Science

Department Members:
Dr. S Dunn- Head of Science/Head of Chemistry

Mr R. White- Head of Physics

Mr S. Haughey- Head of Biology

Mrs A. Scott

Ms. N. Doherty

Mr S. Pollock

Mrs O. Crosbie

Mr D. Wilders- Technician

Aims of Department: The Science Department supports and strongly contributes to the School Aims. In particular, the Department promotes:

1) To stimulate and maintain an interest in Science.

2) To encourage the application of knowledge of Science.

3) To develop safe practical skills in Science.

4) To promote environmental awareness.

5) To make personal decisions about moral and ethical issues arising in Science.

Timetable Allocation: Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Key Stage 5
5 periods per week

 

 

 

 

Single Award- 6 periods per week

Double Award- 10 periods per week

Triple Award- 13 periods per week

8 per science studied

 

 

 

 

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Year 8 Term 1

Chemistry

Introduction to Science

& Chemical Changes

Acids & Alkalis Solutions & Separations
Term 2

Physics

Forces Energy & Heat Transfer
Term 3

Biology

Cells Human Reproduction
Year 9 Term 1

Biology

Pollution Food & Digestion The Healthy Brain
Term 2

Chemistry

 

Solids, Liquids & Gases Atoms & Elements Compounds & Mixtures

 

Term 3

Physics

Electrical Circuits & Magnetism
Year 10 Term 1

Biology

Ecological Relationships DNA Respiration: Lungs & Blood
Term 2

Physics

Waves & Sounds Light The Universe
Term 3

Chemistry

Patterns of Reactivity Using Chemistry Revision

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

Year 11 Exam Board CCEA
Overview Pupils in Years 11 and 12 will follow CCEA Single, Double or Triple Award Science.
Single Award Science
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 1: Biology External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation Tier: 1 hour

Higher Tier: 1 hour

(25%) November,

February and

May

Unit 2: Chemistry External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation Tier: 1 hour

Higher Tier: 1 hour

(25%) November,

February and

May

Double Award Science
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Biology Unit 1 (B1)

Chemistry Unit 1 (C1)

Physics Unit 1 (P1)

Externally assessed written examination consisting of a number of short answer questions and at least one structured question.

Foundation and Higher Tiers: 1hr

Total: 33%

 

Each unit is worth 11%

Nov, Feb and May
GCSE Biology
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 1:

Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation tier: 1hr 15min

Higher tier: 1hr 15min

35% Summer

 

GCSE Chemistry
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 1: Structures, Trends, Chemical Reactions, Quantitative Chemistry and Analysis External Written Examination

Students answer a range of compulsory questions that require short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation Tier:   1 hour

Higher Tier:   1 hour 15mins

35% Summer

 

GCSE Physics
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 1: Motion, Force, Moments, Energy, Density, Kinetic Theory, Radioactivity, Nuclear Fission and Fusion Written examination consisting of a number of structured questions. Quality of written communication will be assessed.

Foundation Tier: 1 hour 15 mins

Higher Tier: 1 hour 30 mins

37.5% Summer

 

Year 12 Exam Board CCEA
Single Award Science
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 2: Chemistry (Continued) As above As above As above
Unit 3: Physics External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation Tier: 1 hour

Higher Tier: 1 hour

(25%) November,

February and

May

Unit 4: Practical Skills Practical skills assessment

– Booklet A

No time limit

Students carry out two pre-release practical tasks

External written examination

– Booklet B

Foundation Tier: 1 hour

Higher Tier: 1 hour 15mins

(7.5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

(17.5%)

Between January and May

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

Double Award Science
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Biology Unit 2 (B2)

Chemistry Unit 2 (C2)

Physics Unit 2 (P2)

Externally assessed written examination consisting of a mixture of short answer and structured questions.

Foundation and Higher Tiers: 1 hr 15 min

Total: 42%

 

Each unit is worth 14%

Summer
Practical Skills Unit Booklet A

Externally marked

Students carry out three pre-release practicals

(Biology, Chemistry and

Physics) in the final year of study.

There is two tiers of entries

No time limit.

Booklet B:

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions which include short responses, extended writing and calculations, all set in a practical context for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

There are two tiers.

