Science is a core subject in the curriculum in which all students experience ways of understanding the natural world. The aim of the Science Department is to ensure that students leave Pembroke School with a good scientific understanding for decision-making and an awareness of the scientific issues facing our society.
A multidisciplinary Science staff with a diverse range of experiences and interests offers 'hands on' science programs incorporating experimental design and problem-solving skills. In the Middle School, students develop core scientific skills and follow the Australian Curriculum: Science. In the early years, there is a focus on practical work, scientific inquiry and enabling students to make clear connections between the inquiry skills that they are learning and the work of scientists. As students progress through the curriculum they investigate how science understanding has developed, including considering some of the people and the stories behind these advances in science. They also recognise how this science understanding can be applied to their lives and the lives of others.
As students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the knowledge and skills of science they are increasingly able to appreciate the role of science in society. The curriculum content informs students’ understanding of contemporary issues, such as climate change, use of resources, medical interventions, biodiversity, and the origins of the universe. The importance of these areas of science is further emphasised through issues investigations where students are encouraged to view contemporary science critically.
In the Senior School, across both academic programs, students are given the opportunity to specialise in various scientific disciplines. Within the SACE program, students can select from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology and Scientific Studies. In the IB Diploma program, Biology, Chemistry and Physics can be chosen, as well as an interdisciplinary subject, Environmental Systems and Societies.
The Enrichment of the program occurs by students being involved in activities beyond the classroom at Monarto Zoo, Old Watulunga (Pembroke's Outdoor Education property), the Adelaide Zoo, the Botanic Gardens, the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and the South Australian Museum. The program is further enhanced by a range of excellent visiting speakers and presentations. In addition, students are given the opportunity to expand their horizons by participation in the Oliphant Science Awards, the Australian National Chemistry Quiz, the Switched on Schools Summit, the International Competitions and Assessments for Schools: Science (ICAS Science) and the Australian Science Olympiad Program.