Members of the Department

  • Ms F. Breslin
  • Mr C. Devlin (Examinations Officer)
  • Mr J. Donnelly
  • Mr D.Gallagher
  • Ms A. Jordan (HOD Science)
  • Mrs U. McAteer (HOD Biology)
  • Dr C. McLaughlin (HOD Health & Social Care)
  • Mrs C. Purdy (HOD Chemistry)
  • Dr C. Robinson (HOD Physics)


  • to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Science.
  • to foster an interest in and care for the environment.
  • to promote an awareness that the application of science can be beneficial to the individual and society but also there may be associated drawbacks and risks.
  • to develop pupils skills in scientific methods of enquiry to further their scientific knowledge and understanding.
  • to help pupils develop a range of practical skills.
  • to develop creative and critical thinking skills in our pupils.


The partial solar eclipse viewed at Dominican College on 20th March 2015


Pupils viewing the partial solar eclipse using pinhole cameras


The content covered at Key Stage 3 is reviewed regularly and is outlined briefly below:


Pupils learn to:
Use common laboratory apparatus safely and to measure accurately.
Pupils learn about:
Organisms and Health

Cells, organs and organ systems
Interdependence of plants and animals: Classification of living things
Chemical and material behaviour

Chemical changes: acids and alkalis and air pollution
Forces and Energy

Forms of energy and energy transfer
Sound and light
Year 8 pupil using pinhole camera to view the partial eclipse.
Pupils learn about:
Chemical and material behaviour

Elements, compounds and mixtures: The Periodic Table and separating techniques
Forces and Energy

Forces: Types of forces, their effects and measurement, pressure
Earth and Universe

The solar system and the universe: Day and night, the seasons, phases of the moon and the planets in the solar system.
Organisms and Health

Healthy body and mind: Heart and Circulatory System, Respiratory System, Diet and Digestion.
The brain and learning.
Learning about Body Systems
Heart Check up
Organisms and Health
Interdependence of plants and animals: Photosynthesis and respiration feeding relationships and pollution.
Reproduction, genes and variation.
Chemical and material behaviour

Atoms and chemical changes : Periodic Table and Atomic Structure
Physical and chemical changes
Types of chemical reaction
Forces and Energy

Energy transfer including heat transfer
Renewable and non-renewable energy sources
Using Electricity
Having fun with the Van der Graaf


Single Award Science GCSE                                                                             Examination Board: CCEA
This course aims to encourage pupils to develop their curiosity about the living, material and physical worlds and to provide an insight into how science works. Although the content is balanced in terms of the three science subjects it is not covered in sufficient detail to prepare a pupil for the study of any science subject at ‘A’ level.
Course Outline
The course is divided into four units as outlined below:
 Unit 1  Biology  A  Staying Alive
     B  Human Activity & Health
 Unit 2  Chemistry  A   Chemical Patterns & Our Environment
     B  Materials and Their Management
 Unit 3  Physics  A  Electricity, Waves & Communication
 Fossil fuels, Road Transport & Safety,
 Radioactivty & Earth and Space
 Unit 4  Practical Skills


Scheme of Assessment

 Unit 1  Biology  Paper  25%
 Unit 2  Chemistry  Paper  25%
 Unit 3   Physics  Paper  25%
 Unit 4  Practical Skills*    25%
 *One controlled assessment task from a choice of two tasks.
The assessment task will be supervised and marked by the teacher but moderated externally.
Career Opportunities
A G.C.S.E in Single award science will provide an individual with a science qualification which is a requirement for certain non- science degree courses. However since it does not allow a pupil to study any science subject at ‘A’ level it follows it should only be chosen as the science option if the pupil has ruled out the possibility of embarking on a Science based career path.

Double Award GCSE

Double Award Science GCSE Examination Board: CCEA
Double Award Science enables a student to undertake a science course which is sufficiently broad and balanced to allow any of the sciences to be studied at ‘A’ level. It is intended to develop pupils’ curiosity about the living, material and physical worlds and to provide an insight into and experience of how science works. Pupils learn how technologies based on science have been used in industry, business and medicine and how these developments have contributed to increasing the quality of life for most people.
Specification Content Outline:
The specification is divided into seven units as follows:
 Biology  25%  Unit 1  Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity
     Unit 2  Body Systems, Genetics, Micro-organisms & Health
 Chemistry  25%  Unit 1  Structures, Trends & Chemical Reactions
     Unit 2  Further Chemical Reactions, Organic Chemistry & Materials
 Physics  25%  Unit 1  Force & Motion, Energy, Moments & Radioactivity
     Unit 2  Waves, Sound & Light, Electricity, Earth & Universe
 Practical Skills  25%

Scheme of assessment:
Units 1-6 are assessed through a written examination. Unit 1 in each subject represents 11% of the final mark. Unit 1 in each subject is studied in Year 11.Unit 2 in each subject represents 14% of the final mark. Unit 2 is studied in Year 12.
Controlled Assessment:
Pupils complete two controlled assessment tasks which are supervised and marked by the teacher and moderated externally. This represents 25% of the final mark.
Career Opportunities:
To continue the study of any of the Sciences at ‘A’ level it is essential that the student achieves an A grade at G.C.S.E.
The study of Double Award Science provides the opportunity to embark on a career path which might include Science based careers such as:- Dentistry, Optics, Architecture, Dietetics, Nursing, Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, all aspects of Engineering, Psychology and Genetics.


38 Fortwilliam Park,

Belfast, County Antrim

BT15 4AQ

028 9037 0298