South East Melbourne
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Curriculums (Chemistry, Physics & Mathematics)

Dr Amin School

Chemistry Units 1-4

VCE Chemistry enables students to explore the relationship between materials and energy through four themes: the design and composition of useful materials, the reactions and analysis of chemicals in water, the efficient production and use of energy and materials, and the investigation of carbon-based compounds as important components of body tissues and the materials used in society.

Unit 1: How can the diversity of materials be explained?

The development and use of materials for specific purposes is an important human endeavour. In this unit, students investigate the chemical properties and practical applications of a range of materials including metals, crystals, polymers, nanomaterials and giant lattices. They explore and explain the relationships between properties, structure and bonding forces within and between particles that vary in size from the visible through to nanoparticles, molecules and atoms.

Students are introduced to quantitative concepts in chemistry.

Unit 2: What makes water such a unique chemical?

Water is the most widely used solvent on Earth. In this unit, students explore the physical and chemical properties of water, the reactions that occur in water and various methods of water analysis.

Students examine the structure and bonding within and between water molecules in order to investigate solubility, concentration, pH and reactions in water including precipitation, acid-base and redox. They are introduced to stoichiometry and to analytical techniques and instrumental procedures analysis, and apply these to determine concentrations of different species in water samples, including chemical contaminants. Students explore the solvent properties of water in a variety of contexts and analyse selected issues associated with substances dissolved in water.

Unit 3: How can chemical processes be designed to optimise efficiency?

The global demand for energy and materials is increasing with world population growth. In this unit, students explore energy options and the chemical production of materials with reference to efficiencies, renewability and the minimization of their impact on the environment.

Students compare and evaluate different chemical energy resources and investigate the combustion of fuels. They consider the purpose, design and operating principles of galvanic cells, fuel cells and electrolytic cells and calculate quantities in electrolytic reactions. Students analyse manufacturing processes with reference to factors that influence their reaction rates and extent. They apply the equilibrium law and Le Chatelier’s principle to predict and explain the conditions that will improve the efficiency and percentage yield of chemical processes.

Unit 4: How are organic compounds categorised, analysed and used?

Carbon is the basis of the diverse compounds found in living tissues and in the fuels, foods, medicines and many of the materials we use in everyday life. In this unit, students investigate the structural features, bonding, reactions and uses of the major families of organic compounds including those found in food.

Students process data from instrumental analyses to confirm or deduce organic structures, and perform volumetric analyses to determine the concentrations of organic chemicals in mixtures. They predict the products of reaction pathways and design pathways to produce particular compounds from given starting materials. Students investigate key food molecules including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and vitamins and use calorimetry to determine the energy released in the combustion of food.

Physics Units 1-4

Physics seeks to understand and explain the physical world, both natural and constructed. It examines models and ideas used to make sense of the world and which are sometimes challenged as new knowledge develops.

VCE Physics provides students with opportunities to investigate questions related to selected areas within the discipline including atomic physics, electricity, fields, mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum physics and waves. Students also have options for study related to astrobiology, astrophysics, bioelectricity, biomechanics, electronics, flight, medical physics, nuclear energy, nuclear physics, optics, sound and sports science.

Unit 1: What ideas explain the physical world?

In this unit, students explore some of the fundamental ideas and models used by physicists in an attempt to understand and explain the world. They consider thermal concepts by investigating heat and assessing the impact of human use of energy on the environment. Students evaluate common analogies used to explain electricity and investigate how electricity can be manipulated and utilised. They examine current scientifically accepted theories that explain how matter and energy have changed since the origins of the Universe.

Unit 2: What do experiments reveal about the physical world?

This unit requires that students undertake a core study related to motion, one option from a choice of twelve options, and a student-designed investigation related to motion and/or one of the twelve options.

In this unit, students explore the power of experiments in developing models and theories. They make direct observations of physics phenomena and examine the ways in which phenomena that may not be directly observable can be explored including through indirect observations. Students investigate the ways in which forces are involved both in moving objects and in keeping objects stationary. They choose one of twelve options related to astrobiology, astrophysics, bioelectricity, biomechanics, electronics, flight, medical physics, nuclear energy, nuclear physics, optics, sound and sports science.

Unit 3: How do fields explain motion and electricity?

In this unit, students explore the importance of energy in explaining and describing the physical world. They examine the production of electricity and its delivery to homes. Students consider the field model as a construct that has enabled an understanding of why objects move when they are not apparently in contact with other objects. They explore the interactions, effects and applications of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields including the design and operation of particle accelerators. Students use Newton’s laws and Einstein’s theories to investigate and describe motion.

Unit 4: How can two contradictory models explain both light and matter?

