What is Science?

Science is a way of investigating, understanding and explaining our natural physical world and the wider universe.

Year 11 science students working in the Science garden

Why study Science?

By studying science students:

  • Develop an understanding of the world built on current theories.
  • Learn that science involves particular processes and ways of developing and organising knowledge and that these continue to evolve.
  • Use their current scientific knowledge and skills for problem solving and developing further knowledge.
  • Use scientific knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about communication, application and implications of science as these relate to their own lives and cultures and to the sustainability of the environment.

How is the learning area structured?

The fundamental aims of science education are expressed as a series of achievement aims, grouped by strand.

The strands include:

  • The Nature of Science
  • The Living World
  • The Planet Earth and Beyond
  • The Physical World
  • The Material World

The core strand, Nature of Science, is taught to all students up to Year 11.  Students in Years 12-13 are able to specialise in one or more science.

Year 11 NCEA

Science One Student Info


Biology is a fascinating subject, relevant to many careers.

At Year 12 students study life at cellular level, how the whole organism functions, genetic inheritance and how organisms adapt and evolve over time.  Students also explore the ecological patterns and inter-relationships between organisms and their environment, including field work on Wellington's south coast and practical work in the lab. 

At Year 13 the emphasis shifts slightly towards a deeper understanding of gene expression and patterns of evolution with a focus on human biological and cultural evolution. Students explore some contemporary biotechnology case studies and the molecular biology techniques involved.  As part of their study into plant and animal responses to the environment Year 13 Students visit Wellington Zoo to observe animal behaviour first hand.

Year 12 Biology

Year 13 Biology


Chemistry is everywhere as it is the study of all matter.  With the increasing level of technological advancements the understanding of what chemistry is, becoming an important aspect for tomorrow's citizens.

In chemistry we aim to develop our students' knowledge about everyday materials, raise awareness of environmental issues and our dependence on chemical processes.  The course emphasises the relationship of chemistry to everyday life and how our lives depend upon the reactions that occur in the natural world.  How man has copied the reactions and the molecules in the natural world to develop current technologies.  There is an emphasis on practical work to develop laboratory techniques.  Experiments are used to help illustrate the theoretical ideas.

Chemistry is required if students wish to pursue a career in a science field as many external courses require the understanding gained in Level 2 and 3.

Year 12 Chemistry

Year 13 Chemistry


Physics is the study of things like moving objects, gravity, radioactivity, electricity, magnetism and light.  Physics is required or advised for many careers such as architecture, computer science, dentistry, electronics, engineering, medicine, veterinary science and telecommunications. 

The key topics for the Year 12 course are mechanics, light and waves, electricity and electromagnetism, and nuclear physics.  Students will learn to appreciate how physics impacts on society and will develop practical investigative skills and attitudes.

The Year 13 course builds on the material systems learned from the Year 12 course.  The key topics include waves, mechanical systems, electrical systems and atoms, photons and nuclei.  Practical work is included with all topics to encourage individual work and initiative.

Year 12 Physics

Year 13 Physics


Science involves people investigating the living, physical, material and technological parts of their environment and making sense of them in logical and creative ways.  Using systematic and creative processes of investigation, scientists produce a constantly changing body of knowledge and make an important contribution to shaping our world.

The Year 12 Science course is a continuation of general science course with a focus on the "Big Idea" of Man and the Environment.  The course covers aspects of Earth and Space science, Biology and Chemistry and how they inter-relate to the environment.

This course is designed to allow students who require Level 2 Science credits to enter a particular course without having to complete the credits in one science discipline.  The course has one external paper with the remainder internally assessed.  This will allow students to gain Merit or Excellence endorsement.

This week ...

Monday, 19 February

School Photos today - individual and class
3.30pm - Senior Netball Trial 2 at SHC Gym

Tuesday, 20 February

12.30pm - Y10 History Trip
5.30pm - Commissioning Mass

Wednesday, 21 February

6.00pm - NCEA Parent Evening

Thursday, 22 February

9.15am - Leadership Mass
2.20pm - Y10 History Trip
3.30pm - Big Sister Programme in C2

Friday, 23 February

7.00pm - NZ Arts Festival powhiri, Petone waterfront

Saturday, 24 February

- CSW Rowing Champs - McLachlan Shield

Sunday, 25 February

1.45pm - Y10 Netball Trial at Walter Nash Stadium
- RNDM Meeting
- CSW Rowing Champs - McLachlan Shield