Science 20150721 SIS Prospectus Shoot LAL 00043

Our goal for the Pūtaiao (Science) programme at Somerville Intermediate is to provide all ākonga (students) with the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to become responsible and well-informed members of society, enabling them to contribute positively to New Zealand and global issues. 


Pūtaiao (Science) is a blend of inquiry, knowledge, skills and capabilities. As students develop scientific skills and attitudes, they simultaneously gain a deeper appreciation of scientific ideas

and concepts. The programme integrates STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) disciplines, actively encouraging students to explore potential career paths in these fields. It seeks to foster flexible thinking, create a safe space for expressing new ideas, promote hands-on learning, empower students to take ownership of their education, cultivate teamwork skills, and develop an understanding of the interconnectedness between science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. Additionally, the programme aims to spark curiosity about the world and inspire students to envision positive changes. To provide authentic learning experiences, we also strive to connect students with community groups and industries.


While adhering to the framework of the New Zealand curriculum for planning and assessment, Somerville Intermediate customises its science programme to cater to the specific needs of all students, ensuring it remains relevant and meaningful to them.


During specialised science lessons at Somerville, Tikanga (customs), values, attitudes, skills, and knowledge are interwoven into the learning process. Students focus on developing five key science capabilities that enhance their ability to think and work scientifically. These capabilities involve data gathering and interpretation, critical evaluation of evidence, engagement with scientific representations, and creative and practical application of scientific knowledge.


In Year 7, ākonga engage in experimental work centred on classifying chemicals, investigating states of matter, acids, bases, physical and chemical reactions, and density. They also learn about the formation of the universe and how tectonic plate movement has shaped New Zealand’s landforms. A major focus is the kaitiakitanga of our ecosystems which include Aotearoa's unique, endemic plants and fauna.  Investigation into Mātauranga Maori medicinal properties of kawakawa plants and other plants makes links between Tikanga and chemistry.  A visit to Mangemangeroa Reserve is a highlight as students experience the incredible outdoor classroom which is right on our doorstep.


In Year 8 they develop the concepts from Year 7 and explore energy in more detail by focusing on heat and temperature. They become "Chemistry Experts" and use their expertise to solve a crime in the forensic science unit. They do this by deciding which suspect is guilty by comparing and contrasting unknown chemicals with a database of known chemicals they have developed. They learn about speed and how to manipulate a physics formula. Ākonga also learn about the wonderful world of microorganisms, and earthquake mitigation through the use of base isolator technology, as well as engaging in hands-on learning experiences across a range of authentic contexts.


Throughout their science journey, students not only gain knowledge about scientific concepts but also learn about the characteristics that make scientists successful and understand that scientific knowledge evolves. Each Whānau also integrates Science into their inquiry programmes.


Science and Technology (STEM) Fair

For many students, Science Fair offers a unique opportunity to explore their interests beyond the classroom. This year, the Science Fair is once again optional for most students, except for Year 8 Literacy Extension students, and it will be carried out as an enrichment and advancement programme. This platform allows students to apply their fair testing skills and the scientific method in real-world scenarios. Additionally, students can choose to engage in the engineering process by working on an innovation or invention project.


In addition to Mr Read's availability during lunchtimes and some afternoons for conferences with students, Mrs McKenzie will also be available to support students, monitor their progress and address any questions or challenges they may encounter.


All students will receive a letter that must be signed and returned to the school if they are interested in participating in a Science Fair project. Furthermore, there will be an informational evening for parents to learn more about the programme.


To assist students in navigating the Science Fair process, they will be provided with a Science Fair Guideline booklet that outlines each step and its respective deadline. Completed projects will be submitted and displayed in the school hall, with a selection of outstanding projects moving on to the NIWA Manukau Region Science & Technology Fair in August.


Students have the flexibility to choose between a scientific investigation or an innovation/invention project, allowing them to explore and showcase their scientific curiosity and creativity.


If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to contact:

Mr Read This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Mrs McKenzie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.