Foundation and Higher tiers total time: 1hour 30min (Biology 30min, Chemistry 30min, Physics 30min)

Total: 25%

Booklet A: 7.5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booklet B: 17.5%

Between January and May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer

GCSE Biology
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 2:

Body systems, Genetics,

Microorganisms and Health

External written examination

Students answer compulsory structured questions that include short responses, extended writing and calculations

Foundation tier: 1hr 30min

Higher tier: 1hr 30min

40% Summer

 

Unit 3:

Practical Skills

Booklet A: Students carryout two externally marked pre- release practicals in the final year of study.

No time limit

Booklet B: External written examination Students answer compulsory structured questions that Include short responses, extending writing and calculations, all set in a practical context.

Foundation tier: 1hr

Higher tier: 1hr

7.5%

 

 

 

17.5%

Between January and May

 

 

Summer

GCSE Chemistry
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 2: Further Chemical Reactions, Rates and Equilibrium, Calculations and Organic Chemistry External Written Examination

Students answer a range of compulsory questions that require short responses, extended writing and calculations.

Foundation Tier:   1 hour 15mins

Higher Tier:   1 hour 30mins

40% Summer
Unit 3: Practical Skills Booklet A: two pre-release practicals

No time limit

Booklet B: external written examination

Foundation Tier:   1 hour

Higher Tier:   1 hour

7.5%

 

 

17.5%

Between January and May

 

Summer

GCSE Physics
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit 2: Waves, Light, Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism and Space Physics Written examination consisting of a number of structured questions. Quality of written communication will be assessed.

Foundation Tier: 1 hour 15 mins

Higher Tier: 1 hour 30 mins

37.5% Summer

 

Unit 3: Practical Skills Students complete two pre-release practicals carried out in centres in the final year of study.

·         Practical skills assessment

 

·         External written examination

 

 

7.5%

 

17.5%

 

 

Between January and May

Summer

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

Year 13 Exam Board CCEA
Overview AS CCEA Specifications are followed by students in the three separate sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
AS Chemistry
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit AS 1: Basic Concepts in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

 

External Written Examination; 1hr30min 16% May/June
Unit AS 2: Further Physical and Inorganic Chemistry and an Introduction to Organic Chemistry

 

External Written Examination; 1hr30min 16% May/June
Unit AS 3: Basic Practical Chemistry

 

Practical Booklet A in Lab & Practical Booklet B in Exam Hall; 1hr15min (x2)

 

8% May/June
AS Physics
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
AS 1:

Forces, Energy and

Electricity

 

 

1hr 45 mins written paper

 

16% May/June
AS 2:

Waves, Photons and

Astronomy

1hr 45 mins written paper

 

16% May/June
AS 3:

Practical Techniques and Data Analysis

Two 1hr 30 mins 8% May/June
AS Biology
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
AS 1:

Molecules

and Cells

1 hour 30 minute external examination paper.

Students answer 6 to 8 structured questions and write an essay.

15% May/June
AS 2:

Organisms and Biodiversity

 

1 hour 30 minute external examination paper.

Students answer 6 to 8 structured questions and write an essay.

15% May/June
AS 3: Practical Skills in AS Biology

 

External written examination assessing practical skills: 1 hour.

And an internal practical assessment (marked by teachers and moderated by CCEA)

10% May/June
Year 14 Exam Board CCEA
Overview A2 CCEA Specifications are followed by students in the three separate sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
A2 Chemistry
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
Unit A2 1: Further Physical and Organic Chemistry External Written Examination; 2hr 24% May/June
Unit A2 2: Analytical, Transition Metals, Electrochemistry and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry External Written Examination; 2hr

 

24% May/June
Unit A2 3: Further Practical Chemistry Practical Booklet A in Lab & Practical Booklet B in Exam Hall; 1hr15min (x2) 12% May/June
A2 Physics
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
A2 1: Deformation of Solids, Thermal

Physics, Circular Motion,

Oscillations and Atomic and Nuclear Physics

2hr written paper

 

24% May/June
A2 2: Fields and their Applications 2hr written paper 24% May/June
A2 3: Practical Techniques and Data Analysis Two 1hr papers 12% May/June
A2 Biology
Unit Title Assessment Weighting Availability
A2 1:

Physiology, Co-ordination and control and Ecosystems

2 hour 15 minute external examination paper.

Students answer 6 to 9 structured questions and write an essay

24% May/June
A2 2:

Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends

2 hour 15 minute external examination paper.

Students answer 6 to 9 structured questions and write an essay

24% May/June
A2 3:

Practical Skills in Biology

External written examination assessing practical skills: 1 hour.

