Science

Science at Thornlie SHS is a key learning area that is well resourced and growing. We have a big and dedicated team of highly qualified teachers and laboratory technicians, each of whom is an expert in their chosen field.

We offer the full range of ATAR science subjects in senior school and have multiple classes in Physics, Human Biology and Chemistry. Now we also have Biology and Integrated Science running and look forward to watching these important subjects grow and succeed. Our senior students score consistently well in their ATAR studies at Thornlie SHS and many have gone on to pursue successful science careers beyond school.

Our facilities include seven air cooled laboratories and two large preparation areas all connected wirelessly to the internet. Our laboratories also have the latest interactive whiteboards with 5.1 digital surround sound. Uniquely, we have a large and secured plant nursery with the full range of supporting equipment including electronically controlled reticulation. Housed in this facility are our new worm farms and composting bins.

In Science we run an Academic Extension (AE) pathway for year’s seven to ten. These students get an enriched and diversified curriculum that includes more challenging assessments as well as plenty of additional excursions and incursions. This year alone we’ve visited Scitech, Alcoa Refinery, Murdoch and Curtin Universities, Adventure World and the South East Regional Centre for Urban Landscapes. We’ve had visits from Kanyana Wildlife Sanctuary, Scitech, South Thornlie Primary, Edith Cowan University and even WA’s Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken. Each AE student is also required to participate in a range of external science competitions including the annual ICAS Exams and Rio Tinto’s Big Science Competition with formal recognition and prizes for competition winners. Their performance is closely monitored as enrolments in this program are highly competitive with many students applying to enter every year. Your child must perform to a high level to remain in this wonderful program. Following year ten, many of our AE students go on to choose science in senior school which helps explain our exceptional ATAR results. 

Mainstream students don’t miss out either; they get the best science education available. We use proven pedagogy that gets results and the latest teaching programs linked to the new Western Australian Curriculum. Students get expert tuition using a mix of direct instruction and an inquiry-based approach where they get plenty of opportunities to do experiments and investigations. Our staff know that by getting students out of their seats, working in groups and designing experiments that produce quality data, we are well on the way to implementing an engaging and effective science curriculum.

Finally, we have an exciting new STEM club running this year. One of our new staff, Ms Wu, has organised a broad group of students, across years 7 to 12, to work on building and programing Lego robots which we use to compete in the annual Robocup held at Curtin University. We participated this year and our students learnt plenty about the skills involved as well as having lots of fun. Importantly, given the importance of STEM education to our economy we are also offering a completely new science STEM elective commencing next year. This elective will delve much deeper into the world of robotics, coding and mechatronics providing students with pathways to possible future careers in this growing area.

Should you be interested we look forward to your child enrolling in our school and hope they succeed in their science studies like so many before them.

Eric Syme
HOD
Eric.Syme@education.wa.edu.au