The ASMS

The ASMS is a school for someone who is passionate about Science, Mathematics and /or STEM. Through our contemporary approach to teaching and learning we look at the world through the eyes of a scientist, mathematician and/or engineer. Our curriculum provides opportunities for learners to focus on the complex “wicked problems” of the world in an interdisciplinary way, drawing on the knowledge, skills and understandings of multiple subjects to explore big ideas and challenges.

At the ASMS, we place a high priority on supporting our students to learn how to learn. We support students to develop as self-directed learners who understand how they learn and that learning can be challenging. We support our students to develop strategies to take on challenges in their learning with confidence. Our school has an open, university-like environment which enables students to work in a range of ways as they develop as effective self-directed and self-regulated learners. Students at the ASMS are given opportunities to research and pursue their interests, truly immersing themselves in their learning.

The ASMS is a purpose designed and built senior secondary facility. The building is designed to support students to develop as self-directed learners and engage in collaborative hands-on inquiry-based learning activities.

Our learning commons are flexible learning spaces which can accommodate one or more groups of people. Flexible furniture, ICT workstations, data projectors and speaker systems mean that people can listen to a lecture, discuss ideas as a class, work in small groups, or work individually, depending on the task at hand.

We are a relatively small school of around 380 year 10-12 students from over 32 different cultural groups. We also have up to 20 international students enrolled in our school each year. While our average class size is 27 our open learning spaces mean we are able to often combine classes and break classes into smaller groups. Our Learning Studies classes sizes average 16, this class is vertically grouped with year 10, 11 & 12 students and where ever possible stay together for the three years of a student’s enrolment at the ASMS.

The ASMS stays abreast in latest industry developments and looks to engage in reciprocal partnerships which are strongly focussed on authentic, quality learning for students, at whole-of-school level through to individual student prospects for working placements.

Students also have an excellent level of access to Flinders University opportunities either as part of our Central Studies learning or, more specifically, for Year 12s who may wish to start engaging in some 1st year University courses as part of their Year 12 SACE.

Lessons commence at 8.40am and conclude at 3.20pm, except on Tuesdays when lessons finish at 1.00pm. Students are able to continue their research and learning at school before and after lessons, with the ASMS open to students from 7:45am to 4:30pm, weekdays. The adjacent Flinders University Sturt Library is also available to ASMS students.

With access to our Parent Portal, families can read our school news, see the events calendar, their child’s timetable, attendance, assignments, results, reports and learning materials.

At the ASMS, students take control of their own learning. Learning Conversations are run twice a year, led by the student, with their teacher and parents. Learning Conversations are a key part in monitoring and reporting student growth, were students talk about their progress, general capabilities, goals and strengths and weaknesses.

In addition, parents can view ongoing grades and feedback through the Parent Portal.  At the end of each semester, a final report is available on the portal and mailed home.

Every student is in a class, with a timetabled teacher to guide and facilitate their learning. They are not left to learn by themselves, they are supported, guided and monitored by their teacher during their lessons as well as through our online learning platforms. As much of our student work is online, teachers monitor learner’s progress and regularly provide feedback and guidance which can also be followed up in person during class or while at school.Our teacher work spaces are adjacent to and open to the student learning spaces, this means students are able to approach a teacher as they need.

It depends what the issue is. For personal or academic issues about your child, contact the Learning Studies Teacher via email.

You are welcome to phone our school, where our Receptionist will direct your call to the relevant person. However, teachers are usually in lessons and may not be available at that time.

During class time, students can work in other locations with their teacher’s permission. This facilitates group work and supports students to develop independent learning strategies. Teachers negotiate the ‘deliverable’ for this time away from direct supervision and check progress with each student when they return to class.
All students are able to access the Flinders University library on Sturt Campus during recess, lunch, and before and after school. Year 12 students have access to the Flinders University library and the breakout study spaces/rooms within the ASMS building, for use during their unscheduled sessions.

The ASMS curriculum is available online 24/7. We encourage students to bring their own device/s to school each day. There are no minimum specifications for devices and your decision should be based on your personal circumstances and preferences. We encourage you to consider a Windows or Apple laptop as Chromebooks or iPads/Tablets often won’t meet all learning needs.

Students are responsible for the maintenance of these devices and are encouraged to bring them fully charged and must have up to date antimalware software installed. The school can assist in connecting any Windows or Apple devices to our wireless network.

The ASMS has its own learning portal and also offers Office 365 and G Suite by Google Cloud services for use by all students. These services will support them to successfully complete their educational program and prepare them with the skills they will need for future study or employment.