And an internal practical assessment (marked by teachers and moderated by CCEA)

12% May/June

Extra-Curricular Activities:

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and encompasses a vast array of subjects that fall into each of those terms. Occupations in STEM-related careers are some of the fastest growing and best paid of the 21st century and they often have the greatest potential for job growth. Our pupils are extremely curious and impressionable, so instilling an interest at an early age could spark a lasting desire to pursue a career in any of these fields.  At Strabane Academy we offer a range of STEM activities from Year 8-14.

Key Stage 3 Activities:

·         Outreach workshops with the Loughs Agency: pupils gain an insight into life cycles of marine animals and experience the work carried out by the loughs agency.

·         Sentinus Robotics Programming: pupils learn to write their own programmes and download these to their robot to enable it to carry out tasks.

·         Big Bang Event in school: a one-day event were our Key Stage 3 pupils hold internal science fairs designed for our pupils to show their Science and Technology projects by demonstrating their work on displays and practically. This initiative is supported by Sentinus with up to three shows, on that day, from an Imperial College, London, presenter.

·         Seagate Real World Science Conference: this conference offers our KS3 pupils a series of interactive workshops focused on a range of Science and Technology topics from CSI fingerprinting, building a rocket, programming using IPads and many more.

·         Sentinus STEM Design Challenge: this programme aims to target our KS3 pupils studying Technology, IT, Science, Art or Geography who will work in teams to create an innovative design on a chosen topic of their own or one provided for them from a list.   Our pupils normally work in teams of 3 or 4.  When pupils complete their design, they will normally produce a prototype of their ideas and designs.  The programme finishes with a Celebration Day which normally takes place in March of the school year.

STEM Activities Key Stage 4 & 5:

·         Year 12 Chemistry at Work Exhibition at Queen’s: this RSC sponsored event is aimed at GCSE Chemistry pupils and comprises a series of short, interactive talks from local companies who use chemistry in their business activities. The main aim of ‘Chemistry at Work’ is to show the many and varied ways in which the chemistry studied by children at school is used in the everyday world. The Exhibition will provide pupils with the chance to see chemical based companies and institutions presenting easily understood demonstrations of their use of chemistry at work. Pupils are encouraged to participate in the demonstrations which are lively and interactive. It is hoped that this experience will stimulate an interest in chemistry, particularly in industry, and will show some aspects of the importance of chemistry in our society.

·         Year 13 Biology Genetic Engineering/Careers trip to W5: ‘Blood, Glorious Blood’ event at W5 Belfast. A level Biologists attended a lecture presented by Dr. Declan McKenna, Lecturer in Haematology at Ulster University. The lecture focused on importance of blood in an entertaining and informative manner, using topical examples and popular references to explain the subject. In addition, the lecture also complemented the current A-level Biology syllabus by covering elements such as immunology, genetics, DNA technology and cell biology.

·         Year 13 Sentinus Engineering Scheme (Gold CREST Award): as part of the Sentinus R & D Scheme, a team of 5 students from Strabane Academy were paired with Dupont Ltd., Co. Londonderry to solve an engineering problem. This year the team are working on the prevention of overshooting treadlines in the Kevlar® production line. The Sentinus R & D Scheme gives the students an opportunity to work in a real engineering environment and develop their knowledge of careers in engineering.

Department Successes:

Top A-Level Chemistry pupil (Peter Reid) in Northern Ireland – August 2018

Careers Links:

Biology: An A-Level in Biology can lead you directly into the world of work or you could go on to undertake further study and have a successful career in a range of industries including: Medicine (and related disciplines), Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacology, Physiology, Biomedical Science and related industries; Forensic Science, Education, Research, Accountancy, IT, Agriculture, and Management. AS Biology is compulsory for Medicine.

Chemistry: An A-Level in Chemistry can lead you directly into the world of work or you could go on to undertake further study and have a successful career in a range of industries including: Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Research and Education. It is also relevant to those areas of commerce and branches of the public service where problem-solving and practical skills are valued. A-Level Chemistry is compulsory for Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Chemical Engineering and Dietetics.

Physics: An A-Level in Physics provides you with a sound basis for the further study of Physics and related subjects at University, such as Applied Mathematics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Engineering (including its Aeronautical, Civil, Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical branches), Geophysics and Materials Science. If you go directly into employment, A-Level Physics provides a basis for work in the fields of Science, Engineering, Medicine, Communications, Computers and Information Technology. It is also relevant to those areas of commerce and branches of the public service where problem-solving and practical skills are valued.