The ASMS opened in 2003. Through its partnership with Flinders University, the ASMS is responsible for leadership of reform of science and mathematics education across South Australia. The school, located on the campus of Flinders University, operates in an innovative building that was recognised by the OECD in 2006 as a model for school design for the 21st century.
In 2003, the school had an initial enrolment of 165 students in years 10 and 11. Since 2004, the school has also offered a full range of programs to students in year 12. Students enrolled at the ASMS come from all areas of SA and from a diversity of cultural, academic, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Students entering the ASMS do so because of their interest in science and mathematics. The ASMS is not an academically selective school. It is proving to be a school that generates academic success, and a school that fosters fulfilment of potential for all its students.
The ASMS has developed an innovative, comprehensive, interdisciplinary curriculum with science and mathematics as the central disciplinary pillars. The school’s partnership with Flinders University has been the vehicle for the inclusion of leading edge science and mathematics into the curriculum and learning opportunities for students. ASMS students are engaging with science from areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, forensic science, satellite mathematics, and photonics. In an endeavour to embody the new sciences which are at the heart of the new economy, the curriculum has also been shaped by the applications of science and mathematics in industry.
The reforming developments occurring at the ASMS are beginning to reach other schools and teachers through the school’s professional development and outreach programs. Significant numbers of educators from other schools engage with a range of professional learning programs conducted by the ASMS, including workshops on “new sciences” and action learning processes. The ASMS hosts multiple workshops, seminars, and conferences for teachers of science and mathematics, often in collaboration with their professional associations.
The ASMS, as an innovative and reforming model of schooling, is attracting significant national and international attention from leading educators. Many Australian and international educators visit the ASMS, and its work is featured at international education conferences and forums. It is highly regarded as an internationally recognised model of leading-edge “schooling”, and its practice is influencing the design, development, and transformation of schools in many countries.
ASMS staff have participated in a significant number of international professional development programs, often making presentations and publishing their work. ASMS students participate in international science fairs, and international students enrolments continue to grow.
The ASMS is now a leading school in the international network of specialist science and mathematics schools.