We aim to develop scientific understanding by creating opportunities for students to question what goes on around them. We explore what science and scientific endeavour are in order to put a human face on the relentless pace of progress. Students learn objectivity and scientific literacy whilst appreciating the need for greater public understanding.
We develop their experimental skills so that they will be able to try to answer the questions they pose. Our students develop a critical and analytical way of thinking, allowing them to always work beyond what is being presented.
In Grade 7 and 8 our students study a general science course based on the Australian national curriculum which prepares them for the study of IGCSE. In Grade 9 and 10 students embark on the IGCSE (Cambridge Board) Science course and can choose to take all three separate sciences as individual subjects (3 IGCSEs) or complete the more general Coordinated Science subject (2 IGCSEs).
In Grade 11 and 12, as part of the IB Diploma Programme, students can choose to study Computer Science, Chemistry, Biology or Physics (SL or HL), Environmental Systems and Societies or Sports Exercise and Health Science (SL only).
Our Approach to Learning
Our students learn about the basic principles of each subject through a mix of theoretical and practical studies, while also developing an understanding of the scientific skills essential for further study. They also learn how science is studied and practised, and become aware that the results of scientific research can have both good and bad effects on individuals, communities and the environment.
Throughout their time at SJI International we encourage our students to develop their investigative skills. They are inspired to think like scientists and are often challenged to use their scientific knowledge to explain observations and processes. We place great importance on the development of creativity in experimental design, enabling our students to establish the planning and manipulative skills necessary to create and perform practical investigations with accuracy and precision. Our ‘hands-on’ approach is designed to aid the development of students into excellent scientists and also to inspire in them a lifelong love of the subject. By utilising various means to engage a wide variety of learning styles, we strive to enable all students to reach their full potential. We want them to become responsible, self-motivated learners, individuals who take the initiative and seek to learn about the Sciences because we have helped them to develop a curiosity and desire to know more.
In 1953, the scientific community underwent a monumental paradigm shift when Watson and Crick proposed the double helix structure of DNA. With this discovery, a world of possibilities opened and new techniques were developed to advance other fields, such as forensics and genealogy. On a recent trip to the DNA Lab@Science Centre the Grade 12 class had the opportunity to look at some examples of how DNA can be used to determine our own physical traits, through gel electrophoresis.
They looked specifically at our individual abilities to taste a particular bitter pigment, an ability that varies with one's genealogy. The process was very insightful, and they delved into other biological experiments such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which allows the creation of multiple copies of an individual's DNA. They also learnt how data gained from gel electrophoresis experiments can be interpreted. In addition, they had the unique opportunity to examine parts of their own DNA, a rare and exciting experience for all. The experience at the Science Centre opened up a view into the world of biomedical research, and provided useful insights that will undoubtedly be helpful for the students' Biology course.