Light and matter – which initially seem to be quite different – have been observed as having similar properties. In this unit, students explore the use of wave and particle theories to model the properties of light and matter. They examine how the concept of the wave is used to explain the nature of light and analyse its limitations in describing light behaviour. Students further investigate light by using a particle model to explain its behaviour. A wave model is also used to explain the behaviour of matter which enables students to consider the relationship between light and matter. Students are challenged to think beyond the concepts experienced in everyday life to study the physical world from a new perspective.

Mathematics

Foundation Mathematics

Further Mathematics

General Mathematics

Mathematical Methods

Specialist Mathematics

General Mathematics Units 1-2

General Mathematics provides for different combinations of student interests and preparation for the study of VCE Mathematics at Unit 3 and 4 levels. The areas of study for General Mathematics Unit 1 and Unit 2 are ‘Algebra and structure’, ‘Arithmetic and number’, ‘Discrete mathematics’, ‘Geometry, measurement and trigonometry’, ‘Graphs of linear and non-linear relations’ and ‘Statistics’.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations and graphs with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic, financial and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Further Mathematics Units 3-4

Further Mathematics consists of two areas of study, a compulsory Core area of study to be completed in Unit 3 and an Applications area of study to be completed in Unit 4. The Core comprises ‘Data analysis’ and ‘Recursion and financial modelling’. The Applications comprises two modules to be completed in their entirety, from a selection of four possible modules: ‘Matrices’, ‘Networks and decision mathematics’, ‘Geometry and measurement’ and ‘Graphs and relations’.

‘Data analysis’ comprises 40 per cent of the content to be covered, ‘Recursion and financial modelling’ comprises 20 per cent of the content to be covered, and each selected module comprises 20 per cent of the content to be covered. Assumed knowledge and skills for the Core are contained in the General Mathematics Units 1 and 2 topics: ‘Computation and practical arithmetic’, ‘Investigating and comparing data distributions’, ‘Investigating relationships between two numerical variables’, ‘Linear graphs and modelling’, ‘Linear relations and equations’, and ‘Number patterns and recursion’. For each module, there are related topics in General Mathematics Units 1 and 2.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, and graphs. They should have a facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic, financial and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Mathematical Methods Units 1-4

Unit 1

Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2 provide an introductory study of simple elementary functions of a single real variable, algebra, calculus, probability and statistics and their applications in a variety of practical and theoretical contexts. They are designed as preparation for Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 and contain assumed knowledge and skills for these units. The focus of Unit 1 is the study of simple algebraic functions, and the areas of study are ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’ and ‘Probability and statistics’. At the end of Unit 1, students are expected to have covered the content outlined in each area of study, with the exception of ‘Algebra’ which extends across Units 1 and 2. This content should be presented so that there is a balanced and progressive development of skills and knowledge from each of the four areas of study with connections between and across the areas of study being developed consistently throughout both Units 1 and 2.

In undertaking this unit, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs and differentiation with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout the unit as applicable.

Unit 2

In Unit 2 students focus on the study of simple transcendental functions and the calculus of simple algebraic functions. The areas of study are ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, and ‘Probability and statistics’. At the end of Unit 2, students are expected to have covered the material outlined in each area of study. Material from the ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, and ‘Probability and statistics’ areas of study should be organised so that there is a clear progression of skills and knowledge from Unit 1 to Unit 2 in each area of study.

In undertaking this unit, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs, differentiation and anti-differentiation with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout the unit as applicable.

Unit 3 & 4

Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 are completely prescribed and extend the introductory study of simple elementary functions of a single real variable, to include combinations of these functions, algebra, calculus, probability and statistics, and their applications in a variety of practical and theoretical contexts. Units 3 and 4 consist of the areas of study ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Calculus’, ‘Algebra’ and ‘Probability and statistics’, which must be covered in progression from Unit 3 to Unit 4, with an appropriate selection of content for each of Unit 3 and Unit 4. Assumed knowledge and skills for Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 are contained in Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2, and will be drawn on, as applicable, in the development of related content from the areas of study, and key knowledge and skills for the outcomes of Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4.

For Unit 3 a selection of content would typically include the areas of study ‘Functions and graphs’ and ‘Algebra’, and applications of derivatives and differentiation, and identifying and analysing key features of the functions and their graphs from the ‘Calculus’ area of study. For Unit 4, this selection would typically consist of remaining content from the areas of study: ‘Functions and graphs’,‘Calculus’ and ‘Algebra’, and the study of random variables and discrete and continuous probability distributions and the distribution of sample proportions. For Unit 4, the content from the ‘Calculus’ area of study would be likely to include the treatment of anti-differentiation, integration, the relation between integration and the area of regions specified by lines or curves described by the rules of functions, and simple applications of this content.

