Holy Cross College

35 Melmount Road, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, BT82 9EF

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© 2019 by Holy Cross College. Designed by Wholeschool.

Science

Aims of the science Department

  • To develop an awareness and curiosity of Science so that students can increase their knowledge and understanding of Science and the natural world.

  • To promote an understanding of the application of Science in everyday life and prepare students for their role in society by developing an awareness of the social, moral, economic and environmental implications of Science. 

  • To develop practical skills to design and carry out scientific investigations, to evaluate their own work and to communicate their ideas effectively with others.

  • To encourage pupils to apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to other subjects by providing cross-curricular links as well as the promotion of the Thinking Skills and Capabilities.

  • To deliver the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and subject specifications to prepare pupils for public examinations.

  • To encourage students to explore the wide range of careers opportunities linked to Science and other STEM subjects. 

Key Stage 3 Science

Science is delivered at KS3 as a unified subject in specialised laboratory classrooms.  The aim of the KS3 curriculum is to introduce students to core topics alongside the development of skills and practical techniques.  Pupils begin to see the importance of Science to everyday life and future career opportunities.  This provides a firm foundation the progression of students to GCSE.

 

KS3 science is divided into the following units:

The Science Team

HOD

Ms Anna-Marie McCloy

Subject Co-ordinator

Mr Stephen McCay (Biology)

Mr Joseph O'Brien (Chemistry/Physics)

Subject Teachers

Mr Chris Adair

Mrs Geraldine Doherty

Mr Michael Early

Mrs Paula Kennedy

Mr Martin McCauley

Ms Ciara McCay

Mrs Claire McClintock

Mr Michael Meenagh

Mr Kieran O’Donnell

Mrs Siobhan Quinn

Dr Carlos Triguero

Technicians

Mrs Donna Duffy

Mrs Ruth Baird

Mr Stephen McDaid

Year 8

Becoming a Scientist

My Body

Cells

Solids, Liquids and Gases

Space

Reproduction

Acids and Alkalis

Year 9

Food and Digestion

Electricity and Magnetism

Elements and Compounds

Classification

Food Chains

Energy

Year 10

Forces

Chemical Reactions

Light and Sound

Body Systems

Variation and Adaptations

Habitat Study

Key Stage 4 Science

GCSE Science is completed either through Double Award Science or Single Award Science.  Both subjects follow the CCEA specifications.

Through their work in GCSE Science, pupils will have a better understanding of scientific ideas and appreciate how these develop and contribute to technological change, and to recognise the cultural significance of Science and its worldwide development.

Double Award Science

Double Award Science involves the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with the award of two GCSE Grades. The course is designed to stimulate pupils’ curiosity and interest in themselves and the world around them.

Double Award Science is essential to progress to the study of A-Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

1) Modular Exams:           

  • Year 11 in divided into three units, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

  • At the end of each unit is a module exam.

  • The exams take place in November, February and May

  • Each module exam is worth 11% of the final GCSE mark

 

2) Terminal Exams:          

  • The final exams in June of Year 12 will consist of three separate exams papers. 

  • These will examine work covered in Year 12 only.

  • Each exam is worth 14% of the final GCSE mark.

 

3) Practical Skills: 

  • Practical assessment is based on the experiments studied during Years 11 and 12

  • Students will complete three practical assessment tasks in class.

  • There are three ½ hour practical exam papers after each terminal exam in June.

Summary of Assessment

Three Year 11 Module Exams - 33%

Three Year 12 Terminal Papers - 42%

Practical Skills - 25%

Single Award Science

Single Award Science involves the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with the award of one GCSE Grade. The course is designed to stimulate pupils’ curiosity and interest in themselves and the world around them.

 

Single Award Science is a full GCSE qualification; however, each Science subject would not be covered in sufficient detail to allow progression to A-Level Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

Success in Single Award Science would allow a student to study either for a BTEC Level 3 Science or an A Level in Applied Science

1) Modular Exams:           

  • The course is divided into three units, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

  • At the end of each unit is a module exam.  The exams take place in:

    • February of Year 11

    • November of Year 12

    • May of Year 12

  • Each module exam is worth 25% of the final GCSE mark

 

2) Practical Skills: 

  • Practical assessment is based on the experiments studied during Years 11 and 12

  • Students will complete two practical assessment tasks in class.

  • There is a one-hour practical exam paper in May of Year 12.

  • Practical skills assessment will account for 25% of the final GCSE grade.

Summary of Assessment

Unit 1: Biology - 25%

Unit 2: Chemistry - 25%

Unit 3: Physics  - 25%

Unit 4: Practical Skills - 25%

A Level Science

Students have the opportunity to study A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Each subject follows the specification from the CCEA examination board.

More information on each A-level subject is available from the subject pages in the departments section of this website. 

Extracurricular

  • Revision lessons take place after school in preparation for exams

  • There is a Year 9 Science trip to London every two years. This trips includes visits to The Science Museum and Natural History Museum as well as Thorpe Park, the London Eye and The London Dungeons.

  • The Year 8 Science club gives pupils the opportunity to participate in fun Science experiments after school.

Achievements

Year 14 student Oran Timoney competed in the BT Young Scientist 2019 competition in Dublin.  Oran was the first student to represent Holy Cross College at this very prestigious event. He exhibited his project based on ‘Using Machine learning tools to categorise the risk of Cardiovascular Disease’. Oran received a special award from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in recognition of the potential application and benefits to health of his project.