Welcome to Sydney's STEM High School,
designed exclusively for year 11 & 12 students who are passionate about science and aspiring to become our future Scientists, Doctors, Inventors and Engineers.
The school, established in 2021, was born out of our ambition to create a place where high school science education can flourish, with students receiving the stimulating challenges and individual mentorship they need to not only excel in the HSC, but just as importantly to develop the depth of thought, work ethic and lifelong learning skills that will see them thrive in their tertiary studies and future STEM careers.
Our path in education started in 2003, at the front gates of James Ruse Ag. on our final day of high school, when we had the ambitious idea of running HSC head-start courses to pass on our hard-earned knowledge, exam skills and growing appreciation of science to the younger cohort. With the support of our Principal we began our little endeavour whilst studying advanced science at university, teaching out of our old-school's classrooms in the holidays. We'd also put in time at the school's science department, teaching university-level physics and chemistry to Olympiad students during the term.
We soon found that we had a real knack and enjoyment for teaching, and what started as a hobby during our university years grew into a full-time profession. In 2006 we founded our specialist science tutoring college of the same name, the proving ground where we tested and refined the education programs now being taught at the school. Along the way, we've helped hundreds of students achieve at the highest level in the HSC, through a real understanding and enjoyment of maths & science.
Sydney Science College brings together exceptional educators and the most ambitious and talented students, in an environment that fosters investigation and creativity, to nourish and inspire the thinkers and inventors of tomorrow.
Joey Tsao & Shaun Balnave,
Co-Founders & Co-Principals
Congratulations Year 12 2023
We congratulate our Year 12 2023 students and the teachers and staff who worked so hard together to achieve outstanding success in the HSC. With 50% of our students' course entries achieving a 'Band 6', Sydney Science College would have ranked 8th* for "overall success rate" according to the Sydney Morning Herald league table, right in-between Sydney Grammar and Normanhurst Boys – equalling the success of our first Year 12 cohort in 2022. We had 20% of our students achieve an ATAR of 99 or more, 40% with an ATAR of 95 or more, and 100% with an ATAR of 89 or more.
Even more rewarding as educators is seeing every one of our students gain entry to their preferred degrees – Advanced Science/Engineering and Medicine to name a couple – and knowing that they begin this new journey with the confidence, resilience and independent learning skills that will see them thrive. We are exceptionally proud of the students, and wish them every success for a bright and exciting future.
* As a small school, we had less than the minimum 150 course entries required to be eligable to show up in the Sydney Morning Herald's school league table.
Joining us in raising the next generation of scientific thinkers is an outstanding team of educators: including both highly accomplished secondary teachers, and talented scientists & tertiary educators turned teachers – an astrophysicist, a biochemical engineer, an ex-associate professor of chemistry, and an ecological biologist to name a few – bringing a wealth of knowledge, classroom experience, and real-world expertise.
Light filled and airy, with exposed foundations of concrete, timber and steel, and vibrant with diverse plant-life, the school's interconnected learning spaces stimulate thought, and pique one's curiosity into the forms and functions that exist in nature. At the heart of the College are our university-standard teaching laboratories, where students can immerse themselves in real scientific inquiry to understand and explore concepts firsthand.
Learning through Mentorship
We have a record low 6:1 student to teacher ratio, which makes every moment in the classroom interactive and engaging. Individual attention and real-time feedback allows students to benefit from a problem-based approach to learning – the ideal way to learn maths and science, since it fosters critical thinking and builds a strong working knowledge. Students also build character as they study under the mentorship of good role models, developing into mature and socially responsible young adults who are equipped to thrive in the challenges of life.
We know that students learn science best by 'doing' science – that is, by practising the scientific method where one gains reliable knowledge about nature through logic & critical thinking, and by gathering empirical evidence through observation & experiment. It's the same method used by doctors to make successful diagnoses, engineers to deliver solutions under real-world constraints, and researchers in every field to make new discoveries.
Under the close guidance of our teachers, many of whom have published novel scientific research and have the experience of running undergraduate laboratories, students will immerse themselves in real scientific enquiry to understand and explore concepts firsthand and learn how to think scientifically.
Year 11 is dedicated to mastering the fundamentals of the 3 natural sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology); gaining command over the language of science (Mathematics Advanced & optionally Extension 1); learning to think computationally (Software Engineering); and honing the ability to communicate ideas effectively (English Advanced & optionally Extension 1).
