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Prairiewood High School

Prairiewood High School

Per Ardua - Through Striving

Telephone02 9725 5444


Science is mandatory for all students from Year 7 to Year 10.

Science 7-10 provides a way of inquiring about the world around us. It explores evidence and investigates ways to discover, develop and produce solutions to real-world problems. Science emphasises the skills for working scientifically, as well as critical and creative thinking to address scientific issues.

In Years 11 and 12, students can choose from different science disciplines, including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Investigating Science
  • Physics.

In Year 12, students who are studying at least one other science subject may also choose to study Science Extension.

Science at Prairiewood High School 

We have an extensive science program at Prairiewood High School. It is designed to develop the skills and knowledge that help explain and make sense of the biological, chemical, physical and technological world. It also focuses on developing a sense of curiosity and encourages a spirit of enquiry.

Our aim is to develop critical thinking skills and creativity in all students. Student learning takes place within contexts which are familiar and relevant to them. Prairiewood High School has five laboratories each catering for science from Years 7 to 12. Teachers challenge and support all types of learners in their classes so that the students develop a lifelong interest in science and an awareness of the importance of science in their lives. Theory and practical work are supported by state of the art technologies including computers, data loggers and interactive whiteboards. The students are encouraged to participate in a range of science-related activities, competitions, excursions, and fieldwork.

The Science Faculty is committed to supporting primary school outreach programs. These support the study of science and curriculum implementation in Stages 2 and 3 as well as building teacher capacity in primary schools. In the past, we have hosted primary school students and helped integrate them into high school.


We offer a unique stage 5 elective course in Astronomy that gives students the opportunity to study the universe in unprecedented detail. 

Below is the link to our Astronomy web page:

The science department also has two outstanding telescopes – a computer-controlled Celestron 8 inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope and staff with expertise in its use as well as, an observatory with a larger 12-inch computer-controlled telescope. This instrument has been used to support high-quality student research programs as well as, the unique Astronomy elective we offer.

The Astronomy elective has helped increase student engagement in science as it offers students a look at real-world science in action. Many of our top Astronomy students have gone on to excel in HSC science courses.

School Observatory

What subjects/courses do we offer?

The Science Faculty offers a wide range of subjects and courses that vary depending on which year the student is in at school. 

  • Stage 4 (Year 7 and 8) – 6 lessons/cycle 
  • Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) – 6 lessons/cycle 
  • Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10) Astronomy elective – 5 lessons/cycle
  • Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) – Biology (ATAR), Chemistry (ATAR), Physics (ATAR).

Depending on their year group students will follow the science curriculum designated to best suit them and their level. 

What will students learn about in Science?

Through their study of science, our students develop knowledge and skills to explain and make sense of their world, so they can make responsible decisions as individuals and as part of their community. Students examine the historical and continuing contributions of scientists and the implications of scientific research for scientific knowledge, society, technology, and the environment.

What will students learn to do?

We teach our students to think scientifically, applying investigative, problem solving and communication skills. The students’ learning is supported by an extensive program of experiments, information technology, excursions, incursions, and guest speakers. Students work individually and in teams in planning and conducting investigations. They evaluate issues and problems, identify questions for inquiry and draw evidence-based conclusions from their investigations. Through this problem-solving process, students develop their critical thinking skills and creativity. They gain experience in making informed decisions and in communicating their understanding and viewpoints.

At Prairiewood, we strongly believe in learning through experience. Students are offered a range of hands-on activities both in and out of the classroom. From observational astronomy to regular excursions and incursions. Each year, our fantastic staff organise and promote a wide range of student learning experience to compliment the great work we do in the classroom.

We actively promote Science Technology Engineering & Maths (STEM) activities to a wide range of our students including strong support for a female science candidates. We have developed strong links with external providers to better help engage young girls in science and STEM.

Our growing list of incursions and excursions include but are not limited to: 

Questacon, Wollongong Science Centre, Illawarra Coal Science Fair, Movie days at the local cinema, Forensics incursion, Students in Engineering work experience and our 4-day Astronomy Camp in Coonabarabran.

Astronomy Camp

Astronomy Camp students visit the Observatory at Coonabarabran

Macarthur Astronomical Society Astronomy Research Presentation at WSU

Illawarra coal science fair

Girls in STEM



Year 11 Physics Students Visit the UNSW Quantum Computing Centre

Year 11 Physics UNSW Quantum Computing

Year 11 Physics students visit the UNSW Quantum computing centre to learn about the race to build the worlds first quantum computer. They met professor Michelle Simmons , the 2018 Australian of the year. 

Year 11 Quantum Computing

Another successful Engineering Internship completed at Norman, Disney and Young via the Healthy Nerd Program. Our students once again excelled at delivering another great engineering solution to their mentors.