These services are customised for use in education and are offered at no additional charge while your child remains enrolled at the ASMS.

Students will be able to download licenced versions of Office 365 Pro Plus for no charge on up to 5 personal devices and use them without an internet connection. They will also have their own online storage space for files that can be shared with other students and teachers.

School camps are usually run every second year. Students also have opportunities to participate in study tours throughout each year, both within Australia and internationally.

The ASMS is involved in a variety of sports in the Southern State Schools Zone Sports Competitions. We also run an organised lunchtime sport program, including volleyball, soccer, handball, AFL, ultimate frisbee, soccer and quidditch. A highlight of the sporting calendar is Activities Day in Term 1, when the ASMS dons costumes and warpaint for the day in a bid for eternal glory.

Through the ASMS Service Club, students coordinate a range of fundraising activities to support charities and community organisations.

Although there is no ASMS uniform, dress must always be neat and appropriate. Guidelines have been agreed through consultation with students.

Students are issued with a photo ID card which they will be expected to have with them at all times.

Lunchtime at the ASMS is not simply a break from learning for students to eat their lunch. It is also a part of the day where students can engage in a wide range of activities. Students engage and connect with each other and build a sense of community and wellbeing. Regular activities include table tennis, chess and games are also available for student use. Students can stay in the main ASMS building or go the Flinders University Sturt campus cafeteria. Students also utilise outdoor spaces, ASMS park and Sturt oval, or participate in our lunch time sport program.

The ASMS has kitchen facilities (microwave, fridge, hot water and sink) for student use in our student café area.

Students also have access to the cafeteria in the adjacent Flinders University Sturt campus, the Daily Kitchen Co and Mr Wuhu Sushi.

  • Adventure Space – A 100 minute lesson held once a week – Students can choose a topic that interests them
  • Alliance Subject – Students may be able to study a subject that is not offered at the ASMS at another school
  • ATAR – Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank
  • Central Studies (CS) – Interdisciplinary subjects that year 10 and 11 students undertake
  • The Department – Department for Education
  • EALD – English as an Additional Language or Dialect
  • FLO – Flexible Learning Option
  • Formative Work – Student work that comprises of a learning experience – not necessarily graded
  • International Science Fair (ISF) – Opportunity for students to network with students from other schools (local, interstate and overseas)
  • LC5 – Learning Common number 5 (there are 9 LC’s in the ASMS Building, plus 2 (10 & 11) in the Sturt Building
  • Learning Studies – Students spend 40 minutes with their Learning Studies Teacher 4 days a week
  • Loop Bus Free bus to transport students around the Bedford Park Campus as well as to the Tonsley Campus. Runs during University Term time only
  • LSG Learning Studies Group – similar to a “Home Group”
  • MMM Mindfulness, Movement and Music. Students spend 40 minutes once a week on wellbeing activities
  • Non SACE – Students usually doing year 10 level of work
  • PATE – Portfolio of Achievement for Tertiary Entrance
  • Portal – ASMS Digital Platform that students and parents can access.
  • Real Day Out – Opportunity for Year 10 students to engage with businesses in and around Adelaide
  • Rubric – Set of worded criteria/standards that we base grades upon eg A,B,C etc
  • SACE – South Australian Certificate of Education
  • SACE Credits – Students need to achieve 200 credits (points) to receive their SACE
  • SAT – Skills & Applications Task
  • SATAC – South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre
  • SDL – Self Directed Learer
  • SHE Task – Science as a Human Endeavour Task
  • Stage 1 – Students doing year 11 subjects
  • Stage 2 – Students doing year 12 subjects
  • STEM – Science Technology Engineering & Maths
  • Sturt Building – A building located alongside the ASMS building – contains the Sturt Library, lecture theatres, ASMS Aviation Space and LC10 & LC11
  • Summative Work – Student work that will be marked to go towards a final grade
  • TER – Tertiary Entrance Rank
  • Tonsley Park – Flinders University Campus for Engineering, Medical devices and Nanoscale technologies – located on South Road, Tonsley
  • UES – University Extension Studies – Certain Year 12 students studying one subject at Flinders University
  • VET – Vocational Education Training – Students can get SACE credits once their course is completed. Can do this in Year 11 or Year 12

Curriculum

At the Year 10/11 level, we run interdisciplinary courses, called Central Studies, that combine a variety of individual subjects/topics (mathematics, English, chemistry, biology, physics, history, philosophy, psychology, Earth and space sciences, technology etc). Year 10/11 students have some choice as to which subtopics they would like to focus on within each subject, and even more choice around how they would like to be assessed in these subjects.

