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The Scots College’s Head of Science, Mrs Peta Austin, gives her insight into the Science Department. She details some of her most memorable teaching moments, the team culture, and unique opportunities that distinguish Scots’ approach to teaching Science.

Mrs Peta Austin is an enthusiastic leader who started at The Scots College as a full time Senior School Chemistry teacher in January 2017. She had enjoyed various roles throughout her time at Scots including being the Year 11 and Year 12 Coordinators, and the Head of Stage 6 Chemistry, before finally taking on the Head of Science role in 2019.

Over the last three years, she had led the Science Department successfully with skill and confidence, earning her the recent appointment as Director of Studies at The Scots College, where she will commence her new duties from Term 1, 2022.

What sets apart a Science role at Scots?

The room to be innovative and think outside the typical classroom. It requires a different way of teaching.

How would you describe a typical day for a Science teacher?

Busy! It is different every day and, ultimately, very rewarding.

What inspired you to teach Science?

 A genuine love of the subject and the balance of practical and theoretical lessons. I love the hands-on parts of the course and seeing students make links to the world around them.

How would you describe the Science Department to someone interested in joining the teaching team? What opportunities does the department offer?

It is a really positive and fun team culture. We all work together in the quest for academic excellence. Our support staff are amazing, and we have fantastic facilities. There are many opportunities for professional development.

Take my own career at Scots for example. I have gone from a Chemistry teacher, with duties of being a Year 11 and Year 12 Coordinator, as well as the Head of Stage 6 Chemistry over the years. To then heading the Science Department in the last three years; and for next year, I begin my new role as the Director of Studies at the College. The professional development at the College is endless and it is up to the teacher to take on the numerous and amazing opportunities on offer.

What is your most memorable teaching moment in Science?

All Science teachers, remember the bloopers most! I once fainted in front of a class whilst doing a heart dissection. It is also always a pleasure to see my Senior Chemistry students working on problems together, and the buzz of excitement when they solve a really difficult calculation.

How would you describe a contented Science student at Scots?

Scots’ Science students are really inquisitive and love practical work. You need to build rapport with the students, but once you have built it, the boys are loyal, appreciative and really entertaining.

If you are interested to apply for the Head of Science role at The Scots College, review this role now.

For all other career opportunities in Science, head to our Careers page at Scots.

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.