Progressive and innovative courses, designed to exceed the requirements established by the BC Ministry of Education.
In Grades 8 to 10 separate courses in biology, chemistry with earth science, and physics occur in each term. While students adjust to the Senior School, the sections of Science 8 are of mixed ability. In Grades 9 and 10, all students study the same material and write the same final examinations, however streaming occurs to ensure appropriate enrichment. The students acquire knowledge of how science works through an intensive program of laboratory-based experimental work and supporting theory. The school has excellent facilities and equipment and the small class sizes allow for small group exploration. At this level, chemistry and biology are mostly qualitative though physics is progressively quantitative. The use of the Internet in research and computers in presentations is actively encouraged.
The graduation program offers courses in Biology 11 and 12, Chemistry 11 and 12, Physics 11 and 12, Environmental Science 11, and Geology 12. Here science becomes progressively quantitative and students are expected to take accurate measurements, search for mathematical relationships, and determine uncertainty and error. The students are also encouraged to define problems, devise experimental approaches to test hypotheses, and be critical of experimental design. Again, the small class size allows for each student to fully participate in experimental investigation and classroom discussions. Where appropriate, field trips are undertaken to complement the in-class curriculum.
The best Grade 12 science students may take the equivalent of First-year University - US Advanced Placement (AP) courses. These are offered in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, and require the student to have successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in the Grade 12 course.
In order to maintain a healthy balance between humanities and science courses, students may not take 3 Science subjects (combination of Grade 11 and 12 courses) in Grade 11 unless they have applied in writing to, and received special permission from, the Head of Science. Such permission will normally only be granted to students who have shown exceptional aptitude in Science 10 - minimum 90% standing.
Notwithstanding the pre-requisites identified for each individual course, the rigor of AP Science (or equivalent) requires students to be adept with experimental procedures. Due to the nature of Summer School courses, they are not considered adequate preparation for the AP level of study (or equivalent). Therefore, if a student wishes to enrol in Biology AP, Chemistry AP, Physics AP, or Genetics 12, he must complete at least one of the pre-requisite or co-requisite requirements through a full-year course in the regular classroom.