We as a department know that science stimulates and excites students’ curiosity and their interest in the world around them. Through their work in science, students begin to understand major scientific ideas, to appreciate how these develop and contribute to technological change, and recognise the cultural significance of science and its worldwide development.
Students in all year groups take part in questioning and discussion about science-based issues that affect their lives, the society in which they live and the world as a whole.
To nurture learners’ enthusiasm the Science Club meets once a month to carry out fun experiments and investigations.
Key Stage 3 (Years 8 - 10)
Our aim is to enthuse and inspire students in their study of science whilst meeting the requirements of the key stage 3 science programme of study building on their knowledge and understanding of science gained from their Primary School education.
Students become involved in many exciting experiments, investigations and activities such as building straw bridges.
At the end of Year 10 and based on their key stage 3 science examinations results students may choose to study GCSE Single Award or Double Award Science in Years 11 and 12.
Single Award Science (Modular)
Worth one GCSE grade (Higher Tier A* - D, Foundation Tier C - G)
In GCSE Science (Single Award), students take part in activities that stimulate their interest in, and enthusiasm for, science. We set activities in context so that students can relate them to their everyday lives, evaluate evidence collected or researched, and understand the implications of science on society.
Through studying GCSE Science (Single Award), students acquire knowledge and understanding of:
- how science works;
- how it benefits mankind; and
- the drawbacks of science and scientific and technological advances.
Students learn about environmental issues of local, national and international concern. They develop research skills as they use electronic and traditional sources of information to research topics of scientific interest. Students also make use of ICT to analyse data and present the findings of their investigations.
This two year course has a modular format which means that they will complete three modules in Year 11 and three in Year 12. Each module will be assessed by an examination which is worth 12% of the GCSE grade. There are two tiers of entry for each exam, Foundation (Grades C-G) and Higher (Grades A* - D/E). The tier your child is entered for is based on practice tests and completed module results.
Coursework is to be completed at home and is worth 28% of the GCSE grade. It involves writing up an experiment carried out in school.
Double Award Science (Modular)
Worth two GCSE grades (Higher Tier A*A* - DD, Foundation Tier CC - GG)
Through studying GCSE Science (Double Award), students gain knowledge and understanding of science and its power and limitations. In this course, students:
- learn about scientific ideas, how they develop and the factors that may affect their development;
- learn about the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments (including those related to the individual, the community and the environment);
- consider science in relation to personal health, quality of life and ethical issues where appropriate;
- gain experimental, investigative, problem-solving and team-working skills as they plan and carry out a range of investigations; and
- have opportunities to develop numeric, communication and ICT skills as they critically evaluate data gained from investigations and present their results.
GCSE Science (Double Award) is the course to follow if a student wishes to study A Level Biology here at Magherafelt High School.
This two year course has a modular format which means that they will complete two modules in Year 11 and one in Year 12 and three terminal papers at the end of Year 12. The three modules together are worth 25% and the three terminal papers together are worth 50% of the GCSE grades available. There are two tiers of entry for each exam, Higher (A*A*-CC) and Foundation (CC-GG). The tier your child is entered for is based on practice tests and completed module results.
Coursework is to be completed at home and is worth 25% of the GCSE grade. It involves writing up an investigation carried out in school.
A Level Biology
The entry requirement for this course is a minimum of grades BB at GCSE Double Award Science level.
A Level students at Magherafelt High School benefit from a small student to teacher ratio which allows for much more one-on-one interaction during class time.
Students of GCE Biology learn about living organisms, biological concepts and the value and responsible use of biology in society. Students get to study organisms in their home environment through fieldwork and also have opportunities to test biological concepts by carrying out experiments in the laboratory.
Through studying GCE Biology, students develop communication, IT, numeric and problem-solving skills. They learn how to work in teams, and through designing and carrying out investigations they play an active part in improving their own and others' learning.
Many students with a GCE Biology qualification go on to undertake further study and have successful careers in a range of industries including:
- medicine (and related disciplines)
- veterinary science
- biomedical science and related industries
- forensic science