Wagga Wagga High School

Learning together for the future.

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Science is mandatory for all students from Year 7 to Year 10.

Science 7-10 provides a way of inquiring about the world around us. It explores evidence and investigates ways to discover, develop and produce solutions to real-world problems. Science emphasises the skills for working scientifically, as well as critical and creative thinking to address scientific issues.

In Years 11 and 12, students can choose from different science disciplines, including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Environmental Science
  • Investigating Science
  • Physics.

In Year 12, students who are studying at least one other science subject may also choose to study Science Extension.

Science Year 7/8

Science and its applications have a significant effect on individuals and society as a whole. To be successful as 21st Century learner and cope with technological change, individuals need to develop scientific skills and understanding. The aim of the course is to provide students with experiences in science which will contribute to their overall development.  Junior Science is a multi-strand course which means that traditional subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology are studied as interrelated disciplines.  (The environment we live in does not present information as separate disciplines).

In Years 7 and 8 (called Stage 4), students are assessed within their classes and across their forms by common topic tests and end of year exams.  Validation of Assessment 4 Learning and Individual Development (VALID) is a task which will be completed on-line. Students receive a Stage 4 Certificate at the end of Year 8 for completing all course requirements.

Science Year 9/10

The Stage 5 Science course builds on the concepts and language taught in Years 7 and 8. Students will be asked to become involved in, and ask questions about, simple and complex systems that lead to a greater understanding of how our world works. They will be introduced to the development of technologies to investigate problems. Concepts that they will study include: genetics and heredity, inertia, gravity, plate tectonics, evolution, chemistry, light, energy, electricity and ecology.

As well as undertaking practical experiences conducted in class time students are to undertake a variety of research projects and hands-on practical investigations at home called ‘student research projects'.

Assessments include a number of formative activities to develop students’ skills as well as a number of summative assessments.

Science Year 11/12


Biology explores the diversity of life from a molecular to a biological systems level. The course examines the interactions between living things and the environments in which they live. It explores the application of biology and its significance in finding solutions to health and sustainability issues in a changing world.

Biology uses Working Scientifically processes to develop scientific investigative skills. It focuses on developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills in order to understand and support the natural environment. When Working Scientifically, students are provided with opportunities to design and conduct biological investigations both individually and collaboratively.

The study of biology, which is often undertaken in interdisciplinary teams, complements the study of other science disciplines and other STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related courses. Through the analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, students are encouraged to solve problems and apply knowledge of biological interactions that relate to a variety of fields.

The Biology course builds on the knowledge and skills of the study of living things found in the Science Stage 5 course. The course maintains a practical emphasis in the delivery of the course content and engages with the technologies that assist in investigating current and future biological applications.

The course provides the foundation knowledge and skills required to study biology after completing school, and supports participation in a range of careers in biology and related interdisciplinary industries. It is a fundamental discipline that focuses on personal and public health and sustainability issues, and promotes an appreciation for the diversity of life on the Earth and its habitats.

The Year 11 and Year 12 courses each comprise four modules.

Year 11 Preliminary Biology

Module 1: Cells as the Basis of Life

Module 2: Organisation of Living Things

Module 3: Biological Diversity

Module 4: Ecosystem Dynamics


Year 12 HSC Biology

Module 5: Heredity

Module 6: Genetic Change

Module 7: Infectious Disease

Module 8: Non-infectious Disease and Disorders



Chemistry explores the structure, composition and reactions of and between all elements, compounds and mixtures that exist in the Universe. The discovery and synthesis of new compounds, the monitoring of elements and compounds in the environment, and an understanding of industrial processes and their applications to life processes are central to human progress and our ability to develop future industries and sustainability.

The course further develops an understanding of chemistry through the application of Working Scientifically skills. It focuses on the exploration of models, understanding of theories and laws, and examination of the interconnectedness between seemingly dissimilar phenomena.

Chemistry involves using differing scales, specialised representations, explanations, predictions and creativity, especially in the development and pursuit of new materials. It requires students to use their imagination to visualise the dynamic, minuscule world of atoms in order to gain a better understanding of how chemicals interact.

The Chemistry course builds on students’ knowledge and skills developed in the Science Stage 5 course and increases their understanding of chemistry as a foundation for undertaking investigations in a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields. A knowledge and understanding of chemistry is often the unifying link between interdisciplinary studies.

The course provides the foundation knowledge and skills required to study chemistry after completing school, and supports participation in a range of careers in chemistry and related interdisciplinary industries. It is an essential discipline that currently addresses and will continue to address our energy needs and uses, the development of new materials, and sustainability issues as they arise.

The Year 11 and Year 12 courses each comprise four modules.

Year 11 Preliminary Chemistry

Module 1: Properties and Structure of Matter

Module 2: Introduction to Quantitative Chemistry

Module 3: Reactive Chemistry 

Module 4: Drivers of Reactions


Year 12 HSC Chemistry

Module 5: Equilibrium and Acid Reactions 

Module 6: Acid/Base Reactions

Module 7: Organic Chemistry

Module 8: Applying Chemical Ideas


Earth and Environmental Science

Earth and Environmental Science explores the Earth’s renewable and non-renewable resources and also environmental issues. An understanding of the Earth’s resources and the ability to live sustainably on the planet is a central purpose of the study of Earth and Environmental Science.

The course uses the Working Scientifically skills to develop knowledge through the application of those skills. Students engage with inquiry questions to explore knowledge of the Earth. They also undertake practical and secondary-sourced investigations to acquire a deeper understanding of the Earth’s features and naturally occurring phenomena and cycles. Fieldwork is an integral part of these investigation processes.

Earth and Environmental Science involves the analysis, processing and evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data in order to formulate explanations and solve problems. In conjunction with knowledge and understanding, communication skills are essential in forming evidence-based conclusions or arguments.

