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St Colman's High & Sixth Form College, Ballynahinch


The Science Department

Mr Paul Canavan (Head of Department)

Mrs Sarah Chambers

Mrs Carol Potter

Miss Rebecca Smyth

Mrs Michelle Keown (Science Technician)

During Science lessons, you will begin your journey to understand how the world and universe around us works. 

You will have lots of time to develop your scientific knowledge and skills in St Colman’s, as science is taught from Year 8 to Year 14. In other words, we can take you from Key Stage 3 to ‘A’ level.

All Science is taught in well-equipped science laboratories.  Additionally, we have a dedicated greenhouse and raised beds for developing practical skills in Horticulture.  Our school pond and grounds have been developed to promote wildlife, as well as supporting the study of living things where they live. 

Key Stage 3 Science

In KS3 Science we aim to ensure that you as pupils:

  • are challenged by new ideas when introduced in science
  • develop your curiosity and learn how, as scientists, you can gather evidence through practical activities
  • write down your observations and be able to use tables and graphs
  • think about the evidence gathered and discuss with others what it shows.
  • write about what you have found out. Reject or accept claims made
  • above all, always work hard and do the best you can.


Each pupils has a copy of our text Exploring Science saved to their iPad


Topics in Year 8

Topics in Year 9

Topics in Year 10

Exploring science 7

Exploring science 7

Exploring science 8


Cells, tissues and organs

The Particle model

Food and nutrition

Mixtures and separation

Current electricity

The Periodic table


Muscles and bones


Sexual reproduction in animals

Atoms, elements and molecules

Breathing and Respiration

Acids and alkalis


Metals and their uses

Current electricity




Unicellular organisms




Energy transfers


GCSE Science

All Year 11 pupils study science to GCSE or equivalent.  Science Single Award or Double Award is chosen depending on interest and ability. 

  • Double Award students will have performed very well in science assessments up to the end of Key Stage 3. They want to gain two GCSEs (covering topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and they may well want to study subjects at Post-16 and beyond which have a significant science content. We follow the CCEA DA Science Specification.
  • Single Award students will gain a sound understanding of topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics but in less depth than Double Award. We follow the CCEA SA Science Specification.
  • Horticulture is an alternative pathway offered to those students who wish to follow a vocational route equivalent to one GCSE. We follow the Pearson BTEC L2 in Horticulture QCF.


Pupils have access to dedicated textbooks for CCEA Single and Double Award Science

Post-16  Science

We offer CCEA Life and Health Sciences as a Single or Double Award GCE.  We can also offer BTEC Level 3 Certificate in Applied Science.

  • Life and Health Sciences has been developed with key industry partners in Northern Ireland. It aims to equip learners for a wide range of STEM careers and higher education pathways.  The qualification is available as Single and Double Award.  Varied topics include Experimental Techniques, Medicine, Drugs and Clinical trials, Brain Science and Medical Physics.
  • This Vocational course is designed for students interested in learning about the Science sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in Applied Science. This is taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels such as PE or Health and Social Care.