Year 12 provides an opportunity for students to challenge themselves in higher level maths (Mathematics Extension 2) and to embark on a major scientific research project in their area of interest (Science Extension 1).
Students wishing to study additional subjects from the arts and humanities can do so through external providers including the Sydney Distance Education High School and the NSW School of Languages, where Zoom speaking lessons and work sessions are timetabled during the school day.
Sport & Fitness
With regular exercise being key to maintaining health and wellbeing, and able to boost memory and thinking skills, Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to sports and fitness. Climbing is the school sport of choice – both indoor sport climbing and indoor bouldering. Often described as a vertical puzzle, climbing is an ideal activity for students to be individually challenged and yet support each other. Besides being an enjoyable way to build core-strength and fitness, climbing develops resilience and creates a strong mind-body connection that can help build self-awareness and confidence.
Other sporting activities are made available throughout the year according to student interests, and we encourage and support students participating in competitive sports outside of school. Our sports program is supplemented with more general physical activities such as gym, and tailored fitness programs run by a professional sports trainer, to help students make regular exercise an enjoyable and rewarding habit.
Engineering Design & Mechatronics
Students learn engineering design principles, create parts in CAD (computer-aided design) and prototype their designs on our industry-standard manufacturing technology. Students study simple machines, circuitry & motors, and learn control theory to ultimately build and program a complex machine or robot. In doing so, students discover first-hand how math, science and coding can come together to solve practical multidisciplinary challenges.
Hands-on creative workshops will be on offer to students throughout the year – Japanese ceramics, woodworking, and a barista coffee course to name a few, taught by acclaimed Sydney artisans.
Students study the popular Harvard CS50 online courses, learning how to code in Python (the scientific programming language of choice) and how to think computationally - breaking complex problems down into processes that can be executed by a computer - in order to analyse data and find numerical solutions to some of the interesting problems encountered in science that cannot be solved analytically.
Science is an investigation of the natural world, and we love getting students out and exploring the great outdoors through regular field trips for biology and bi-annual hikes, outdoor sport climbs and educational camps. Students learn bushcraft, orienteering and teamwork skills, and discover new climbing challenges in the picturesque Blue Mountains. These experiences provide students with rich opportunities to grow in tenacity, responsibility and character, and foster an appreciation and respect for nature and the need to protect it through environmental stewardship and conservation.
For the most ambitious of students who want to be challenged well beyond the NSW curriculum, the school runs training programs for the Australian Science Olympiads. These programs take students to university-level studies, with the opportunity to compete for selection to represent Australia in international competition.
The school chess club is a student run club for learning, playing and discussing all things chess, and is open to students and staff at every level, from beginner to ranked. Experienced players regularly share tips and ideas in post-game analysis, and are happy to answer questions and give recommendations on how to improve your game.
Year 11 Early Entry,
for Advanced Year 9 Students
A special 3 year senior program is available for talented & forward-thinking students in year 9, who are already well advanced in their studies of mathematics and can't wait to extend and challenge themselves in the sciences.
Students begin year 11 a year early, sit their core HSC subjects in year 12, and then begin a year 13 devoted to the more challenging HSC extension units, and a bespoke project-based science program to enrich and extend them well beyond HSC examinology. By gaining a whole extra year to focus on their senior studies, students have the unique opportunity to attain a level of insight, confidence and mastery that will elevate their HSC performance, and give them an unrivalled headstart at university.
Entrance to Sydney Science College is selective, and places are limited, early expressions of interest are highly recommended.
Students in Years 9 & 10 are eligible to apply for 2025. Upon receipt of a fee-free application, candidates will be invited to sit an entrance exam, and those successful will be invited to interview with the Co-Principals.
Fees for Academic Year 2024 are $31,500 per annum, payable in monthly installments. We offer discounts for early fee payment, and extended payment plans are available. This is a single all-inclusive annual fee, covering enrolment, tuition, educational resources, excursions and co-curricular & sporting activities. It also includes individual computing devices (currently a Macbook Air and iPad), which are gifted to the students on graduation to aid in their future university studies.
Join us for an Open Day, of which there are several throughout the year, where you can:
- Come on a tour of the school campus.
- Meet and chat with our teachers, and find out what to look forward to in their classes and co-curricular activities.
- Hear firsthand from some of our current students about what it's like to learn at Sydney Science College.
To discuss applying for 2025, to attend an Open Day, or to register your interest for a future year, please fill out the form below or call us on (02) 9868 1095.