Learning Framework


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The discipline of Science is based on the use of observations and evidence to develop knowledge about the world around us, how it works and how we can use this information to create meaningful change.

Science is offered as an elective course of study in both the Higher School Certificate (HSC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. Ravenswood is committed to promoting the involvement of girls in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Year 10

Science in Year 10 forms part of the integrated Years 7–10 Science Curriculum. Please refer to the Middle Years Science content.

HSC and IB Diploma

Having laid the foundations of knowledge and skills in the broad scope of Science in Years 7–10, the study of Science in Years 11–12, allows students to select specialist subjects to gain a deeper level of understanding in the areas in which they wish to focus.

In both the HSC and IB Diploma, students can further their studies by selecting Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In the IB Diploma, Sports, Exercise and Health Science is also offered. HSC science students also select the Science Extension course in Year 12. The nature of these courses allow students the opportunity to extend their understanding, by utilising both research-based and practical investigations. Practical skills, problem-solving, data collection and analysis and the ability to make valid conclusions, are all skills which are fostered and developed during the study of these subjects. Students are given opportunities to work both individually and collaboratively.


Biology explores living organisms, from the cellular to the highest levels of structure, from the molecular to the macroscopic. Students study both the commonality and diversity of life, looking at the interactions within an organism and between organisms. The structures and functions found in living things are studied, as well as the needs for growth. The scientific evidence for the origins of life and subsequent development is deliberated, as are the impact of humans on living systems and the environment.


Chemistry is the study of both natural and synthetic materials, their structural composition and their interactions. From the atomic level, a broad range of chemical reactions are considered, looking at changes which result in both matter and energy content. Patterns in the structure of matter and reaction of chemicals are identified, determining features which create similarities and differences. These features are then assessed to determine the appropriate use of these chemicals, based on their chemical and physical properties. The study of Chemistry builds a strong understanding of measurement and analytical techniques.


Physics is the study which investigates natural phenomena, identifying laws and forces which explain the physical behaviour of the universe. Physics deals with a broad range of topics, from the subatomic to entire galaxies, and all things in between. Physics involves the understanding of natural fundamentals, such as force and energy, their variations and their impact on our life. Classical topics such as astronomy, motion, waves, electricity and magnetism are studied, along with the investigation of wave-particle duality, quantum physics and special relativity.

Sports, Exercise and Health Science

The Sports, Exercise and Health Science (SEHS) HL/SL course is an alternative science subject in the IB Diploma Programme. The SEHS course includes studies of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition, in the context of sport, exercise and health. Students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and to apply scientific principles and analyse human performance using a combination of syllabus content and experimental work. Strong international dimensions of the course include international sporting competition, the international bodies that regulate them and ethical issues within sporting competitions. The course is excellent preparation for university courses related to Sport, Sports Science, Physical Education and Health.

Science Extension

The Science Extension course 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, they extend their knowledge, 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.