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Clean Sweep: Leading School Status in Science

In 2022, All Saints’ College achieved ‘course leader’ status across five ATAR Science subjects including Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Psychology.

Course leader status is awarded to schools based on the percentage of students whose marks are in the top 15% of all students taking that course. This is the first time All Saints’ has achieved this status across all five subjects.

The Class of 2022 achieved outstanding results across all five Science subjects, with the students’ passion and dedication to the Sciences supporting their motivation to explore their subjects in depth.

The Science program at All Saints’ ensures students learn in a real-world environment, focusing on real-world applications of topics, industry insights and experiences, and field work and projects that allow students to deepen their understanding.

With a large number of students taking Science subjects in Years 11 and 12, Head of Science Stacey Fairhead said this is due to a combination of factors.

“Students choose Science as a subject in their final years of school partly because they know there are a lot of exciting and diverse career opportunities in the Sciences,” said Stacey.

“That knowledge doesn’t just come from the Science department but the broader messaging from the Government and in the media around the importance of STEM in the workforce certainly helps,” she added.

“For example, the renewable technology sector and mining, for better or worse, is still playing a huge role in WA’s economy and the students pick up on the importance of all that.”

“We also spark that interest early and, in the lower years of Senior School, inspire the students to think about the various careers they can have and how interesting Science can be in Senior School.”

Stacey said the delivery of Science subjects at ASC emphasises finding broader experiences in which students can apply their knowledge and broaden their connections to the subject.  

“In Year 11 Psychology, for example, students work down in the Junior School and build relationships and undertake observations,” said Stacey.

“Students also undertake long-term scientific investigations on the concept of their choosing which is slightly unusual but absolutely invaluable to their learning.”

“Our students take part in a lot of field and lab work too—it’s all about making the curriculum as interesting and engaging as possible,” she added. 

At All Saints’ College, the Science Department focuses heavily on adapting the curriculum to ensure it is relevant to the world into which the students are embarking, as well as staying up to date with industry trends and current research to create authentic experiences in their classes.

In addition to innovative curriculum delivery and opportunities to learn in the real world, students are also encouraged to take part in opportunities outside the classrooms such as state and national competitions.

However, Stacey and the Science Department deeply appreciate and value the significance of cross-curricular work and the importance of the Arts and Humanities in the world of Science.

While the exploration and understanding of complex Science subjects and topics is at the forefront, Stacey said the skills of written and verbal communication play a huge role in Science.

“Historically, scientists have been poor at communicating their research or findings and so we have a large focus on not only helping the students learn the concepts but develop their language and communication skills as well.”

“Understanding the core content is crucial but how we can apply them to the real world relies so heavily on that communication.”

With the rapidly evolving world of STEM and increasingly broad skillsets sought by employers, the value of the concepts and topics explored in the range of Science subjects on offer goes much further than students' exams.

“It is vital to us that our students are informed citizens and have a high level of Science literacy, regardless of whether or not they head into that field after school.”

“With the large amount of conflicting information and claims about global issues in our modern world, we are ensuring our students can properly understand scientific information in the real world and be in a position to act on it and be changemakers.”