Why John Monash Science School?
Specialism in Science Education
John Monash Science School’s unique position on the Clayton campus of Monash University provides the school with access to nationally and internationally recognised science and education research academics. The school’s innovative curriculum is co-written by Monash University academics and researchers, ensuring it hits the cutting edge of contemporary knowledge and practice.
Teaching for Effective Learning
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 solve problems, 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 school.
The school uses inquiry-based learning as one aspect of the delivery of the curriculum to:
- develop problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and disciplinary content;
- promote the transfer of concepts to new problems and questions;
- teach students how to learn and build self-directed learning skills; and
- develop student ownership of their learning and enhance student interest in the subject matter.
Breadth in Curriculum
While the school has a strong focus on science and mathematics, the curriculum is broad enough to develop students’ skills and capacities across all fields. In addition to core science, emerging sciences and emerging technology subjects students study English, Mathematics, Humanities subjects; and unique subjects such as Issues Studies (the interface between Humanities and the Sciences) and Learn To (study skills, career pathway activities) and Physical Education.
Our Co-Curricular Program, offered on Wednesday afternoons, provides a range of activities such as sport, dance, yoga, debating, drawing, computer programming, chess, Robocup, First Aid, driver safety, community service, and media and audio-visual production. Students can also study languages and may also join one of the many music ensembles. Dedicated instrumental lessons are available throughout the school week.
The JMSS Diploma is awarded at Year 12 graduation, and provides recognition for the achievements and skill development of our students outside the classroom including leadership, community service, sport, performing arts, competitions and the co-curricular program.
Abundant Scientific Opportunities
Students participate in regional and statewide sport days and other competitive ventures during school hours. Students have the opportunity to participate in many field trips and camps, as well as lunch-time clubs such as Maths Circle, supercomputing club and chess competitions. After-hours opportunities such as Maths Club, Robocup competitions, computer hackathons, Olympiads, debating, guest speaker events, and drama and musical performances are all available.
Science focused camps and excursions
Camps and excursions are an integral part of the curriculum, consolidating and enriching learning experiences. These vary from single day trips as part of curriculum and emerging science subjects to multiple day long camps (Dynamic Earth, Geography) to the 15 day Reef and Rainforest Science Trip for Year 11 Students.
John Monash Science School is an Executive Member of the International Science Schools Network (ISSN) and has several partnerships with international specialist science schools. These enable our students to collaborate, share research and build friendships with equally passionate students across the globe through exchanges and science fairs. Opportunities include:
- International Science Olympiads, Maths Olympiads, and conferences;
- Annual International Student Science Fair;
- Annual International Supercomputing Conference;
- World Challenge;
- Annual International Student Cultural Exchange with MWITS Thailand and NUS Singapore.
Student Empowerment and Support
Central to John Monash Science School is the belief that quality interpersonal relationships are essential for outstanding learning outcomes. These relationships are fostered through our four Houses, named after prominent Australian scientists Peter Doherty, Elizabeth Blackburn, Fiona Wood and Tim Flannery. These houses generate both school spirit and pride, and connectedness between all members of our community. Student leadership is fostered through the election by the student body of House Captains and vice captains and student leaders to sit on key committees as part of the JMSS Student parliament. This body positively influences student life at the school, contributes input to learning programs, raises funds for charity and organises student voluntary involvement in the community.
Each student has a teacher-mentor who remains with them throughout their time at JMSS, guiding, advising and supporting their growth and development throughout their journey with us.
The house and Student Parliament structure is supported by a Student Empowerment Team includes House Leaders and mentors, a counsellor, a psychologist, a Mindfulness coach, and integration aides to support students with additional learning needs.
Outstanding Contemporary Facilities
The school has been designed to facilitate a range of teaching approaches, flexibility of group sizes and maximum access to cutting-edge learning technologies. These outstanding facilities help us achieve the best learning outcomes for students in the 21st century. Rather than traditional classrooms, our school has open-plan learning spaces for small or large groups up to 50 students with two teachers working in tandem.
Our science laboratories are spacious, flexibly designed and ICT-rich. Students have wireless network access throughout the building, including laboratories and use a combination of digital devices to research, problem-solve, organise, document, analyse, present and create digital objects as well as accessing references and resources from Monash University and beyond.
There are also landscaped outdoor areas, a basketball court, an amphitheatre, kitchenette areas with microwaves on every floor, and a fully-equipped cafeteria. Students also benefit from close access to Monash University for both physical and digital resources.