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Subjects

Science

The science syllabuses are intended to bring about scientific literacy in students.

The general aims of the various disciplines in science are to enable students to:
  1. appreciate the natural world.
  2. appreciate how science has contributed to the historical and cultural development of our society.
  3. develop skills of scientific inquiry through making observations, coming up with hypotheses, designing and carrying out experiments to collect and analyse data so as to obtain evidence to support or disprove hypotheses made.
  4. understand the importance of experimental evidence when making decisions.
  5. develop awareness of the conclusions of important scientific theories so as to apply such knowledge in the natural world.

Pedagogies & mode of instruction
Various pedagogical approaches are used in the teaching of science in the classroom to enable students to acquire the skills and knowledge outlined in the various science syllabuses. Often there is an overlap of various pedagogies within a lesson to effectively engage students in learning.

Direct instruction
Basically teacher-directed where face-to-face instruction by teachers is done with carefully articulated lessons. Trigger activities at the start of such lessons are often used to gain the attention of the students. Scientific thinking and inquiry is enhanced is such lessons with the use of video resources, comics, stories and demonstrations to hold students attention.

Self-directed learning and Collaborative learning (SDL/CoL)
Problem based learning (PBL) helps students to understand basic science concepts longer when they are learned by self-discovery through exploration and discussion from problems faced in a practical real-world context. An essential and distinctive feature of this approach is that problems come first and introduce content, rather than problems following a presentation of facts and concepts. Students learn on a need-to-know basis either individually or in groups. Students become self-directed and collaborative learners in the use of PBL in the classroom. SDL/CoL is further enhanced with the use of ICT platforms such as Edomodo, Applets and other on-line resources.

Practical lessons
Practical work is integral to science education. Through practical lessons students observe or manipulate real objects, laboratory apparatus and materials individually or in small groups or by witness teacher demonstrations. Practical lessons enable students to develop scientific inquiry and practical skills. Students also gain a better understanding of scientific knowledge learned in the classroom and builds confidence in students. Practical work stimulates interest and enjoyment in the learning of science and gives insight into the scientific method. Students also develop ‘scientific attitudes’ such as open-mindedness and objectivity through the learning of science via practical work.

Key Programmes & Activities
  • Australian Big Science Competition
  • Design Thinking Programme
  • Scientific Thinking and Enterprise Programme
  • Use of Activated Effective Microorganisms in food waste composting
  • Young Gifted Scientist Programme
  • Unity Scientific Innovation Challenge