Year 11-12

Year 11-12


The Biology department at the College has five dedicated Biology labs which incorporate microscopes, specimen museums and live organism exhibits. The dedicated Biology teaching team are inspiring and creative in their approach and deliver the HSC course in a way that makes it fun to learn. Year 11 Biology students undertake an ecology excursion to sites of significant biological and ecological interest around Sydney and its surrounds. The Preliminary course focuses on organism structure and function, biological diversity and ecosystem function. Students undertaking the HSC course will investigate the topics of genetics, inheritance and disease.


Chemistry is taught within the Foundation Science Centre where there are 4 dedicated Chemistry laboratories. Mini- labs between each of these main laboratories allow for flexible teaching practices including the long term experiments to be carried out or tuition in smaller groups. Two preparation laboratories provide excellent, safe storage of chemicals and equipment and fume cupboards in each laboratory make for a safe work place. An experienced and successful team of teachers deliver the HSC Chemistry course in an interesting and innovative way.

The course provides students with a contemporary understanding of the physical and chemical properties of substances and their interactions.

Earth & Environmental Science

Earth & Environmental Science is a growing area of interest for students and this is certainly the case at Barker College. With two dedicated laboratories and an amazing mineral collection, the subject is brought to life by a creative and enthusiastic team of teachers. The school has a rich tradition of producing many students who have gone on to study Geology and this is now being complemented by the more recent emphasis on the environment. Several excursions are included as part of this course and provide an excellent experience for students.

The Preliminary course incorporates the study of the formation of the Earth and the evolution of its atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere; the physical and chemical features of the environment; Australia as an island continent with a wide range of climates; the use of water as a chemical essential for life on Earth and its importance in the maintenance of Australian biomes; and the interplay of processes which shape the Earth’s surface such as weathering and erosion, volcanism and earthquake activity, and plate tectonics.  The HSC course examines the geological, physical and chemical evidence related to the evolution of Australia over time and pressures on the Australian environment and the indicators of environmental ill-health


Physics is taught in four well resourced laboratories that include the latest in digital data collecting sensors. An experienced and enthusiastic Physics staff, ensure that the excellent reputation of excellent HSC results in this subject continues.

The Preliminary course incorporates the study of kinematics and dynamics; the properties of waves; electrical energy, electric and magnetic fields, generators, superconductors and transformers; and the interaction between energy and matter that brought about the formation of the Earth.  The HSC examines the effects of gravitational fields, momentum, projectile and circular motion and the development of our understanding of the macro and atomic world throughout the Twentieth Century.

Investigating Science

The Investigating Science Course is designed to assist students of all abilities engage with scientific processes, and apply those processes to investigate relevant personal, community and global scientific issues.

The course promotes active inquiry and explores key concepts, models and phenomena. It draws and builds on the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes gained in Science Stage 5. The Stage 6 course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the value of evidence-based investigations and the use of science-based inquiry in their lives.

The Investigating Science course is designed to complement the study of the science disciplines by providing additional opportunities for students to investigate and develop an understanding of scientific concepts, their current and future uses, and their impacts on science and society. The course draws on and promotes interdisciplinary science, by allowing students to investigate a wide range of STEM related issues and concepts in depth.

Science Extension

After learning about Science for many years, this course is for students who want to put this into practice. Science Extension is a one unit course for students who are already doing another Science subject. These students become researchers in the Scientific community by joining the pioneering Barker Science Extension Research Group, conducting genuine research based on literature, and writing a journal article to be published in the Barker Science Journal “Scientific Research In School”. Outstanding students even have the opportunity to present their work at international academic conferences or submit to academic journals (as was done by the Class of 2020).

Students will have a research supervisor, a staff member experienced in academic research supervision, who will work closely with them to develop their research question, perform their experiment, and present their work to the academic community. Unlike learning activities in previous years, it is the student who is the expert in their project area, who is guided by research methodology advice from their supervisor working along side them to produce high-quality research.

Barker College is a recognised leader in Science Extension in NSW due to the school’s approach to research supervision, publication of student work, and hosting of public lectures on syllabus content where students and teachers from around NSW learn from the Barker Science Extension teachers. The Science Extension syllabus focuses on the nature, development and processes of Science.