Departmental  Staff


  • Head of Department: Mrs B McConville
  • Mrs U McNulty (Vice Principal)
  • Mr N McKevitt (SENCO)
  • Mrs A Kimbley ( Teacher in charge of Biology & KS3)
  • Mrs L Taylor (Teacher in charge of Chemistry)
  • Mr J Murray (Teacher in Charge of Physics)
  • Miss K Traynor
  • Mr P Hollywood
  • Mrs C Rafferty
  • Mr J Digney
  • Mr B Lenagh
  • Mrs M Bradley
  • Mrs S Devlin
  • Miss M McNamee
  •  Technicians: Mr T Reidy, Mrs M Shevlin, Mr C Teggart



Key Stage 3 (Years 8,9 & 10) 



Key Stage 3 science aims to stimulate pupils’ curiosity and enthusiasm to develop a sense of wonder in Science. The new Northern Ireland Curriculum is a skills based scheme that develops skills in scientific methods of enquiry that will engage pupils and develop understanding of the processes of science as well as content of scientific knowledge. It is a balanced science with basic aspects of biology, chemistry and physics.

Using investigations and practical experiments to increase motivation, support collaborative working and connecting Science to the real world, pupils develop their Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. Using problem solving and enquiry based exercises pupils are encouraged to become more creative and critical thinkers. They will ask more questions about the world around them and learn how to evaluate explanations.

The Northern Ireland Curriculum places a greater emphasis on taking time to learn with understanding. The Active Learning strategies equip pupils with the skills to assume responsibility for their own learning and become independent learners.


GCSE (Years 11 & 12)




GCSE:  2 GCSE options and a BTec Level 2 Extended certificate are available:


GCSE Double Award Science

Examination Information Revised Specification 2011


Year 11

3 module exams; B1, C1, P1, November, February & May (33%)


Year 12

3 Terminal exams in May/June; 3 papers, 1 for each discipline (43%)


Coursework: 2 pieces of Controlled Assessment (25%)


Foundation and Higher Tier Courses available:

Grades: 2 GCSE grades awarded

Higher Tier: A*A* – DD

Foundation Tier: CC-GG

Intermediate: Grades available e.g.  A*A & AB


GCSE Single Award Science

Examination Information Revised Specification 2011


Modular Course:

3 module exams over 2 years— no terminal exam:


            1 module in Year 11 (February)

            2 modules in Year 12 (November & May)


Each module = 25%

Coursework: Practical Skills 1 piece of Controlled Assessment 25%


2 possible tires of entry; Higher & Foundation

Higher Tier: A* – D

Foundation Tier: C-G


BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Science Level 2

Examination Information: Vocational Qualification revised in 2012


This award is equivalent to 2 GCSEs

This course is assessed as follows:


25 % external assessment

75% continuous assessment (Portfolio)

8 units will be covered in 2 years;1 exam unit and 3 portfolio units in each year.


3 possible awards:


P = Pass M = Merit D = Distinction

The Extended Certificate is a dual award so PP, PM or MM etc will be awarded.

PP is equivalent to CC at GCSE

MP is equivalent to BC

MM is equivalent to BB

DD is equivalent to AA


A Level (Years 13 & 14)


Three traditional A level subjects are offered: Biology, Chemistry & Physics.

It is essential to have studied at least a Double Award Higher Science course at GCSE in order to enrol for these A level subjects.


Biology:  A level consists of a two year course, AS & A2. Each year there are 2 written papers and one piece of coursework. Each paper makes up 20% and each coursework is 10% of the overall award.


Chemistry: A level consists of a two year course, AS & A2. Each year there are 2 written papers and practical exam. Each paper makes up 17.5% and each practical is 15% of the overall award.


Physics: A level consists of a two year course, AS & A2. Each year there are 2 written papers and practical exam. Each paper makes up 18.5% and each practical is 13% of the overall award.


All of the A level science subjects will equip students for any Third Level science course.

1. Biology is essential/useful for medicine, veterinary, dentistry & other medical degrees, physiotherapy, pharmacy, food science, environmental health and other biological studies eg medical biology, biochemistry, etc

2. Chemistry is essential/useful for medicine, veterinary, pharmacy, dentistry, forensics, food science, environmental health, chemical engineering and other chemistry degrees eg biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology etc

3. Physics is essential/useful for physics degrees eg geophysics, medical physics, astronomy, all engineering degrees, radiotherapy, forensics etc

The Science department offers four separate A level subjects; Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science.

The traditional sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) are offered to students who have a Higher Double Award GCSE background and the Applied Science has been introduced for those who have a good interest in science but a more limited GCSE background. Each year in the Applied science course consists of two portfolio investigations and one exam unit.


Below is a video that shows you around science in St Paul’s: