John Monash Science School is Victoria’s first specialist school in Science, Mathematics and associated Technologies. We are seeking to create learning programs designed to equip our students with the skills and capacities to enable them to become independent learners in the 21st Century. We understand that strong classroom relationships underpin and inspire effective learning, and will put structures and processes in place to ensure this occurs. The school wishes to appoint teachers to join its teaching team whose mission is to establish a culture of educational excellence with high expectations of all members of our community.
All teachers at John Monash Science School will have expert contemporary knowledge in their learning area, as well as in the full range of pedagogical practices required to impart this knowledge and understanding effectively to students. They will understand that students come to the classroom with a range of prior experiences and knowledge, as well as distinct learning styles. Therefore our teachers will be able to construct learning experiences for each student pitched at the point of need, and delivered in such a way as to be engaging and inclusive of every student. They will be able and prepared to use student achievement and other data to inform the learning improvement plans of their students, in collaboration with team teaching colleagues.
Teachers at John Monash Science School must be able to demonstrate the capacity to work effectively in a teaching team in order to plan and deliver innovative learning experiences to a cohort of up to three traditional classes at a time. They will have a sound understanding of the contemporary use of ICT to enhance student learning and improve understanding. They will be committed to their own learning, understanding its importance to their ongoing improvement as a teaching practitioner, and actively engaged in learning from their colleagues, from external providers and from research. They will critically reflect on their own practice and respond appropriately to data in the pursuit of continual improvement.
Teachers at John Monash Science School will have the capacity and intent to form strong positive working relationships with students. They will encourage all students to achieve their personal best, provide positive role-modelling in the way they relate to students and seek to improve themselves, and persist when students are facing difficulties. Improved student learning will be at the core of their work.
All teachers will have high standards of professional and ethical practice, and value and respect all members of the school community. They will constructively contribute to the development of a positive staff culture characterised by mutual respect and support, a strong sense of optimism and a high priority placed on ongoing learning and achievement of personal best. These themes are embodied in the Staff Code of Professional Practice which is available on the school website www.jmss.vic.edu.au.
All teachers at John Monash Science School will mentor a group of students throughout their time at the school. This will include working with colleagues in the same House to monitor student performance and progress, and put strategies in place to help students improve. Teacher mentors will be the first port of call for parents if there are any concerns, and will work closely with their Head of House and Assistant Principal (Student Achievement and Wellbeing) to ensure all students feel safe, supported, engaged and challenged at school.
About the John Monash Science School
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DET) and Monash University have collaborated to develop a secondary school designed to advance students with an interest in sciences, mathematics and associated technologies.
John Monash Science School is the expression of this unique educational partnership. When John Monash Science School opened its doors to its first students in Term One 2010, it became Victoria’s first specialist secondary school devoted to these fields of endeavour.
The vision for John Monash Science School is to be a nationally and internationally recognised centre for excellence in innovative research-based teaching and learning in the later years of secondary science, mathematics, associated technologies, resource development and pedagogy. The school will contribute to Victoria’s, and the Nation’s, long term economic, social, cultural and environmental goals through delivery of high quality and innovative education in science, mathematics and technologies.
The John Monash Science School will:
- engage students through innovation in a relevant and integrated curriculum and investigation- based learning approaches;
- provide pathways into senior secondary and university studies for high achievers pursuing Science and Mathematics;
- develop high quality effective teaching strategies to be shared amongst teachers throughout the state; and
- provide ongoing up-to-date knowledge in rapidly advancing areas of science.
Students with a keen interest in science and mathematics will have the opportunity to learn in an environment that both nurtures and challenges their special interests, with access to the resources of Monash University. Monash University has committed significant resources and has dedicated staff in both the Faculties of Education and Science to support the students and staff of the John Monash Science School. Students enrolled in the school will receive additional curriculum and academic services supported by nationally recognised academic staff in all disciplines of the Sciences and Education. This means that the John Monash Science School is able to offer an enviable education unequalled elsewhere.
Working with like-minded peers, expert teachers, and taking advantage of world-class facilities, students at John Monash Science School will be encouraged to perform to the highest academic level in order to achieve their goals.
Goals of the school
The goals of the John Monash Science School are to:
- develop and foster a passionate curiosity of science and mathematics in students;
- challenge students to develop deep understanding through engagement with ideas and evidence;
- link student learning with business, industry and research sectors of the community;
- personalise student learning;
- use assessment for making informed and consistent judgements to improve future student learning by ongoing gathering, analysing and reflecting on evidence;
- foster high levels of student achievement;
- provide opportunities for all students to meet the requirements of the VELS, complete a VCE and obtain an ATAR score to support applications for entry into courses in tertiary education;
- stimulate and support ongoing teacher learning and collaborative teacher research within the school;
- develop and improve the quality of teaching practices of pre-service teachers;
- develop innovative curriculum and teaching resources and practices that are shared across Victorian secondary schools; and
- promote and provide credentialed professional learning for teachers in Victoria and elsewhere.
Learning Environment and Curriculum
At John Monash Science School the focus will be on providing students not only with an education of the highest academic standard, but one which also encourages independent, creative thinking.
Students will be individually assessed in order for an individual learning plan to be developed for each student. Each student’s progress against their learning plans and goals will then be monitored.
A key aspect for success in the study of science is a sound basis in the ‘enabling’ subjects of chemistry, physics and mathematics. The sound teaching in the theory and application of these subjects will be key foci of the curriculum and a solid understanding of these fundamental areas is ensured for each student.
The school will utilise inquiry-based learning as one aspect of the delivery of the curriculum Some of the documented benefits of this style of learning are that it:
- teaches problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and disciplinary content
- promotes the transfer of concepts to new problem questions
- teaches students how to learn and builds self-directed learning skills
- develops student ownership of their inquiry and enhances student interest in the subject matter
These are skills that are essential to develop in the study of science and mathematics and this will essentially give students at the John Monash Science School an advantage for any further studies they choose to undertake.
The opportunity for students to see the latest application of scientific developments in the University will be incorporated into the curriculum to enrich the students’ experiences in science and mathematics. The school is located in the STRIP (Science and Technology, Research and Innovation Precinct’) of the University, which includes numerous University-affiliated research organisations. The Australian Synchrotron and the largest Victorian operation of the CSIRO are also located at the Clayton campus.
The comprehensive curriculum satisfies all Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) requirements, while the focus on mathematics, technology and science-based subjects allows students to benefit from specialised learning opportunities.