For the Year 10/11 student, you will have 3 Central Studies per Semester. Within each Central Study, you will have a mix of subjects (English/Science/Maths, etc). Your 2-year cycle of Central Studies might look like this:

  • Semester 1- Body In Question; Communication Systems; The Energy Equation
  • Semester 2 – Engineering a Monster; Sustainable Futures; Student Inquiry Project / Research Project
  • Semester 3 – Order from Chaos; BioDiversity; Dream Design Develop
  • Semester 4 – Earth and Cosmos; Truth and Perception; Student Inquiry Project / Research Project

At the Year 12 level, we run individual subjects as courses. Students choose from 3 to 5 subjects, depending on what their goals are. Most choose a program that aligns with their University goals.

Please refer to the Year 10 & 11 Curriculum and Year 12 Curriculum pages for further information.

Each Central Study has a solid underlying theme and then individual subjects are strategically woven together to bring this theme to life.

The easiest way to answer this is with an example! In our Central Study titled Communication Systems, the theme is all about ‘sending and receiving information’. We are able to cover the SACE/ACARA English curriculum requirements through a study of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, where information is transmitted via the script of the play. We are able to cover the SACE/ACARA Mathematics curriculum requirements through a study of linear equations, where the information communicated is used to storm the castle and capture Macbeth from the Great Hall. We are able to cover SACE/ACARA science curriculum through a study of neural biochemistry, where messages of elation, fear, anxiety, and joy are transmitted through the characters in the play, as they experience success and defeat in the story.

We have many courses at the ASMS that weave subjects together in unique and authentic ways!

The Adventure Space program is an exciting opportunity for students to explore individual interests, including creative arts. Adventures may include dance, creative writing, permaculture, knitting, media studies, music, community service, shark tank, sports and more!

While we don’t offer languages at the ASMS, there are opportunities for students to enrol in a course outside of the school through the School of Languages.

While we don’t offer music at the ASMS, there are opportunities for students to continue with the band from their previous school. In addition, students are able to pursue their interest in music through our Music, Movement & Mindful program, MMM, and our Adventure Space program.

We have a range of experts at ASMS, many of whom have worked in various industry fields before coming here. The staff are always happy to engage with students in such areas.

We also have an Ideation Studio which is well suited to exploring a range of pursuits in mechatronics, robotics, 3D designing and printing, etc. We also have great equipment and expert capacity for exploration in media arts and technologies, including sound engineering. We are currently strengthening our partnerships with the Re-Engineering Australia organisation for F1 in Schools and Space programs, and with the SA Space Agency.

The school week at ASMS in structured in four main blocks each day. Three of these blocks are dedicated to Central Studies, which are also represented by the three integrated subjects that students participate in each Semester, on a two-year rotation of subjects for Year 10s and 11s.

These ‘integrated’ subjects include elements of English, Maths, Sciences, HASS, etc. Importantly, there is no stand-alone English, Maths or Science classes, labelled as such. The ASMS offers a true integrated learning experience for students, but teachers map the learning and capabilities back to the relevant parts of the Australian Curriculum or SACE for Year 10s and 11s, respectively. So, these Central Studies form the core basis for learning through the week in a 100 minute sessions through the day. 

In the middle of the day, there is an extra 40 minute session for what we call Learning Studies. This is a session that might be compared with “Home Groups” or “Care Group” in many other schools, but it is not. We take a deep dive into the elements of learning about learning, becoming sophisticated researchers, sharing discoveries, achievements and a range of other communications and celebrations through these daily Learning Studies sessions.

On Wednesdays, students have opportunity for some mindful activities through our Music, Movement and Mindfulness program, MMM.

On Thursday afternoons, students can enjoy Adventure Space electives to seriously delve into their pursuits of passion in individualised and/or small group learning. Importantly, Adventure Space time provides the opportunity for students to get serious about a self-directed pursuit that is important to them.

Homework is not a separately assigned piece of learning. Generally speaking, there is in-class time given for each unit of work, with the intention of getting the assignments completed within the school day, to minimise the amount of work taken home. The workload itself is not really different from what you would see in a traditional school. Students must take responsibility for directing their in-class focus, to use their time appropriately. If you use your class time wisely, you shouldn’t have much homework.