The selection of content from the areas of study should be constructed so that there is a development in the complexity and sophistication of problem types and mathematical processes used (modelling, transformations, graph sketching and equation solving) in application to contexts related to these areas of study. There should be a clear progression of skills and knowledge from Unit 3 to Unit 4 in each area of study.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs, differentiation, anti-differentiation, integration and inference with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Specialist Mathematics Units 1-4

Unit 1 & 2

Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2 provide a course of study for students who wish to undertake an in-depth study of mathematics, with an emphasis on concepts, skills and processes related to mathematical structure, modelling, problem solving and reasoning. This study has a focus on interest in the discipline of mathematics in its own right and investigation of a broad range of applications, as well as development of a sound background for further studies in mathematics and mathematics related fields.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational, real and complex arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations and graphs with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand

Unit 2

In Unit 2 students focus on the study of simple transcendental functions and the calculus of simple algebraic functions. The areas of study are ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, and ‘Probability and statistics’. At the end of Unit 2, students are expected to have covered the material outlined in each area of study. Material from the ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, and ‘Probability and statistics’ areas of study should be organised so that there is a clear progression of skills and knowledge from Unit 1 to Unit 2 in each area of study.

In undertaking this unit, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs, differentiation and anti-differentiation with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout the unit as applicable.

Unit 3 & 4

Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 are completely prescribed and extend the introductory study of simple elementary functions of a single real variable, to include combinations of these functions, algebra, calculus, probability and statistics, and their applications in a variety of practical and theoretical contexts. Units 3 and 4 consists of the areas of study ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Calculus’, ‘Algebra’ and ‘Probability and statistics’, which must be covered in progression from Unit 3 to Unit 4, with an appropriate selection of content for each of Unit 3 and Unit 4. Assumed knowledge and skills for Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 are contained in Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2, and will be drawn on, as applicable, in the development of related content from the areas of study, and key knowledge and skills for the outcomes of Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4.

For Unit 3 a selection of content would typically include the areas of study ‘Functions and graphs’ and ‘Algebra’, and applications of derivatives and differentiation, and identifying and analysing key features of the functions and their graphs from the ‘Calculus’ area of study. For Unit 4, this selection would typically consist of remaining content from the areas of study: ‘Functions and graphs’,‘Calculus’ and ‘Algebra’, and the study of random variables and discrete and continuous probability distributions and the distribution of sample proportions. For Unit 4, the content from the ‘Calculus’ area of study would be likely to include the treatment of anti-differentiation, integration, the relation between integration and the area of regions specified by lines or curves described by the rules of functions, and simple applications of this content.

The selection of content from the areas of study should be constructed so that there is a development in the complexity and sophistication of problem types and mathematical processes used (modelling, transformations, graph sketching and equation solving) in application to contexts related to these areas of study. There should be a clear progression of skills and knowledge from Unit 3 to Unit 4 in each area of study.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational and real arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs, differentiation, anti-differentiation, integration and inference with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Specialist Mathematics Units 1-4

Unit 1 & 2

Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2 provide a course of study for students who wish to undertake an in-depth study of mathematics, with an emphasis on concepts, skills and processes related to mathematical structure, modelling, problem-solving and reasoning. This study has a focus on interest in the discipline of mathematics in its own right and investigation of a broad range of applications, as well as the development of a sound background for further studies in mathematics and mathematics-related fields.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational, real and complex arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations and graphs with and without the use of technology. They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Unit 3 & 4

Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 consists of the areas of study: ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, ‘Vectors’, ‘Mechanics’ and ‘Probability and statistics’. The development of course content should highlight mathematical structure, reasoning and applications across a range of modelling contexts with an appropriate selection of content for each of Unit 3 and Unit 4. The selection of content for Unit 3 and Unit 4 should be constructed so that there is a balanced and progressive development of knowledge and skills with connections among the areas of study being developed as appropriate across Unit 3 and Unit 4.

Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 assumes familiarity with the key knowledge and skills from Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2, the key knowledge and skills from Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2 topics ‘Number systems and recursion’ and ‘Geometry in the plane and proof’, and a concurrent or previous study of Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4. Together these cover the assumed knowledge and skills for Specialist Mathematics, which are drawn on as applicable in the development of content from the areas of study and key knowledge and skills for the outcomes.

In Unit 3 a study of Specialist Mathematics would typically include content from ‘Functions and graphs’ and a selection of material from the ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’ and ‘Vectors’ areas of study. In Unit 4 this selection would typically consist of the remaining content from the ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, and ‘Vectors’ areas of study and the content from the ‘Mechanics’ and ‘Probability and statistics’ areas of study.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational, real and complex arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs, differentiation, anti-differentiation and integration and inference with and without the use of technology.

They should have the facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.