Science

Biology is the study of the fascinating diversity of life as it has evolved and as it interacts and functions. Investigation of biological systems and their interactions, from cellular processes to ecosystem dynamics, has led to biological knowledge and understanding that enable us to explore and explain everyday observations, find solutions to biological issues, and understand the processes of biological continuity and change over time.

Studying the Biology ATAR course provides students with a suite of skills and understandings that are valuable to a wide range of further study pathways and careers. Understanding of biological concepts, as well as general science knowledge and skills, is relevant to a range of careers, including those in medical, veterinary, food and marine sciences, agriculture, biotechnology, environmental rehabilitation, biosecurity, quarantine, conservation and eco-tourism. This course will also provide a foundation for students to critically consider and to make informed decisions about contemporary biological issues in their everyday lives.

Unit 3: Continuity of Species

In this unit, students investigate mechanisms of heredity and the ways in which inheritance patterns can be explained, modelled and predicted; they connect these patterns to population dynamics and apply the theory of evolution by natural selection in order to examine changes in populations.

Unit 4: Surviving in a Changing Environment

In this unit, students investigate system change and continuity in response to changing internal and external conditions and pathogens. They investigate homeostasis and the transmission and impact of infectious disease; and they consider the factors that encourage or reduce the spread of infectious disease at the population level.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology ATAR Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 to a C grade.

Pathway: Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 leads to Units 3 and 4 in Year 12.

Chemistry is the study of materials and substances and the transformations they undergo through interactions and the transfer of energy. Chemists can use an understanding of chemical structures and processes to adapt, control and manipulate systems to meet particular economic, environmental and social needs. This includes addressing the global challenges of climate change and security of water, food and energy supplies, and designing processes to maximise the efficient use of Earth’s finite resources.

The Chemistry ATAR course develops students’ understanding of the key chemical concepts and models of structure, bonding, and chemical change, including the role of chemical, electrical and thermal energy. Students learn how models of structure and bonding enable chemists to predict properties and reactions and to adapt these for particular purposes.

Studying the Chemistry ATAR course provides students with a suite of skills and understandings that are valuable to a wide range of further study pathways and careers. An understanding of chemistry is relevant to a range of careers, including those in forensic science, environmental science, engineering, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and sports science. Additionally, chemistry knowledge is valuable in occupations that rely on an understanding of materials and their interactions, such as art, winemaking, agriculture and food technology.

Unit 3: Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, and Redox Reactions

In this unit, students investigate the concept of reversibility of reactions and the dynamic nature of equilibrium in chemical systems; contemporary models of acid-base behaviour that explain their properties and uses; and the principles of oxidation and reduction reactions, including the generation of electricity from electrochemical cells.

Unit 4: Organic Chemistry and Chemical Synthesis

In this unit, students develop their understanding of the relationship between the structure, properties and chemical reactions of different organic functional groups.  Students also investigate the process of chemical synthesis to form useful substances and products and the need to consider a range of factors in the design of these processes.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chemistry ATAR Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 to a C grade.

Pathway: Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 leads to Units 3 and 4 in Year 12.

Earth and Environmental Science is a multifaceted field of inquiry that focuses on interactions between the Earth’s geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and on dynamic, interdependent relationships that have developed between these components. Earth and Environmental scientists consider how these relationships produce environmental change over a variety of timescales.  To do this, they integrate knowledge, concepts, models and methods drawn from geology, biology, physics and chemistry in the study of Earth’s ancient and modern environments.  Earth and Environmental scientists strive to understand past and present processes so that reliable and scientifically-defensible predictions can be made about the future.

Unit 3: Managing Earth Resources

Students examine renewable and non-renewable resources, the implications of producing these resources, and associated management approaches.

Unit 4: Earth Hazards and Climate Change

Students consider how Earth processes and human activity can contribute to Earth hazards, and the ways in which these hazards can be predicted and managed to reduce their impact on Earth environments.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Earth and Environmental Science ATAR Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 to a C grade.

Pathway: Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 leads to Units 3 and 4 in Year 12.

Note: Participation in fieldwork is an essential component of the course.

Human Biology covers a wide range of ideas relating to the functioning human. Students learn about themselves, relating structure to function and how integrated regulation allows individuals to survive in a changing environment. They research new discoveries that are increasing our understanding of the causes of dysfunction, which can lead to new treatments and preventative measures.

Reproduction is studied to understand the sources of variation that make each of us unique individuals. Through a combination of classical genetics, and advances in molecular genetics, dynamic new biotechnological processes have resulted. Population genetics is studied to highlight the longer term changes leading to natural selection and evolution of our species.

The Year 12 syllabus is divided into two units which are delivered as a pair. The notional time for the pair of units is 110 class contact hours.

Unit 3: Homeostasis and Disease

This unit explores the nervous and endocrine systems and the mechanisms that help maintain the systems of the body to function within normal range, and the body’s immune responses to invading pathogens.

