The curriculum at JMSS is challenging and stimulating and allows students to explore the leading issues pervading current scientific research and understanding, while still building solid foundational expertise in the areas of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Biomedical Science, Geography and Computer Science, among others. It is designed to allow students to integrate knowledge across these arbitrary boundaries and explore new ideas in much the same way as science researchers do from day-to-day.
The aim was to create new programs and pedagogies firstly for the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) and now AusVELS (the National Curriculum), and new offerings within the Victorian Certificate of Education (the VCE). The curriculum in Year 1 comprises studies in English, Mathematics, Core Science, Enrichment Science (elective-based), Emerging Technologies, Issues Studies (part project-based) and Personal Learning which also includes Physical Education.
A full range of VCE studies is available for students in Years 2 and 3, with enhancement opportunities existing for all students to access study at a higher level. This includes access to University Extension studies for suitably qualified students in Year 3.
The development of core learning skills and attributes is seen as the cornerstone of academic success at John Monash Science School.
These are woven into the fabric of each learning sequence at the school, as we believe the capacity to problem solve, collaborate in teams, undertake independent inquiry, think and act ethically and make strategic use of high-end technologies will mark a point of difference for our students as they take their place in their chosen fields beyond our school.
These are skills that are essential in all forms of learning, and gaining them will give students at John Monash Science School an advantage for any further studies they choose to undertake.
Students develop their Learner Portfolios in partnership with their teachers and mentor. Each student’s progress is then monitored against the goals set in their Learner Portfolios.
The school utilises inquiry-based learning as one aspect of the delivery of the curriculum. Some of the documented benefits of this style of learning are that it:
- teaches problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and disciplinary content;
- promotes the transfer of concepts to new problem questions;
- teaches students how to learn and builds self-directed learning skills; and
- develops student ownership of their learning and enhances student interest in the subject matter.
Additionally, the opportunity for students to see the latest application of scientific developments at Monash University is incorporated into the curriculum to enrich the students’ experiences.
JMSS is proud of its team-based approach to student learning. Classes of up to 50 students benefit from having 2 team teachers in the room to explore knowledge from differing fields using a variety of teaching approaches. Our teachers work closely together to plan learning experiences for students, to monitor their progress, adjust their approaches to support students in need of extra assistance and to challenge those ready to take the next steps in their learning journeys. Students are also encouraged to work within teams, both large and small, using team members as resources for their learning.