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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, Agriculture and Marine Studies. Science is compulsory in NSW for all students in Years 7 to 10.  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 Stage 5 elective subjects in Years 9 and 10. 

Marine Studies is offered as an elective course to Years 9 and 10.


In Years 11 and 12 the School offers courses in Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Investigating Science and Physics as well as offering the 1 Unit Science Extension course in Year 12 for those students demonstrating the aptitude and ability to undertake independent research.

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, Mrs Kathy Barbeler, is very active in the wider science education community. She has extensive links within the tertiary sector and currently acts as Co-Chair for the RACI NSWChemical Education Group. 

The faculty has fostered many mentoring opportunities for our Stage 6 students electing to study the Science Extension course. The teachers actively seek professional learning in their areas of specialty and resources are reviewed and updated regularly.

The Faculty strives to make science and agriculture 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 four classes of Biology, four classes of Chemistry, one class of Investigating Science, four classes of Physics. Students tend to continue their study of these subjects into their HSC year and we have one class for the Extension Science course.  

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
  • Agriculture GATS Group Yrs 7 - 12
  • The Big Science Competition  Yrs 7-10
  • The Science and Engineering Challenge  Yr 10
  • Science Olympiad Examsr Yr 11
  • Field Trips Yr 11 Biology
  • Human Disease Excursion Yr 12 Biology
  • RACI Australian National Chemistry Comp  Yrs 11 & 12
  • National Science Youth Forum Yr 11
  • Field days including Tocal Small Farm -  Agriculture
  • CC/Hunter Valley Regional farm case study Yr 11 Agriculture
  • Senior depth studies are student focussed and flexible so they can pursue their own interests.


What texts are used in Science and Agriculture?


Year 7-10

  • Core Science

Year 11- 12

  • PEARSON Chemistry Yr 11 
  • Chemistry in Focus Yr 12
  • PEARSON Physics Yr 11 
  • Physics in Focus Yr 12 
  • Macmillan Biology Yr 11 
  • Biology in Focus Yr 12


Year 7

  • Issued with GHS Agriculture work booklets 
  • 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:

  • Scientists at work
  • Survival
  • Technology that Moves Us
  • The Goldilocks Planet


In Year 8 students complete a student research project and study the following units:

  • Modern Medicine
  • Powering the World
  • The Search for New Materials
  • Limits to Growth


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

  • Putting on a Show
  • Sensing and Responding
  • Ethical use of Materials
  • Gaia

YEAR 10 Students rotate through the core sciences

  • Road Safety (Physics)
  • Chemical Reactions (Chemistry)
  • Me and My genes (Biology)
  • The Blue Planet term 4 for all classes

YEAR 11 and 12

HSC Biology, Chemistry, Investigating Science and Physics are taught. The syllabus for each of these subjects can be downloaded from the NESA website.




What subjects are studied in Agriculture?

Opportunities are sought for the students to engage with as much real world experience as possible.  The faculty has developed partnerships with successful breeders facilitating our students access to quality livestock.  

Agriculture teacher Mr Rob Forsberg joined our school in 2020 bringing enthusiasm, passion and knowledge to our Faculty.

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.


  • History of Agriculture in Australia.
  • Plant Botany
  • Hydroponics
  • Aquaculture
  • Agroforestry
  • Alpacas
  • Pigs


  • Soils/Climate
  • Agricultural Chemicals
  • Potato Production
  • Broiler Production
  • Prime Lamb Production


  • Bees
  • Pastures
  • Beef production 
  • Growing native trees

YEAR 11 and 12

The Year 11 and HSC Agriculture courses are taught. The syllabus for each of these courses can be downloaded from the NESA website at:-



Marine Studies

Marine Studies is a new elective for Stage 5 students provided by Ms Moloney who has taught the subject for a number of years at her previous school.

Ms Moloney has developed a sequence of topics that are interrelated but the directions taken are dictated by student interest.