The Earth and Environmental Science course builds on the knowledge and skills of Earth and Space gained in the Science Stage 5 course. The course maintains a practical emphasis in the delivery of the course content, and engages with technologies that assist in developing earth and environmental science applications.

The course provides the foundation knowledge and skills required to study earth and environmental science after completing school, and supports participation in careers in a range of related industries. The application of earth and environmental science is essential in addressing current and future environmental issues and challenges. It is also necessary for the use and management of geological resources that are important to Australia’s sustainable future.

The Year 11 and Year 12 courses each comprise four modules.

Year 11 Preliminary Earth and Environmental Science

Module 1: Earth's Resources

Module 2: Plate Tectonics

Module 3: Energy Transformations

Module 4: Human Impacts


Year 12 HSC Earth and Environmental Science

Module 5: Earth's Processes

Module 6: Hazards

Module 7: Climate Science

Module 8: Resource Management


Investigating Science

The Investigating Science Stage 6 Syllabus is designed to assist students of all abilities engage with scientific processes, and apply those processes to investigate relevant personal, community and global scientific issues.

The ongoing study of science and the specific Working Scientifically skills processes and their application have led humans to accumulate an evidence-based body of knowledge about human interactions – past, present and future – with the world and its galactic neighbourhood. The course is firmly focused on developing the Working Scientifically skills, as they provide a foundation for students to value investigation, solve problems, develop and communicate evidence-based arguments, and make informed decisions.

The course promotes active inquiry and explores key concepts, models and phenomena. It draws and builds on the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes gained in Science Stage 5. The Stage 6 course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the value of evidence-based investigations and the use of science-based inquiry in their lives.

The Investigating Science course is designed to complement the study of the science disciplines by providing additional opportunities for students to investigate and develop an understanding of scientific concepts, their current and future uses, and their impacts on science and society. The course draws on and promotes interdisciplinary science, by allowing students to investigate a wide range of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related issues and concepts in depth.

Investigating Science encourages the development of a range of capabilities and capacities that enhance a student’s ability to participate in all aspects of community life and within a fast-changing technological landscape. The knowledge, understanding and skills gained from this course are intended to support students’ ongoing engagement with science, and to form the foundation for further studies and participation in current and emerging STEM-related post-school activities and industries.

The Year 11 and Year 12 courses each comprise four modules.

Year 11 Preliminary Investigating Science

Module 1: Cause and Effect - Observing

Module 2: Cause and Effect – Inferences and Generalisations

Module 3: Scientific Models

Module 4: Theories and Laws


Year 12 HSC Investigating Science

Module 5: Scientific Investigations

Module 6: Technologies

Module 7: Fact or Fallacy?

Module 8: Science and Society



Physics involves the study of matter and its motion through space and time, along with related concepts that include energy and force. Physics deals with the study of phenomena on scales of space and time – from nuclear particles and their interactions up to the size and age of the Universe. This allows students to better understand the physical world and how it works, appreciate the uniqueness of the Universe, and participate in navigating and influencing the future.

The problem-solving nature of physics further develops students’ Working Scientifically skills by focusing on the exploration of models and the analysis of theories and laws, which promotes an understanding of the connectedness of seemingly dissimilar phenomena.

Students who study physics are encouraged to use observations to develop quantitative models of real-world problems and derive relationships between variables. They are required to engage in solving equations based on these models, make predictions, and analyse the interconnectedness of physical entities.

The Physics course builds on students’ knowledge and skills developed in the Science Stage 5 course and help them develop a greater understanding of physics as a foundation for undertaking post-school studies in a wide range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. A knowledge and understanding of physics often provides the unifying link between interdisciplinary studies.

The study of physics provides the foundation knowledge and skills required to support participation in a range of careers. It is a discipline that utilises innovative and creative thinking to address new challenges, such as sustainability, energy efficiency and the creation of new materials.

The Year 11 and Year 12 courses each comprise four modules.

Year 11 Preliminary Physics

Module 1: Kinematics

Module 2: Dynamics

Module 3: Waves and Thermodynamics

Module 4: Electricity and Magnetism


Year 12 HSC Physics

Module 5: Advanced Mechanics

Module 6: Electromagnetism

Module 7: The Nature of Light

Module 8: From the Universe to the Atom


Science Extension

Science Extension focuses on the nature, development and processes of science. The course requires students to engage with complex concepts and theories and to critically evaluate new ideas, discoveries and contemporary scientific research. Students are challenged to examine a scientific research question influenced by their study of one or more of the scientific disciplines. In doing this, students extend their knowledge of the discipline(s), conduct further analysis and authentic scientific investigations, and uniquely for this course, produce a detailed scientific research report that reflects the standards generally required for publication in a scientific journal.

Students interrogate and refine their ideas of and about science through analysing historic and cultural observations and significant scientific research within the relevant ethical frameworks and philosophical arguments of the time.

Through designing and conducting their own scientific research, initially using small datasets, students deepen and build upon their understanding of analysing and interpreting data. They are provided with opportunities to refine and extend their skills of Working Scientifically by applying these interrelated processes to contemporary authentic scientific research reflecting the skills used by practising research scientists. Students gather, examine, model and critically assess evidence that is informed by analysis of primary and secondary-sourced data and examining this data in relation to relevant publicly available data sets.

Science Extension is designed for students with an interest in scientific research. The course lays a foundation for students planning to pursue further study in Science, Tech

Year 12 HSC Science Extension comprise four modules as well as the Scientific Research Report

Module 1: The Foundations of Scientific Thinking

Module 2: The Scientific Research Proposal

Module 3: The Data, Evidence and Decisions

Module 4: The Research Report