EXTRAORDINARY LEARNING, DRIVEN BY CURIOSITY AND CHALLENGE, INSPIRING PASSION AND CONFIDENCE.

The Australian Science and Mathematics School (ASMS) was founded in 2003 to provide leadership for reform and innovation in science and mathematics education through curriculum development, research, and professional learning services. The ASMS contributes to the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Skills Strategy for South Australia.

Over the last 16 years, the school has supported many other schools to develop innovative approaches to mathematics and science education based on the approaches developed at ASMS. The school has a number of key successes, such as the development of an open learning environment, interdisciplinary learning programs, and pedagogy that enhances the success of students in STEM learning. The school has a high rate of articulation into science, medical and engineering studies at Universities across Australia.

At the ASMS we embrace the diversity of learning, encourage students to be self-directed learners, and place great importance on collaborative learning for the entire ASMS community. Our students can shape their learning to best achieve their learning goals. Our teachers are supported to reflect and learn, to improve their capacity to deliver a leading-edge STEM curriculum using engaging pedagogy designed to suit the needs of each individual learner. We actively pursue partnerships with community and industry that best support our students to learn, and to achieve their post-school pathways.

2018 Annual Report

2018 External School Review

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.

School Context Statement 2019

General Information

  • Opening Year: 2003
  • School Number: 1800
  • Principal: Jayne Heath
  • Deputy Principal: Glenys Thompson
  • Email Address: info@asms.sa.edu.au

Charter

The ASMS is a school for year 10-12 students who have an interest in science and mathematics. Our school is not a local school, students are invited to apply outlining their interest in science and mathematics, career pathways they are considering and our approaches to teaching and learning.

The ASMS serves as a statewide focal point for teaching and learning, professional learning and research aimed at fostering improvement, innovation and reform in Science and Mathematics education. The school develops new approaches to teaching and learning in Science and Mathematics through the creation of an environment for interaction between educators and professional scientists and mathematicians within institutions and industry in South Australia and beyond. The schools’ partnership with Flinders University is key to this collaborative work.

The ASMS is intended as a resource for every Department for Education school in the state through its programs of professional development and curriculum enhancement. Students and teachers from across South Australia are invited and encouraged to engage in ASMS outreach programs.

Teachers from around the state are able to work alongside ASMS staff in the ongoing development of the curriculum and teaching and assessment strategies. This work also informs the review and planning of professional learning activities.

The ASMS

  • Responds to current and future interests and needs of its students to establish models of excellence in science and mathematics education
  • Provides a learning environment of leading edge and enterprise-oriented science, mathematics and technology
  • Provides a learning culture for its students that derives from the learning culture of its staff, which in turn derives from their interaction with university and industry scientists and educators
  • Is an agent for change and enhancement of science and mathematics education for the state of South Australia and then nationally and internationally
  • Prepares young people to be creative, critical, informed and motivated contributors who respond to professional, personal and social issues
  • Aims to increase participation and success of senior secondary students in science, mathematics and related technologies and transforms students’ attitudes to science and mathematics as career paths

Staffing

  • 37 Teaching Staff
  • 13 Support Staff

Enrolment Trends

  • 2013 366 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)
  • 2014 348 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)
  • 2015 387 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)
  • 2016 388 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)
  • 2017 370 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)
  • 2018 384 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)
  • 2019 361 students with up to 30 of these being international students (years 10, 11, 12)