Record passes in Science for the second year running!

Whilst we promote good Christian values such as humility atJohnXXIIICollege, one cannot allow the remarkable achievements of our Science students to go unrecognised in the wider community. For the second consecutive year our students have made massive gains compared to other schools in the State and have pulled away from the median score by quite some margin.

2007 TEE

2008 TEE

2009 TEE

2010 WACE

2011 WACE

School

State

School

State

School

State

School

State

School

State

Biology

59.1

56.8

61.0

57.1

62.7

59.0

54.1

53.8

68.4

59.7

Chemistry

64.3

63.0

62.0

63.4

65.4

65.6

67.8

61.3

72.3

65.6

Human Biology

62.1

54.7

59.2

55.5

62.3

57.6

70.4

61.0

64.9

59.3

Physics

71.6

62.6

65.4

62.8

67.4

65.1

67.1

59.8

77.9

65.6

In 2010 we achieved the highest scores of any co-educational Catholic school in WA in Chemistry, Human Biology and Physics. Chemistry(+6.7) and Physics (+12.3) repeated this magnificent achievement in 2011 with Human Biology (+5.6) making yet further gains on the 2010 scores, and Biology (+8.7) making great gains on their 2010 score. When comparing the 2007 scores to the 2011 one can see a noticeable improvement across the board.

Several students deserve a mention for outstanding achievement: Andrew Pham, Matthew Geleta and Imogen Buchan scored some of the highest marks in the State. However, it is the cohort as a whole that contributes to the meanscore and all of our students are to be congratulated for their individual performances.

What has changed in Science?

In 2007 we undertook a faculty review of the Quality of Teaching and Learning. This involved a review of teaching styles and practise, the quality of the programs and the quality and use of formative assessment. At student level we looked at organisational skills, motivation, cooperation, and examination technique. What evolved was a gradual change in the ethos within the faculty. A more rigorous approach to homework, greater emphasis upon classroom behaviour and an insistence of best effort enabled us to gain a reputation amongst students as a place to feel challenged and stimulated.

We took advantage of the introduction of New Courses of Study in 2009 by developing a more student centred teaching style whilst insisting on greater academic rigour in all areas of learning. Feedback after assessment to both student and parent has helped to nurture a supportive three way partnership. Allied to this change was the introduction of the Thinking Science program. Introduced at Year 8 and continuing through to Year 9, this program has proved to increase the grades of students across all subjects by improving their cognitive skills. The teaching staff embraced the pedagogy of this program and applied its principles across all age groups.

At a time when the number of students enrolling for Science courses at university is decreasing across the State, one can only marvel at the achievements of our staff in encouraging students at John XXIIII College to achieve such fantastic results. The number of students entering Science courses from our College has increased dramatically over the last five years with several students going into medical and engineering courses.

Gerard McCann

LAC Science