Our society strongly depends on an understanding of Science. Science is the systematic inquiry into the workings of the Universe and involves the gathering and analysis of evidence, the formulation and testing of hypotheses. To continue to advance our society it is important that our children develop a deep understanding of Science.
The Science department at Tara is a dynamic one, with enthusiastic, gifted teachers who help make the learning of science enjoyable and productive.
All students are required by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to study science in Years 7 to 10. During this time our girls study all aspects of Science, from Physics to Chemistry, Biology to Geology. Not only is the content examined in interesting and varied ways, the implications of scientific advances are examined and discussed from a Christian perspective.
Differentiation is a key focus with Science at Tara, with extension activities and opportunities given to students with a passion for Science and appropriate and directed activities given to those who need it. The Science department at Tara does an outstanding job of developing the gifts of all our students.
Critical thinking, experimental design and analysis, problem solving and the processing and presenting of information are skills that are applicable across all subjects. These skills are explicitly taught and practised in Science during a student’s time at Tara, along with a strong focus on literacy and numeracy. These skills stay with our students throughout their lives and are arguably more important than the knowledge delivered.
Our girls learn about Science through:
active participation in challenging and engaging experiences
using scientific inquiry to develop their understanding of Scientific ideas and concepts
being actively involved in the processes of Science
questioning and seeking solutions to problems
developing an understanding of the importance of Science both in their own lives and in society, locally and globally
using scientific evidence to guide their understandings
being aware of the provisional nature of scientific understandings and that it is an evolving body of knowledge
demonstrating honesty, ethical principles and respect for differing viewpoints
becoming scientifically literate citizens who can make informed decisions regarding scientific issues
Many extension activities are offered to Science students at Tara. The ICAS Science Competition, the Australian National Chemistry Quiz, the Science Olympiads, the University of Sydney's Science Gifted and Talented Discovery Program are some of the competitions offered to our students.
Our gifted and talented students also have the opportunity to become involved in our Astronomy program. Tara has a relationship with Oxford University in England, where we have on site a 20 inch refracting telescope, a research grade scientific instrument. This is one of four telescopes spaced around the world and is used by Oxford astrophysicists to examine SS433, the Cosmic Corkscrew. Our students have many opportunities to use this telescope to advance their knowledge and stretch their understanding of the Universe. Learn more about this project.
Years 11 and 12
In Years 11 and 12 students have the opportunity to further their scientific understandings through various electives. These are:
Physics provides students with an understanding of energy, matter, and their interrelationships. It focuses on investigating natural phenomena and then applying patterns, models (including mathematical ones), principles, theories and laws to explain the physical behaviour of the universe. It uses an understanding of simple systems (single particles and pairs of particles) to make predictions about a range of objects from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe and aims to reveal the simplicity underlying complexity.
Chemistry provides students with an understanding of matter and its interactions. It focuses on investigating the physical and chemical properties of substances, chemical reactions and processes, and the interaction of energy and matter, and attempts to explain and predict events at the atomic and molecular level.
Biology provides students with an understanding of the concepts explaining the functioning, origins and evolution of living things.
It explores the levels of organisation of life, from the molecular level through cellular to higher levels of organisational structure and function, which exhibit evolution as a common source of unity and diversity. It includes developing an understanding of the interactions within and between organisms and between organisms and their environment.
Senior Science provides students with an understanding of some of the basic laws, theories and principles of biology, chemistry, physics and earth and environmental science and their application. It includes an examination of the technology that uses these laws, theories and principles and the impact of this science and technology on society. It reflects the interdisciplinary nature of science with a focus on the interdependence of science, technology and society.