Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives. Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. Science aims to understand a large number of observations in terms of a much smaller number of broad principles. Science knowledge is contestable and is revised, refined and extended as new evidence arises.

The Western Australian Curriculum: 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, if they so wish, in science-related careers.

In addition to its practical applications, learning science is a valuable pursuit in its own right. Students can experience the joy of scientific discovery and nurture their natural curiosity about the world around them. In doing this, they develop critical and creative thinking skills and challenge themselves to identify questions and draw evidence-based conclusions using scientific methods. The wider benefits of this “scientific literacy” are well established, including giving students the capability to investigate the natural world and changes made to it through human activity.

The science curriculum promotes six overarching ideas that highlight certain 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.

The Western Australian Curriculum: Science aims to ensure that students develop:

  • an interest in science as a means of expanding their curiosity and willingness to explore, ask questions about and speculate on the changing world in which they live
  • an understanding of the vision that science provides of the nature of living things, of the Earth and its place in the cosmos, and of the physical and chemical processes that explain the behaviour of all material things
  • an understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and the ability to use a range of scientific inquiry methods, including questioning; planning and conducting
  • experiments and investigations based on ethical principles; collecting and analysing data; evaluating results; and drawing critical, evidence-based conclusions
  • an ability to communicate scientific understanding and findings to a range of audiences, to justify ideas on the basis of evidence, and to evaluate and debate scientific arguments and claims
  • an ability to solve problems and make informed, evidence-based decisions about current and future applications of science while taking into account ethical and social implications of decisions
  • an understanding of historical and cultural contributions to science as well as contemporary science issues and activities and an understanding of the diversity of careers related to science
  • a solid foundation of knowledge of the biological, chemical, physical, Earth and space sciences, including being able to select and integrate the scientific knowledge and methods needed to explain and predict phenomena, to apply that understanding to new situations and events, and to appreciate the dynamic nature of science knowledge.

Science is the study of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation. The Year 7 program aims at expanding student’s knowledge of science concepts and developing science skills. Denmark Senior High School approaches science learning in a highly practical and hands on way. This involves students engaging in investigations using appropriate laboratory equipment to undertake planned and open ended practical tasks. Whenever possible, learning opportunities will be based on activities to provide experiences that have real life applications.

The development of the Western Australian Curriculum allows the Science Department to expand student’s knowledge and conceptual understandings of

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Science as a Human Endeavour

Students will study classifications and interaction of organisms in the environment, how materials can be compiled and separated.  How the sun, moon and earth move to create tides, seasons, eclipses, movement of objects due to unbalanced forces and renewable and non-renewable resources.

The area of Scientific Inquiry involves skills development, research and experimental design. Science as a Human Endeavour includes the study of cutting edge scientific trends and the use of science in the home and work place.

Throughout Year 7, students will need to demonstrate their skills and abilities, both practical and conceptual through a range of assessment tasks.

Year 8 Science will build on students’ studies commenced in Year 7. This year aims at expanding student’s knowledge of basic science concepts and developing science skills. Denmark Senior High School approaches science learning in a highly practical and hands on way. This involves students engaging in investigations using appropriate laboratory equipment to undertake planned and open ended practical tasks. Whenever possible, learning opportunities will be based on hands on activities to provide experiences, which should have real life applications.

The development of the Australian Curriculum allows the Science Department to expand student’s knowledge and conceptual understandings of

  • Scientific Inquiry
  • Earth and Space Sciences
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Science as a Human Endeavour

The area of Scientific Inquiry involves skills development, research and experimental design as outlined in the Australian Curriculum under Inquiry and Human Endeavour. Students in Year 8 will build on the breadth, depth and specificity of their Year 7 scientific understanding.

Throughout Year 8, students will need to demonstrate their skills and abilities, both practical and conceptual, through a range of assessment.

