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Gosford High School

Gosford High School

An inspired and ethical community of learners and leaders

Telephone02 4325 2048



The Faculty is responsible for Science and Agriculture. Science is compulsory in NSW for all students in years 7 – 10 and is examined in the School Certificate Examination. In addition, students at Gosford High School study a one semester course in Agriculture in year 7 and may choose to study Agriculture as one of their School Certificate elective subjects in years 9 and 10. In years 11 and 12 the School offers courses in Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Earth and Environmental Studies and Agriculture.

The Science facilities consist of six large purpose built laboratories and agriculture students have access to a 3 hectare farm/nursery that is shared with an adjacent comprehensive high school. The Faculty has a highly experienced and committed team of eleven teachers, two laboratory assistants and a farm assistant. Many staff members have post graduate qualifications and most have HSC marking experience.

The Head Teacher, Dr Mark Butler, is very active in the wider science education community. He is currently the National Education Convener of the Australian Institute of Physics, a member of the Advisory Board of the School of Physics at the University of Sydney, a member of the Physics Project Reference Group at the Centre of Learning Innovation and a member of the steering committee of the National STELR Science project. His contribution to Australian Science Education was recognised in 2002 when he received the BHP/Billiton Science Teachers Award and in 2004 when he won the Prime Ministers Prize for Excellence in Secondary Science Teaching. For more details see:


The Faculty strives to make science and agricultures exciting, relevant, challenging and rewarding for students by including as much practical work as possible, using technology to enhance teaching and learning, treating the syllabus as ‘the floor rather than the ceiling' and by involving students in a wide range of extra-curricular activities. The provision of challenging extension material in class and the opportunity to pursue advanced scientific interests beyond the classroom ensures our gifted and talented students have every opportunity to excel in science. Science is very popular at Gosford High School and the school often has five classes of Chemistry, five classes of Physics and four classes of Biology in year 11. Many students from Gosford High School pursue Science and Science related careers and the Faculty often calls on past students who are now professional scientists, engineers and doctors to address current students.


In addition to science courses the Faculty offers a range of other activities including:

•          Talks by visiting scientists and engineers

•          Science Extension Group for years 7-12

•          Agriculture GATS Group for Yrs. 7 - 12

•          The Big Science Competition for students in years 7-12

•          The Science and Engineering Challenge for year 10

•          Science Olympiad Exams for year 11

•          Physics Olympiad preparatory lectures are offered after school in terms 2 & 3

•          The Envirothon for year 11

•          The Newcastle University Experimentfest for all students in year 12 Physics and Chemistry

•          Mangrove Ecosystem Excursion for year 11 Biology

•          Human Disease Excursion for year 12 Biology

•          Royal Easter Show Excursion for year 8

•          Ecology Excursion for year 9

•          Physics is Fun Excursion for year 12

•          Sleek Geek Video competition for year 7-12

•          Choose your Favourite Scientist for year 7-10

•          Chemistry Competition for year 11-12

•          Zoo Excursion for year 7

•          Beach Waves Excursion for year 11 Physics

•          Beryl Strom Environmental Competition for year 9-12

•          Siemen's Science Experience for year 9

•          Honeywell Engineering Summer School for year 11

•          National Youth Science Forum for yr 11

•          Young Scientist Competition for years 8 and 9

•          GHS Independent Research Project Display for years 8 and 9

•          HSC Master Lectures for year 12

•          Yr. 8 RAS Royal Easter Show Agriculture excursion

•          Sheep, Goat & Poultry Study Day for Yr. 9 Agriculture

•          Tocal Small Farm Field Days for Yr. 10 Agriculture

•          CC/Hunter Valley Regional Farm Case Study for Yr. 11 Agriculture

•          Product Study/Elective Focus area excursion for Yr. 12 Agriculture


What texts are used in Science and Agriculture?


Year 7-10

Science Focus Text Book and Workbook

Year 11- 12

Conquering Chemistry Preliminary and HSC by Rowland Smith

Macmillan Physics I and II by Butler, Hopkins and Willis

Heinemann Biology by Mudie and Brotherton


Year 7

Issued with GHS Agriculture work booklets ($5 each)

Dynamic Agriculture Book 1 - Text

Year 9-10

Dynamic Agriculture Book 2 – Text

Enterprising Agriculture – Text

Year 11-12

Dynamic Agriculture Book 3 – Text

Senior Australian Agriculture – Text


What subjects are studied in Science?


In year 7 the students study the following one-term contextual units:

1)         Science in the Home

2)         Life Surviving Different Environments

3)         Outdoor Recreation

4)         The Blue Planet: The Third Rock from the Sun


In year 8 students complete an independent research project and study the following units:

1)         Compounds and Chemical Reactions

2)         Plants and Cells

3)         Forces, Energy and Machines

4)         Human Biology

5)         Sediments Soils and Rocks

6)         Ecology 1


In year 9 students complete an independent research project and study the following units:

1)         Waves and Light

2)         Acids and Bases

3)         Ecology 2

4)         Fighting disease

5)         Electricity

6)         The Restless Earth

7)         Coordination and reproduction


1)         Space Flight and the Universe

2)         Chemical Reactions and Applications

3)         Evolution and the Code of Life

4)         Environmental Science

YEAR 11 and 12

HSC Physics, Chemistry and Biology are being taught. The syllabus for each of these subject can be downloaded from the Board of Studies site at:-




What subjects are studied in Agriculture?

All students experience a semester of Agriculture in Year 7, much of which is integrated with practical work at the school farm. Students cover a variety of plant and animal topics which provide them with a "taste" of the Stage 5 Agriculture elective course.


1)         History of Agriculture in Australia.

2)         Plant Botany

3)         Hydroponics

4)         Aquaculture

5)         Agroforestry

6)         Alpacas

7)         Pigs


1)         Soils/Climate

2)         Agricultural Chemicals

3)         Potato Production

4)         Broiler Production

5)         Prime Lamb Production


1)         Bees

2)         Pastures

3)         Beef Production

4)         Growing Native trees

YEAR 11 and 12

The Preliminary and HSC Agriculture courses are taught. The syllabus for each of these courses can be downloaded from the Board of Studies site at:-