Unit 4: Human Variation and Evolution

This unit explores the variations in humans, their changing environment and evolutionary trends in hominids.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Human Biology ATAR Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 to a C grade.

Pathway: Units 1 and 2 lead to Units 3 and 4 in Year 12.

Physics is a fundamental science that endeavours to explain all the natural phenomena that occur in the universe. Its power lies in the use of a comparatively small number of assumptions, models, laws and theories to explain a wide range of phenomena, from the incredibly small to the incredibly large. Physics has helped to unlock the mysteries of the universe and provides the foundation of understanding upon which modern technologies and all other sciences are based.

Students learn how an understanding of physics is central to the identification of, and solutions to, some of the key issues facing an increasingly globalised society. They consider how physics contributes to diverse areas in contemporary life, such as engineering, renewable energy generation, communication, development of new materials, transport and vehicle safety, medical science, an understanding of climate change, and the exploration of the universe.

The Year 12 syllabus is divided into two units which are delivered as a pair. The notional time for the pair of units is 110 class contact hours.

Unit 3: Gravity and Electromagnetism

Students investigate models of motion in gravitational, electric and magnetic fields to explain how forces act at a distance.

Unit 4: Revolutions in Modern Physics

Students use the theory of electromagnetism to explain the production and propagation of electromagnetic waves and investigate how shortcomings in existing theories led to the development of the quantum theory of light and matter, the Special Theory of Relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Physics ATAR Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 to a C grade.

Pathway: Units 1 and 2 in Year 11 leads to Units 3 and 4 in Year 12.

The Integrated Science General course is inclusive and aims to be attractive to students with a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and career aspirations.

The Integrated Science General course is a course grounded in the belief that science is, in essence, a practical activity. From this stems the view that conceptual understandings in science derive from a need to find solutions to real problems in the first instance.

This course enables them to investigate science issues in the context of the world around them, and encourages student collaboration and cooperation with community members employed in scientific pursuits. It requires them to be creative, intellectually honest, to evaluate arguments with scepticism, and to conduct their investigations in ways that are ethical, fair and respectful of others.

Outcome 1 – Science Inquiry Skills

Outcome 2 – Science as a Human Endeavour

Outcome 3 – Science Understanding

The Year 12 syllabus is divided into two units which are delivered as a pair. The content within Unit 1 and Unit 2 can be taught in an integrated way in one or more contexts over the year. The notional time for the pair of units is 110 class contact hours.

Unit 3

The emphasis of this unit is on biological and Earth systems focusing on the interrelationships between Earth systems, structure and function of biological system, ecosystems and sustainability, species continuity and change in the contexts of wetlands ecosystems.

Unit 4

The emphasis of this unit is on physical and chemical systems, focusing on chemical reactions, mixtures and solutions in the cosmetic industry, motion, forces and energy in vehicle and driver safety.

Prerequisite: Nil

Pathway: Units 1 and 2 lead to Units 3 and 4 in Year 12

“Australia is an island nation, with Western Australia’s mainland and islands having approximately twenty-one thousand kilometres of coastline. It is therefore relevant to Western Australians to study the sea and how people interact with it”

A significant relationship between the marine environment and humans has existed throughout history. Australia is an island nation, with Western Australia’s mainland and islands having approximately twenty-one thousand kilometres of coastline. It is therefore relevant to Western Australians to study the sea and how people interact with it. The Marine and Maritime Studies General course provides students with the opportunity to understand and explore this relationship, and the importance of developing and maintaining a sustainable future.

The Marine and Maritime Studies General course draws from a diverse range of disciplines, including science, technology and the humanities. It provides students with opportunities to engage in unique theoretical and practical learning experiences, and to equip them with a broad range of skills and knowledge.

Outcome 1 – Marine and Maritime Knowledge

Outcome 2 – Marine and Maritime Skills

Outcome 3– Marine and Maritime Application

The Year 12 syllabus is divided into two units which are delivered as a pair. The notional time for the pair of units is 110 class contact hours.

Unit 3

This unit investigates Western Australian marine ecosystems, with a focus on estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass meadows. Students identify the key species and food webs for each of these ecosystems, as well as examine adaptations of organisms living in mangrove ecosystems. Environmental and resource management will focus on aquaculture as a solution to declining fish.

Unit 4

This unit examines global surface ocean currents, atmospheric circulation systems and the impact of climate change on global sea levels, thermohaline circulation and marine ecosystems. The process of coastal erosion and coastal engineering structures is studied. Students study types of marine tourism activities with a focus on the importance and impacts of ecotourism.

As the course will include outdoor field trips and excursions that will allow students to work towards a Skippers ticket for boating, there is an extra course fee of approximately $400.

Prerequisite:  Nil

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