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Science

S1&2 Science

Students work through an integrated Science course where they spend time learning about the world around them in more scientific detail.

In first year, the Biology topics studied are Cells and Ecosystems. Our students spend time learning about how to study and sample the outdoor environment, with lots of practical techniques including the use of quadrats, pitfall traps and pond dipping. In the Cells section, our students develop an understanding of plant cells, animal cells and specialised cells, their structures and functions. Learning how to use the microscope and view cells at magnification is a key skill in this aspect of the course. In second year, students build on their understanding of cells to learn about reproduction and the human body.  

In first year, the Chemistry topics studied are Chemical Reactions and the Periodic Table.  Students gain a clearer understanding of the signs of a chemical reaction; this is further contextualised by looking at examples of chemical reactions in their everyday lives. This unit is practical based where our students learn to handle apparatus and incorporate safe practice into their practical work. In second year, investigating fuels, the climate and fuels of the future is integral to their understanding of how to reduce our carbon footprint. 

The Physics topics studied in first year are Light and Heat.  Students are given the opportunity to learn about light, reflection, the use of lenses and how our eyes interpret images.  The idea of heat transfer is explored and investigated through a series of practical activities.  In second year, the study of electricity and forces cover a range of applications, including those used in modern technology.   

S3 Science

Students can choose up to two sciences to be studied in S3. The subjects on offer are Biology, Chemistry, Physics and General Science.  Students spend time learning about a range of topics from the national curriculum at level 3 and level 4. 

The focus with our S3 course is to prepare our students with the knowledge and skills for the national qualification subjects they will choose in fourth year.


S4-6 Biology

National 3, 4 and 5
  • Unit 1: LIFE ON EARTH - All living things fit into the natural world and dependent they are on each other.  The use of fertilisers, GM crops, biological control and mutations encapsulate how life on earth functions.
  • Unit 2: CELL BIOLOGY - All living things are made of cells, and an understanding of how they work and the processes that occur in them is fundamental.
  • Unit 3: MULTICELLULAR ORGANISMS – A study of cells, tissues and organs; stem cells, reproduction, variation and inheritance.
Higher Biology
  • Unit 1: DNA AND THE GENOME- A study of DNA structure, production of proteins, the applications of DNA technology and therapeutic use of stems cells.
  • Unit 2: METABOLISM AND SURVIVAL – A study of the central metabolic pathways of ATP synthesis by respiration and how controlling these pathways is essential to cell survival.
  • Unit 3: SUSTAINABILITY AND INTERDEPENDENCE – A study of sufficient and sustainable food production from a narrow range of crop and livestock species, focusing on photosynthesis in plants.
Higher Human Biology
  • Unit 1: HUMAN CELLS – A study of stem cells and research into the therapeutic value of stem cells and cancer cells.
  • Unit 2: PHYSIOLOGY AND HEALTH – A study of the anatomy and physiology of reproduction including hormonal control and the biology of controlling fertility. The pathology of cardiovascular disease, including the impact on society and personal lifestyle is also investigated.
  • Unit 3: NEUROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY- A study into the physiology of the nervous system, memory, body defences and immunization, communication and social behaviour.
Advanced Higher Biology
  • Unit 1: CELLS AND PROTEINS – a study of protein structure, communication within multicellular organism and protein control of cell division.
  • Unit 2: ORGANISMS AND EVOLUTION – a study evolution; variation and sexual reproduction; sex and behaviour and parasitism.
  • Unit 3: INVESTIGATIVE BIOLOGY - practical skills will be developed and a Practical Investigation will be completed.

S4-6 Chemistry

National 3, 4 and 5
  • Unit 1: CHEMICAL CHANGES & STRUCTURE - A detailed study of chemical concepts such as the structure of the atom and ions, chemical bonding, investigating reaction rates and a study of the reactions of acids.
  • Unit 2: NATURE’S CHEMISTRY – A study of our natural resources and associated products, how they are obtained and how we process them. This includes the study of fuels, hydrocarbons, alcohols and combustion.
  • Unit 3: CHEMISTRY & SOCIETY – A study of concepts in areas such as the development and use of novel and new materials, the extraction of metals and the production of alloys, the production of plastics, fertilisers and the role radiation plays in society.
Higher
  • Unit 1: CHEMICAL CHANGES & STRUCTURE - A detailed study of the patterns in the periodic table, the different types of bonding, including the weak forces between molecules. The study of redox reactions is also explored, including calculations based on redox titrations. 
  • Unit 2: NATURE’S CHEMISTRY – A study of organic chemistry within the context of the chemistry of food and the chemistry of everyday consumer products, soaps, detergents, fragrances and skincare.
  • Unit 3: CHEMISTRY & SOCIETY – A study of the principles of physical chemistry which allow a chemical process to be taken from a small scale to industrial production. Learners will calculate quantities of reactants and products, percentage yields and the atom economy of different chemical processes.
  • Unit 4: RESEARCHING CHEMISTRY – An opportunity to develop a range of practical, investigative and analytical skills that are valued in the workplace, providing a secure foundation for the study of Chemistry in further and higher education.
Advanced Higher
  • Unit 1: INOGANIC CHEMISTRY - The study of electromagnetic radiation and atomic spectra, atomic orbitals, electronic configurations and transition metals.
  • Unit 2: PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY – The study of acids, bases and indicators, chemical equilibria, reaction feasibility and kinetics.
  • Unit 3: ORGANIC CHEMISTRY AND INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS – The study of molecular orbitals, synthesis, stereo chemistry, experimental determination of structure and pharmaceutical chemistry.
  • Unit 4: RESEARCHING CHEMISTRY - An opportunity to develop a range of practical and analytical skills, including the associated calculations. Completing an individual research based Chemistry project is an essential element of the course.

S4-6 Physics

National 3, 4 and 5
  • Unit 1: DYNAMICS AND SPACE – The study of concepts relevant to the universe and its exploration.
  • Unit 2: ELECTRICITY AND ENERGY - The study of the relationships between the generation of electricity, electrical power, electronic circuits, electromagnetism, energy transfer and gas laws.
  • Unit 3: WAVES AND RADIATION - This unit explores issues surrounding electromagnetic and nuclear radiation.
Higher
  • Unit 1: OUR DYNAMIC UNIVERSE – The study of  motion,  equations and graphs,  forces,  energy and power, collisions, explosions, and impulse,  gravitation and the expanding Universe.
  • Unit 2: PARTICLES AND WAVES – The study of forces on charged particles, the Standard Model,  nuclear reactions,  inverse square law,  wave-particle duality,  interference,  spectra,  refraction of light.
  • Unit 3: ELECTRICITY – The study of how to monitor and measure AC,  current, potential difference, power and resistance,  electrical sources and internal resistance,  capacitors, semiconductors and p-n junctions.
Advanced Higher
  • Unit 1: ROTATIONAL MOTION AND ASTROPHYSICS – The study of kinematic relationships, angular motion, rotational dynamics, gravitation, general relativity and stellar physics.
  • Unit 2: QUANTA AND WAVES – The study of quantum theory, particles from space, simple harmonic motion, waves, interference and polarisation.
  • Unit 3: ELECTROMAGNETISM - The study of fields, circuits and electromagnetic radiation.
  • Unit 4: UNITS, PREFIXES and UNCERTAINTIES -   The study of units, prefixes and scientific notation. Uncertainties, data analysis, evaluation and the significance of experimental uncertainties