In keeping with St Clare’s High School’s mission to educate young people within the context of Christ’s mission and the traditions of Saint Clare and the Sisters of St Joseph, the Science faculty seeks to develop and inspire students to:

  • embrace the diverse challenges of life
  • strive for personal excellence
  • develop a strong sense of social and ecological responsibility
  • be empowered to fulfil their potential
  • understand a distinctive, scientific world view
  • create opportunities to succeed
  • develop scientific skills and literacy to facilitate participation in the world community.


Provide experiences in Science that will contribute to the development of the students.

The following six aims identify aspects of development appropriate to that basic aim.

  • Foster the development of values and attitudes that will provide a context for students to make informed and reasoned decisions about issues concerning science, technology, and society.
  • Develop scientific knowledge and understanding about phenomena within and beyond their experience.
  • Develop practical and investigating skills that are useful now and will be useful in the future.
  • Develop the ability to apply information and solve problems relevant to present and future activities in all aspects of life.
  • Develop expression and communication skills in a variety of media to enable effective participation in all aspects of life.
  • Develop positive values about and attitudes towards themselves, others, lifelong learning, science, and the environment.

Catholic perspective in Science

The following values are among those readily integrated into the teaching of Science.

Responsibility – Being accountable for your actions, resolving differences in constructive, non-violent and peaceful ways, contributing to society and to civic life, taking care of the environment.

Care – Caring for self and others.

Awe and wonder – An ability to marvel at the complexity of the created world.

Stewardship – Respecting and sharing the resources of the Earth, since we are all part of the community of creation. By our work we are co-creators in the continuing development of the planet.

To this end, students should be given the experiences to develop in the following areas.

  • Show awareness that scientists must be accountable for their actions.
  • Show awareness of the need for, and accept a level of, responsibility for the safe personal and community work practices in the home and workplace.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of and be willing to interact cooperatively with others in problem solving.
  • Value openness and the scientific quest for knowledge and truth.
  • Develop a sense of personal and public responsibility for safe waste disposal at home, in the lab and in industry.
  • Appreciate the challenge of the unknown and the value of scientific development in the field.
  • Appreciate and respect the environment in which we live, honouring the created universe as a gift from a loving God.
  • Develop an ability to marvel at the complexity of the created world, which is a sign of the goodness of God.
  • Show an awareness of the continuing dialogue between science and religion.
  • Display an ability to make choices that reflect the individual and social implications of the Gospel.
  • Show awareness of the need to share the Earth and its limited resources for the good of all.
  • Understand the fundamental moral imperative that good is to be pursued and evil avoided.

Science Curriculum

Syllabus Links in Science

The Board of Studies Teaching & Educational Standards NSW provides the syllabuses relevant to the teaching and learning of the Science Curriculum in NSW schools.

Stage 4 & 5 Science

Science K–10 : Science K–10 (incorporating Science and Technology K–6)

Stage 6 Science

HSC Syllabuses – Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards NSW

Other useful links for parents


Stage 4 & 5 Science Objectives

Knowledge and understanding

Students will develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • the history of science
  • the nature and practice of science
  • applications and uses of science
  • implications of science for society and the environment
  • current issues, research and development
  • models, theories and laws, and structures and systems related to the physical world, matter, the living world, and Earth and space
  • interactions within the physical world, matter, the living world and Earth and space.


Students will develop skills in working scientifically through:

  • planning investigations
  • conducting investigations
  • communicating information and understanding
  • developing scientific thinking and problem-solving techniques
  • working individually and in teams.

Values and attitudes

Students will develop positive values and attitudes towards themselves, others, learning as a lifelong process, science and the environment.

Stage 4 & 5 Science program

The content of the Stage 4 & 5 Science syllabus is presented through varied contexts to engage students in seeing the relationship between Science and their everyday lives.

The program is deliberately written to offer teachers flexibility to choose the activities that best suit their students and the diversity of learning needs. The program is constructed in a tiered format to allow for mixed ability classes.

The St Clare’s Learning Support Unit (SCILHUB) offers further support to teachers and students with in-class assistance, program differentiation, resource development and assessments.

Stage 4 Science

Science in Stage 4 (Years 7 & 8) introduces general scientific concepts programmed around the areas of Earth and space, the physical world, the chemical world, and the biological world as per the new Australian Curriculum. Students are given access to ideas, taught new skills, and encouraged to explore their world through the eyes of a scientist in the hope they will broaden their understanding and develop the critical thinking skills needed in the higher years.

Unit sequences

Year 7

Year 8

1: Being a Scientist
2: Solids, Liquids & Gases
3: Mixtures & Separations
4: Cells
5: Heat, Light & Sound
6: Classification
7: Forces
8: Earth & Space
9: Our Planet Earth

1: Science Skills
2: Atoms
3: Microbes
4: Body Systems
5: Electricity
6: Ecology
7: Plant Systems
8: Astronomy
9: Team Research Project

Stage 5 Science

Stage 5 (Years 9 & 10) builds upon the concepts introduced in Stage 4, refining student skills, and delving deeper into the nuances of Science. It looks at the larger ideas, the topical and occasionally controversial issues that impact the scientific community, while providing a greater understanding of the interconnectedness and intricacies of higher-level concepts in preparation for senior high school.

