Middle school science at ISS uses the process of inquiry to develop scientific literacy and skills. Students are encouraged to have a very “hands-on” practical approach and enjoy investigating issues in science. This helps students to understand that science is not an isolated subject but that it relates to numerous other areas in the curriculum as well as to a student’s life and world outside of school.
In the initial years, the focus is on developing scientific skills; whilst the latter years focus on reinforcing the processes, skills and attitudes of earlier years as well as incorporating the knowledge and background necessary to prepare students for the science subjects in years 9-12. By the end of Middle School, students are expected to be able to identify local and global issues in science and discuss them in a knowledgeable and considered manner.
Assessment tasks consist of a range of activities which may be projects, posters, essays, brochures, or models; however, there is a heavy emphasis on students learning to design, undertake and analyze experimental work.
Students are given the option to participate in the ICAS science competition each year. Pupils from both the primary and secondary school sit a quiz appropriate to their age group and compete against pupils from all over Australia and the South Pacific. They gain certificates and medals depending on their performance. Students from ISS have achieved some excellent results over the last few years including a number of gold medals.
The Science Fair is a yearly event and is compulsory for our Middle School students. It has a different theme each year and students can work individually or in groups to solve science problems of their choice related to the theme. It is a chance for students to really be innovative and to extend the science skills they have learnt in class. Prizes are awarded and all investigation reports are displayed in the school for a week for public viewing.