science subjects needed for University entry, and provide a comprehensive base for many science and technology-focused careers. General Psychology and General Marine and Maritime Studies (a merit select course) are also offered for students who are interested in vocational or trades-based directions after Year 12.
Our Science teachers recognise that all students have specific characteristics and unique needs, and our programs are designed to address each individual student to encourage them to reach their full potential. Science teachers and Learning Support staff ensure that programs are tailored to engage and challenge students from diverse backgrounds with a range of achievement potential.
Support for low literacy students and those with learning difficulties is embedded in our programs which are engaging and accessible for all students. High achieving students and those with a keen interest in Science are catered for with a range of extension opportunities throughout the school year. In 2019 our state-of-the art Science Building was opened with dedicated science laboratories and work areas, enabling us to provide students with extensive practical experience in Science and the benefits of the latest education-focused ICT resources.
We organise regular excursions to University outreach activities in Bunbury and Perth which give students a unique insight into Science careers and directions after school. We regularly host visiting researchers and professionals including rural medical students and SciTech workshops. Our focus on STEM includes participation in the annual Science and Engineering Challenge as an extension activity in Year 10 and involvement in the annual Solar Car Challenge in Year 8.
Our Science staff and Laboratory Technicians come from a range of science backgrounds including food science, dental nursing, industrial chemistry, molecular biotechnology, aviation, veterinary science and the armed forces, so we are able to relate our programs to real world careers and opportunities. We regularly participate in professional development to ensure we are able to bring the latest, most effective resources and teaching strategies into our classrooms.