Biology provides opportunities for students to engage with living systems.
Students develop their understanding of cells and multicellular organisms. They engage with the concept of maintaining the internal environment. They study biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life. This knowledge is linked with the concepts of heredity and the continuity of life.
Students learn and apply aspects of the knowledge and skills of the discipline (thinking, experimentation, problem-solving and research skills), understand how it works and how it may impact society. They develop their sense of wonder and curiosity about life; respect for all living things and the environment; understanding of biological systems, concepts, theories and models; appreciation of how biological knowledge has developed over time and continues to develop; a sense of how biological knowledge influences society.
Students plan and carry out fieldwork, laboratory and other research investigations; interpret evidence; use sound, evidence-based arguments creatively and analytically when evaluating claims and applying biological knowledge; and communicate biological understanding, findings, arguments and conclusions using appropriate representations, modes and genres.
Chemistry is the study of materials and their properties and structure.
Students study atomic theory, chemical bonding, and the structure and properties of elements and compounds. They explore intermolecular forces, gases, aqueous solutions, acidity and rates of reaction. They study equilibrium processes and redox reactions. They explore organic chemistry, synthesis and design to examine the characteristic chemical properties and chemical reactions displayed by different classes of organic compounds.
Students develop their appreciation of chemistry and its usefulness; understanding of chemical theories, models and chemical systems; expertise in conducting scientific investigations. They critically evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims in order to solve problems and generate informed, responsible and ethical conclusions, and communicate chemical understanding and findings through the use of appropriate representations, language and nomenclature.
Students learn and apply aspects of the knowledge and skills of the discipline (thinking, experimentation, problem-solving and research skills), understand how it works and how it may impact society.
Physics provides opportunities for students to engage with classical and modern understandings of the universe.
Students learn about the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics, electricity and nuclear processes; and about the concepts and theories that predict and describe the linear motion of objects. Further, they explore how scientists explain some phenomena using an understanding of waves. They engage with the concept of gravitational and electromagnetic fields, and the relevant forces associated with them. They study modern physics theories and models that, despite being counterintuitive, are fundamental to our understanding of many common observable phenomena.
Students develop appreciation of the contribution physics makes to society: understanding that diverse natural phenomena may be explained, analysed and predicted using concepts, models and theories that provide a reliable basis for action; and that matter and energy interact in physical systems across a range of scales. They understand how models and theories are refined, and new ones developed in physics; investigate phenomena and solve problems; collect and analyse data; and interpret evidence. Students use accurate and precise measurement, valid and reliable evidence, and scepticism and intellectual rigour to evaluate claims; and communicate physics understanding, findings, arguments and conclusions using appropriate representations, modes and genres.
Psychology provides opportunities for students to engage with concepts that explain behaviours and underlying cognitions.
Students examine individual development in the form of the role of the brain, cognitive development, human consciousness and sleep. They investigate the concept of intelligence; the process of diagnosis and how to classify psychological disorder and determine an effective treatment; and the contribution of emotion and motivation on individual behaviour. They examine individual thinking and how it is determined by the brain, including perception, memory, and learning. They consider the influence of others by examining theories of social psychology, interpersonal processes, attitudes and cross- cultural psychology.
Students learn and apply aspects of the knowledge and skill of the discipline (thinking, experimentation, problem-solving and research skills), understand how it works and how it may impact society.
Science in Practice
Science in Practice develops critical thinking skills through the evaluation of claims using systematic reasoning and an enhanced scientific understanding of the natural and physical world.
Students learn through a contextual interdisciplinary approach that includes aspects of at least two science disciplines — Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science or Physics. They are encouraged to become scientifically literate, that is, to develop a way of thinking and of viewing and interacting with the world that engages the practical and analytical approaches of scientific inquiry.
Students plan investigations, analyse research and evaluate evidence. They engage in practical activities, such as experiments and hands-on investigations. Through investigations they develop problem-solving skills that are transferable to new situations and a deeper understanding of the nature of science.