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Science provides a view of the living world and its environment that uses observation and measurement to build an understanding of the function of parts of a system and the interactions between them. This subject aims to develop students’ understanding of this evidence-based approach, integrating the contributions of biology, chemistry, earth sciences and physics.
Careful development of students’ academic skills is embedded in this subject.
- Matter and interactions: an understanding of the basis of matter (atoms and molecules) and the organisation of matter at an atomic level, within living organisms and their environment;
- Energy transfers and transformations: Types of energy and relevance to the environment; mechanical and thermal energy transfers and transformations, behaviour of light and other electromagnetic radiation;
- The global environment: The global energy system and evolving global climates, atmosphere, ocean and water cycles, global ecology;
- The living world: What is life? Observations of the interactions of living things with their environment, the cycling of energy through living systems and their environment;
- The consequences of change in the environment: Living things and selective pressures, speciation and evolution.
Intended learning outcomes
To enable students to apply the methods of science to understanding the interaction between living beings and their environment, and develop their capacity to:
- explain the principles underpinning our understanding of the living world and interactions with the physical environment;
- apply these principles using logical reasoning, together with appropriate mathematical reasoning, to a variety of familiar and novel situations and problems in the biological, chemical, physical and environmental sciences; and
- acquire experimental data using a range of measurement instruments and interpret these data.
A student who completes this subject should be able to:
- explain their understanding of science principles and applications clearly, both in writing and orally;
- acquire and interpret experimental data and design experimental investigations;
- participate as an effective member of a group in discussions and practical work;
- think independently and analytically, and direct his or her own learning; and
- manage time effectively in order to be prepared for regular classes and assessment tasks.
Last updated: 6 December 2019