Unit Sequences

Year 9

Year 10

1: The Periodic Table
2: Chemical Reactions
3: Origin of the Universe
4: Light
5: Earth’s Fragile Crust
6: Reproduction
7: Energy in Ecosystems
8: Sense & Control
9: Simple Machine Technology

1: Chemical Reactions
2: Materials
3: Electricity & Communications Technology
4: Genetics
5: Motion
6: Health & Disease
7: Evolution
8: Global Issues
9: Individual Research Project

Stage 4 & 5 Science Resources

As the subject is dynamic both by nature and by curriculum expectation, resources constantly need to be reviewed and updated. St Clare’s is equipped with four science laboratories.

The Stage 4 & 5 Science Teaching and Learning program is supported with the use of the Science Focus Textbooks. These textbooks correspond to the year level as follows:

  • Science Focus 1 – Year 7
  • Science Focus 2 – Year 8
  • Science Focus 3 – Year 9
  • Science Focus 4 – Year 10

These textbooks are used in class and made available to the students in printed and electronic media.

Students also have access to the linked online Science Focus publication with a username and password


Curriculum Stage 6

Five Reasons to Study Science

  • You care about the future
  • You are curious
  • You want to save lives
  • You want to make a difference
  • You want an international experience

Science co-curricular

Linking Science

Throughout the year, students enjoy a range of co-curriculum Science experiences to provide extension and consolidation of their regular lesson content. These experiences also allow students to network with other organisations and develop essential links between the school and the community.

Science and Engineering challenge

Year 9 students have the opportunity to participate in the Science and Engineering competition in April this year at the Taree Racecourse. The challenge is a local Rotary Club project in conjunction with the University of Newcastle. It is encouraging to have their continued support for Science education in the local community. Each year the accounts from the students and staff are that it is a wonderful challenge with a friendly, competitive atmosphere.

National Youth Science Forum (NYSF)

The National Youth Science Forum is a 12-day program for students currently in Year 11 who are thinking about a career in science, engineering, and technology.

The flagship event of the NYSF is the January Forum. This event was hosted exclusively in Canberra by the Australian National University until 2010 when the NYSF introduced a third session, in Perth, co-hosted by the Curtin University of Technology and the University of Western Australia.

Rotary has been in partnership with the program since 1984 along with the Australian government, major industry, national research institutes and universities.

The most important aspect coming from the NYSF is a network of friends, colleagues and support groups throughout Australia, which will be of value to participants for the whole of their lives.

Inspiring futures

The NYSF helps students moving into Year 12 who wish to follow careers in science, engineering, and technology by introducing them to research and researchers, encouraging the achievement of excellence in all their undertakings, and helping to develop their communication and interpersonal skills. It also fosters discussion of, and interest in, major national and global issues and emphasises the importance of maintaining continuing active interests in sport, arts, and music.

St Clare’s has a remarkable history in this program, with students achieving selection through to the forum and having marvellous experiences, meeting notable scientists, and forming lifelong partnerships with other students and organisations.

Follow the link to find out more: National Youth Science Forum : NYSF

Year 11 Biology ecology excursion

Students studying the Preliminary Biology course visit Saltwater Reserve or Hunter Wetlands to conduct field research on the local rock platform. The skills involved in fieldwork and collecting data first-hand are invaluable and a vital component of the Biology syllabus – not to mention a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the ecology our local region has to offer.

Year 11 Browns Creek and sewage treatment plant

Earth and Environmental Science students investigate the local environment during an excursion to Browns Creek and the local sewage treatment plant.

HSC Physics Experiment-Fest

Year 12 HSC Physics students engage in many wonderful hands-on experiences at the HSC Experiment-Fest at Great Lakes College run by the University of Newcastle. Students can access high-end equipment to undertake investigations directly related to their Physics syllabus.

HSC Chemistry Bootawa Dam study

Year 12 Chemistry visit the new water catchment and management centre at Bootawa Dam.

Big Science Competition

The Big Science Competition is a 50-minute competition of 30 multiple-choice questions held at our school.  Online, and pen and paper formats are available.

The competition challenges students to think critically and solve scientific problems using everyday examples. The questions are aligned to the Australian Curriculum – Science.

Follow the link to find out more:  https://www.asi.edu.au/programs/big-science-competition/

Year 6 Orientation Day

Students in the local feeder primary schools have the opportunity to visit the school on its Open Day and experience what it is like to undertake experimental work in our laboratories. It sparks the interest of incoming Year 7 students in high school Science.