One of the biggest learning-curves that students of the ASMS experience as a point of difference from their previous schools, is to become a self-directed learner. We support you to embrace intrinsic motivation. We support you to find the tools you need to climb up out of the ‘learning pit’. We support you to have a growth mindset. The best way to prepare for the self-directed learning environment is to start practicing these things as much as possible in your current life. Rather than relying on your teachers and parents to tell you what to do or to help you find all of the answers, seek out what needs to be done and try finding the answers yourself. Rather than waiting for others to challenge you, try challenging yourself to do new things and reach greater heights.

Another difference you will find at the ASMS, is our open-floorplan learning areas, and lack of ‘bells’. You will be trusted to exercise responsible behaviour, avoid the temptation to wander, and be on time, without cues. Practice this in your current environment!

Student Wellbeing & Support

New students to the ASMS are involved in a Transition Program in Term 1. This involves activities for students to build working relationships with their teachers, initiate friendships and build social networks and to orientate them with the layout of the school, the timetable and the facilities. This program is run through Learning Studies in which new students are linked to existing Year 11s and 12s who act as mentors. Curriculum planning in Term 1 is also done with a focus on orientating and supporting new students.

Student wellbeing is supported through daily Learning Studies lessons (similar to home-group or Pastoral Care). Our weekly Music, Mindfulness and Movement program, MMM, focuses on wellbeing, with many options to engage in, including: sport, walking, gardening, yoga, reading and art. Students also have a range of support services available to them, including an on-site Youth Worker, visiting Psychologist, and access to services via Flinders Health.

The ASMS has a range of support for students, individually negotiated and tailored to meet the needs of our students. A dedicated Coordinator for Inclusion and Learning Support oversees our students and liaises with students, families, staff and offsite agencies. The school provides opportunities for regular external agency staff visits where needed, and tutors are available for support on Tuesday Afternoons. 

One of our aims at the ASMS is to build student capacity to be self-directed in their learning. Our Learning Studies program is a subject in which students gain skills and knowledge for effective learning. Meeting with your Learning Studies teacher daily (for 40 minutes) means that students have a teacher supporting and encouraging them as well as reminding them what’s going on.

Our school culture is one of inclusion and this is reflected in all our learning design. Our Learning Studies program provides students and their families with a trusted contact at our school as they monitor the wellbeing of each student. Students tell us that the rate of bullying at the ASMS is very low. When it does happen, they tell us they know how to report bullying and are comfortable to do so, and staff deal with issues promptly, compassionately and confidentially.

For more information, see our Anti-Bullying and Harassment Policy

The Learning Studies Teacher is central to supporting the student. They monitor each student’s performance and behaviour and provide timely intervention. Parents should contact their child’s Learning Studies Teacher as soon as they perceive there is an issue and the teacher will contact the parent if concerns are raised at the school level. The ASMS Student Support Team meets weekly and considers feedback provided by teachers about individual student progress. This information is used to identify students who may require additional support.

Through out our Central Studies program there are opportunities for students to explore STEM related industries and ‘careers of the future’. Our aim is to support students to move into tertiary education in areas that interest them and so we focus on engaging students with areas of study at Flinders University.

Pathways

Through out our Central Studies there are opportunities for students to explore STEM related industries and ‘careers of the future’. Our aim is to support students to move into tertiary education in areas that interest them and so we focus is on engaging students with areas of study at Flinders University.

The majority of our students move into tertiary study from Stage 2 (Year 12). Predominantly they move into STEM related courses within South Australia.

We focus on building capabilities which support learning. These include communicating complex ideas, persevering with challenging tasks, staying organised and prioritising tasks, being responsible, collaborating in teams. All of these capabilities (amongst others) are beneficial for undertaking tertiary education.

Enrolment

Students with a passion for science and mathematics, that are ready to immerse themselves in mathematics and science in a non-traditional way. 

At the ASMS, we look for a passion for science and mathematics, it is not all about grades.

We are hoping to hold an onsite Open Night later in the year. Details will be available as soon as we are able to confirm that this will be possible.

At the ASMS, we hold Observation Days. This is where a group of prospective students attend our school for the day. Each student is buddied up with a current student so that they can experience a day in the life of a student at the ASMS.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we have postponed Observation Days at the moment, but are taking registrations for when we are able to hold them again.

Applications are assessed in June, September and November each year.

First round applications need to be submitted by Friday 12 June, 2020. 

We are happy to receive applications in which ever format you are most comfortable with. You can either send via post, drop it in to the school, or email.

Applicants are welcome to include additional documents and information if you need more space to answer the questions comfortably.

There are no examinations or tests to enrol at the ASMS. To apply, please complete the application form and provide supporting documents.

Once the application has been assessed, you may receive a direct offer, be asked to attend an interview, or placed on a waitlist.