Year 9 Science lays the foundations for Year 10 as students further develop and build on skills and understandings through the curriculum areas of Physics, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science and Biology. Students will study coordination of systems in the body and eco systems, radiation and chemical reactions, plate tech tonics and continental drift and energy transfer using wave theory. Achievement in Year 9 will be closely monitored as concepts increase in difficulty. A student’s progress will determine the science pathway which would be most appropriate for study in Year 10 and beyond. Students will build on and refine their investigation skills and will see the application of their science curriculum in the real world using current research

Science in Year 10 prepares students for transition into WACE Science courses as well as Vocational Educational and Training (VET) courses. Students will be counselled towards one of the following pathways based on Year 9 achievement and outcomes. Students will study genetics and evolution, atomic structure and properties and chemical reactions, the big bang theory and global systems, energy transfers and motion.

Students will have good investigative skills and will undertake experiments with more autonomy.  They will be guided to discover current research and applications of content they have studied

Biology ATAR

A unique appreciation of life and a better understanding of the living world are gained through studying the Biology ATAR course. This course encourages students to be analytical, to participate in problem-solving and to systematically explore fascinating and intriguing aspects of living systems, from the microscopic level through to ecosystems.

Students develop a range of practical skills and techniques through investigations and fieldwork in authentic contexts, such as marine reefs, endangered species, urban ecology, or biotechnology. Scientific evidence is used to make informed decisions about controversial issues.

Estimated Cost $60

Chemistry ATAR

The Chemistry ATAR course equips students with the knowledge, understanding and opportunity to investigate properties and reactions of materials. Theories and models are used to describe, explain and make predictions about chemical systems, structures and properties. Students recognise hazards and make informed, balanced decisions about chemical use and sustainable resource management. Investigations and laboratory activities develop an appreciation of the need for precision, critical analysis and informed decision making.

This course prepares students to be responsible and efficient users of specialised chemical products and processes at home or in the workplace. It also enables students to relate chemistry to other sciences, including biology, geology, medicine, molecular biology and agriculture, and prepares them for further study in the sciences.

Estimated Cost $60

Integrated Science General

The Integrated Science General course enables students to investigate science issues in the context of the world around them. It encourages students to develop their scientific skills of curiosity, observation, collection and analysis of evidence, in a range of contexts. The multidisciplinary approach, including aspects of biology, chemistry, geology and physics, further encourages students to be curious about the world around them and assume a balanced view of the benefits and challenges presented by science and technology. Students conduct practical investigations that encourage them to apply what they have learnt in class to real-world situations and systems.

Physics ATAR

In the Physics ATAR course students will learn how energy and energy transformations can shape the environment from the small scale, in quantum leaps inside an atom’s electron cloud, through the human scale, in vehicles and the human body, to the large scale, in interactions between galaxies. Students have opportunities to develop their investigative skills and use analytical thinking to explain and predict physical phenomena.

Students plan and conduct investigations to answer a range of questions, collect and interpret data and observations, and communicate their findings in an appropriate format. Problem-solving and using evidence to make and justify conclusions are transferable skills that are developed in this course.

Psychology ATAR

In the Psychology ATAR course students will be introduced to psychological knowledge which supports an understanding of the way individuals function in groups. Students learn about major psychological models and theories, and the methods used to conduct scientific investigations in the discipline of psychology. Students apply research methods and ethical principles as they analyse data to illustrate how empirical procedures are used to examine phenomena, such as memory, attention, attitudes, personality and group behavior. Acquiring this foundation of scientific method and critical thinking is a valuable skill which students can apply throughout their study, work and everyday lives.

Human Biology ATAR

The Human Biology ATAR course gives students a chance to explore what it is to be human—how the human body works, the origins of human variation, inheritance in humans, the evolution of the human species and population genetics. Through their investigations, students research new discoveries that increase our understanding of human dysfunction, treatments and preventative measures.

Practical tasks are an integral part of this course and develop a range of laboratory skills; for example, biotechnology techniques. Students learn to evaluate risks and benefits to make informed decisions about lifestyle and health topics, such as diet, alternative medical treatments, use of chemical substances and the manipulation of fertility.