A targeted approach to future proofing our young learners.
The Science Maths Academy (SMA) is the well renowned STEM excellence program at NVSHS for students in grades 4 through 10, and since its inception in 2012 has attracted students from across the Moreton Bay region.
The SMA caters for students with demonstrated higher aptitude in Maths, Science and Technology and engages students in contextual inquiry-based learning. While the program teaches to the Australian Curriculum, learning in the SMA classroom differs greatly to that of regular maths and science classes in that it focuses on high levels of applied and design thinking in a range of contexts related to learning content. These learning experiences foster integration between Science, Maths and Design and Technology and challenges students to develop their higher order thinking skills.
The SMA prioritises the 21st Century skills identified as being building blocks for finding success in emerging careers. Specifically, learning occurs with an aim to develop students' critical and creative thinking, oral communication, working in a collaborative environment and effective use of ICT and emerging technologies.
The school has developed close relationships with universities and industries to give students the opportunity to link learning to the real world and potential career paths, through excursions, camps, competitions, incursions and guests to the school.
Only a limited number of positions are available in each year level to gifted and talented students. Students wishing to enter the Science Maths Academy are required to apply to NVSHS and to participate in a selective entry process. This consists of an entry examination, known as a Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST), and if necessary, a suitability interview. The Selective entry process only occurs once per year, with those students who are successful starting in the program in the following year. The popularity of the program means that there is a high level of competition for places in both the Primary and Secondary Programs. In saying this, the applicant needs to demonstrate a suitable standard of schoolwork to qualify for the SMA program. The student should be achieving A's and maybe a couple of Bs for the subjects of Science, Maths, English, Humanities, and Technologies and have demonstrated suitable behaviour, as indicated in the report card.
Applications are now CLOSED, as per the key dates in the table below.
The SMA Primary School Program students learn the same Science and Maths topics as detailed in the Australian Curriculum for their year level. We endeavour to inspire students in their learning with a greater depth of content and access to equipment for projects/experiments that they would not normally have access to.
Students will be assessed on what they have learnt at Primary SMA each term. Report cards will be sent home at the end of each Semester. Parent-Teacher interviews will be offered at the end of Semester 1.
Students will study their Science and Maths courses through the SMA program as opposed to the regular NVSHS Science and Maths programs. Similarly to the Primary school program, students will study topics detailed in the Australian Curriculum for their year level with the learning presented with a greater depth than the standard NVSHS courses.
Students will also be expected to participate in excursions, competitions and an SMA camp for years 7 to 9. This is all a part of the enrichment process.