Science

Aims and Overview of the Science Department

In Ballyclare Secondary School Science Department, we believe that a knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts is integral to the development of each individual.

We aim to provide our pupils with an education in Science which will prepare them to better understand the workings of the world they occupy. For some this will entail a good general knowledge of science, for others it will involve the study of science at a higher academic level.

The aims of the Science Department include:

  • To provide pupils with varied, interesting and meaningful learning experiences which will stimulate a curiosity and inquisitiveness about science and develop understanding of key scientific concepts;
  • To develop the use of scientific methods of investigation to solve problems in familiar and unfamiliar situations;
  • To develop an appreciation of the contribution science makes to society;
  • To develop an appreciation of the ethical and moral issues associated with the application of some scientific concepts e.g. cloning and use of stem cells;
  • To develop cross curricular skills (Using Mathematics, Using ICT, Communication) in the context of scientific discovery;
  • To develop an understanding that learning in science contributes to personal development, e.g. an understanding of health issues, laboratory safety and respect for living things and the environment;
  • To develop an understanding that scientific knowledge is always developing;
  • To provide students with access to careers advice and information in STEM areas.

Staffing

Dr H Flint (Head of Department) – KS3 Science, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, AS/A2 Biology, AS/A2 Chemistry.

Mr D Beggs – KS3 Science, Single Award Science, Motor Vehicle Road User Studies.

Miss J Boyd- KS3 Science, OS Environmental Studies, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, A2 Biology.

Mrs E Dinsmore – KS3 Science, Single Award Science,  AS Life & Health Science, A2 Applied Science.

Mr G Hill – KS3 Science, Double Award Science, OS Environmental Studies, AS/A2 Chemistry.

Miss L Loade -KS3 Science, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, AS/A2 Biology.

Mr S McAllister – KS3 Science, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, AS/A2 Applied Science.

Mrs E Parr – KS3 Science, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, AS/A2 Biology, AS Life & Health Science

Ms J Russell – KS3 Science, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, AS/A2 Biology, Careers, LLW.

Miss K Uddin- KS3 Science, Double Award Science, AS Life & Health Science

Mrs V Williams – KS3 Science, OS Environmental Studies, Single Award Science, Double Award Science, AS/A2 Applied Science.

Technicians:
Mr M Higginson
Mrs E Forsythe

Facilities

The Science Department is well equipped with 8 Teaching Laboratories, two of these are relatively new being completed in 2005, whilst the others have be recently refurbished and upgraded. Each classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and all teaching staff make regular use of iPads. In addition we have four Prep/Store Rooms to house our extensive collection of equipment and apparatus. A 20 seat Computer Room is located within the Science Department which is especially useful for our A-level students. Our greenhouse and garden area have been rejuvenated since the introduction of the Occupational Studies (Horticulture) course in 2011.

Why study Science?

To study Science is to study life. Even a basic understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics enhances our understanding of how we ourselves and everything in the world around us works. As we study Biology we learn about how the various systems in our own bodies function, how plants are essential to all life on Earth, how different organisms rely on each other for survival. An understanding of Chemistry, allows us to identify the chemical reactions that are going on around us everyday, such as when we cook food or light a fire, that we can treat a wasp sting with vinegar and how antacid tablets work. The principles of Physics allow us to work out how to make our sledge go faster in winter or achieve maximum speed on a water slide in summer; how television signals reach our homes and why sometimes our Christmas tree lights don’t work. We are Science and Science is all around us.

The study of Science involves the development of many important skills which can be used in a diverse variety of fields. These skills include:

  • Investigation
  • Observation
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Selecting and using information
  • Decision Making
  • Problem Solving
  • Time Management
  • Organisation
  • Mathematical skills

Science is about making discoveries; it is a ‘hands on’ and fun subject. The growth of STEM industries has predominated in recent years and will continue to do so; therefore the study of science is also essential for a wide range of career pathways.

Guide for Parents

In class pupils should have:

  • Class notebook as identified with the Science symbol.
  • A pencil case with pens, pencils, rubber, ruler, highlighter and colouring pencils.
  • Daily Planner to record all homework.

Homework:

  • Should be recorded in the Daily Planner for the day it is due.
  • Teachers will advise pupils how and where homework should be completed. Most homework tasks are in the pupils’ Learning and Assessment Folder.
  • Should be completed in blue or black pen. All graphs and diagrams should be drawn in pencil, using a ruler when appropriate.
  • Written homework should be signed by a parent/guardian.

Key Words:

Good literacy skills are essential in all subjects and Science is no exception. Pupils will be introduced to a large number of new and, sometimes, difficult words and phrases. It is important that pupils are able to spell these words and use them correctly. All pupils will be encouraged to spell key words using LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE and CHECK.

Please help your child to:

  • Look at the shape of the word. Can you see groups of letters that go together? Are there any smaller words within larger words?
  • Say the words carefully and slowly. Try to listen for the sounds in the words.
  • Cover the Word. Try to picture the word in your mind; closing your eyes might help to do this.
  • Write the word down.
  • Check to see if the word is correct. If the spelling is not quite right, just try again – it always takes a few attempts.

Organisation:

  • At the start of the year, your child may need some help getting organised. They will have Science two or three times per week. Please help them to check they have the books and materials needed for class.
  • Be aware of the overview of the year’s work. Your child will have a copy of the WALT and WILF (learning outcomes) for each topic in their Learning and Assessment Folder.

Revision:

Your child should learn and revise actively. Some ideas to help include:

  • Check learning against the WALT and WILF for each topic.
  • Label blank diagrams.
  • Reading and then listening to the main points.
  • Using a revision website, e.g. BBC Bitesize.
  • Getting a parent to ask them questions from their notes.
  • Making mind maps.


 

 

Useful web links

http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/chemistry/

http://www.rewardinglearning.org.uk/microsites/biology/

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