What is Science?

Science is a way of investigating, understanding and explaining our natural, physical world.

It involves generating and testing ideas, making observations, carrying out investigations and modelling, and communicating and debating with others.

Science progress comes from logical, systematic work and from creative insight, built on a foundation of respect for evidence.


What is Senior Science at William Colenso College?

The Senior School Sciences at William Colenso College provide students with a rich range of courses which are appropriate to their literacy levels and responsive to their needs. The courses are scaffolded and cognitively incremental in that they offer pathways through which students can move in order to achieve to the level/outcome they require for career/tertiary entry. The study of science gives students access to the understanding, knowledge, and skills they need to participate fully in the social, cultural, political, and economic life of New Zealand and the wider world. To be successful participants, they need to be effective oral, written, and visual communicators who are able to think critically and in depth. The school values whanaungatanga, Hirangatanga and Manaakitanga are promoted and modelled in the selection of contexts offered, and the range of rich activities students engage in such as practical experimentation.


Links to the WCC Strategic Plan

To achieve responsive outcomes for all students, the department:

  • Students are encouraged to participate in purposeful activities that enable them to apply and integrate their knowledge and skills from a range of learning areas in real and practical ways.
  • Provides students with a range of courses which are appropriate to their needs.


To achieve responsive systems and processes, the department:

  • Maintains (via HOL) fiscal integrity and adheres to budgetary constraints.
  • Annually reviews all programmes to find better outcomes for students (in particular, raise Maori achievement).


To achieve responsive learning opportunities, the department:

  • Presents students with opportunities to engage with and develop the key competencies in diverse contexts.
  • Attempts to offer real and relevant curriculum challenges via context choices that are linked to the lives of students and activities, which have some (albeit sometimes obscure) real-life relevance/value.
  • Provide extension activities and challenging undertakings for international students, in particular focusing on topics that are similar to those studied by their peers or provide them with support and strategies to gain University Entrance.
  • Offer e-learning opportunities where possible


To achieve responsive relationships, the department:

  • Embraces the school Restorative Justice System and Kia Eke Panuku practices to enable positive relationships and critical dialogue.
  • Develops, where necessary, individualised learning programmes to meet students’ unique requirements/needs. In all SENIOR mathematics/science classes, and for many of the tasks in the other senior classes, the assessments tasks are negotiated with the students to suit their interests/desires/needs. In short, we offer a flexible and individually negotiated curriculum.