The word Science comes from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”

The Nayland College Science programme investigates the world around us by applying theories, predicting, and testing. We are looking for explanations.


Teaching the Nature of Science enhances the way we observe and use evidence and understanding to make links between scientific knowledge and everyday actions and decisions.


Our specialist teaching team enable students to explore the five strands of secondary level science in years 9, 10 and 11.


Students choose to go onto an in-depth study of these in years 12 and 13. We offer:

  • Biology – living things and their interactions, including evolution, genetics and ecology.
  • Chemistry – matter and the changes it undergoes, including reactions, organics and types and properties of substances.
  • Physics – physical systems, such as forces, energy and electricity.
  • Earth and Space Science (with a Marine focus) – interconnected systems and processes of the planet Earth, our solar system, and beyond.
  • Horticulture and Primary Industries – the control and development of plants and agriculture for human benefit.


Our close relationships with the Department of Conservation at Lake Rotoiti, Richard De Hamel from the Otago University outreach programme, the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology, and the staff at the Cawthron Institute ensure that students experience hands-on science.


The Nayland Science teachers are renowned for their contributions to the science community.


Some sites by our science teachers:


To find out more, contact Hamish McLellan (




Travel awards and scholarships


Neihana Waitai – New Zealand Representative to Youth ANZAAS, Brisbane


Kara Hamilton – XLAB, Germany; 5 weeks, the only New Zealand Representative, 1 of 30 students worldwide

Kara Hamilton – Powering Potential scholarship, 1 of 40 in New Zealand

Saul Ramsey – Hands-on Science award, Otago University, through Cawthron Science Fair


Oliver Sircombe-Kohen – World Science Conference, Israel, the only New Zealand Representative

Mitchell Chandler – Youth ANZAAS, Melbourne (1 of 8 from New Zealand)

Adam Pauling – Youth ANZAAS, Melbourne (1 of 8 from New Zealand)

Devonne Holland, Sarah McConchie – Hands-on Science award, Otago University, through Cawthron Science and Technology Fair

Daniel Raatz – NanoCamp, University of Canterbury, 1 of 40 chosen from New Zealand


Mitchell Chandler – Blake Expedition, sub-Antarctic Islands

Katie Shaw – Hands-on Science award, Otago University, through Cawthron Science Fair

Science Fair


Kara Hamilton; Dick Roberts – Env Sustainability (Female) ($350)

Matthew Edmonds; Dick Roberts – Env Sustainability (Male) ($350), Forest and Bird Shield

Saul Ramsey; Hands-On Science Award (Otago Uni) (worth >$1000)

Zoe Risner/Andre Castaing; Plant and Food research award, Statistics NZ award


Adam Pauling; Gold, SUPREME WINNER ($750)

Katie Shaw; Silver, Youth Leadership Award (Sustainability), Env Sust Award ($600)

Kara Hamilton/Tash Knight; Highly Recommended

Devonne Holland/Sarah McConchie; Hands-On Science Award (Paid trip to Otago Uni each) (worth >$1000 each)

Ashlee White/Leah Brady; Albert Jones Award (best oral communication) ($100)

Jack Sawyer; Statistics prize ($60)

Daniel Batchelor; Menzshed Award (2 year membership)

Campbell Suter; Engineering/Environmental award ($500)

Paula Sutton: Winner of Nelson Science Fair young female scientist
Kara Hamilton and Katie Shaw: Hands-On Science Award (Otago Uni) (worth >$1000)

Big Science Competition:

High Distinction (top 5% of entrants): Helena George, Matthew Suter, Merlyn Barrer, Zao Martin-Noble Distinction: Celia Allen



Distinction: Matthew Suter, Jake McNaughton, Kara Hamilton

Australian National Chemistry Quiz:

High Distinction (top 1% of entrants): Matthew Suter

Distinction: Andre Castaing, Zoe Risner

Otago Science Competition:

Distinction: Andre Castaing




Distinctions: Adam Pauling, Mitchell Chandler, Oliver Sircombe-Kohen, James MacKay, Andre Castaing, Campbell Suter

Australian National Chemistry Quiz:

High Distinction (top 1% of entrants): James MacKay, Oliver Sircombe-Kohen

Distinction: Zoe Risner, Amber van Ginkel, Neihana Waitai

Biology Olympiad:

Bronze (top 10% of entrants): Kara Hamilton, Moira Gibbons, Rocky Smith



1st in New Zealand: Oliver Sircombe-Kohen

High Distinction (top 1% of entrants): Gerry Toft, James MacKay

Distinction: Kara Hamilton, Hamish Penrose, Sarah McConchie, Daniel Kirby, Tobias Jordan, Rachael Chittenden, Holly Chandler, Francis Williams-Roper, Jona Schmutzer, Andre Castaing, Charlie Abrey