Science Department


  1. To provide a Science Education which will contribute to the overall development of the pupil.
  2. To make Science relevant to the needs of the pupil in everyday life, so that the pupil can use scientific skills, and be able to debate logically and in an informed manner on scientific and technological issues,
  3. To ensure that:
    • That all pupils are prepared for appropriate external exams.
    • We provide a good framework for subsequent study and/or career development.
  4. To promote better links and raise achievement:
    • With other departments
    • With primary schools
    • With the home
    • With the community
    • With industry
    • With Further / Higher education.
  5. To provide a balanced curriculum for all pupils in terms of:
    • The Environment
    • Biology, Physics, Chemistry and the Earth Sciences.
    • The School Curriculum, within the full range of teaching strategies
  6. To promote a Catholic ethos through the teaching of :
    • Science
    • I.T.
    • Numeracy
    • Literacy
Click here to view our Assessment Policy.  


Teaching Staff

  • Mr. M. Logue (Head of Department)
  • Ms. A. Blanking (Coordinator of Key Stage 3 Science and Chemistry Club Coordinator)
  • Mr D. Carey (Greenhouse Club Coordinator)
  • Ms. P. Molloy (Coordinator Key Stage 4 Science)
  • Mrs R. O'Donnell
  • Mrs C. Harkin
  • Mr D. Goddard
  • Mrs A. Lynch

Technicial Staff

  • Mr. Gerard Curran (Greenhouse Club Coordinator)


The Contribution of Science to Other Curricular Areas

The Science Curriculum includes, at appropriate stages and in a form suited to their ability, knowledge and skills from the following areas of experience: 1. The communicative – the ability to communicate effectively (especially, through not exclusively, in speech and writing) and to understand appreciate and critically evaluate what is communicated by others. 2. The mathematical – a precise and logical set of languages constituting an intellectual activity in its own right, but also important both in everyday life and as a tool in Science, Technology, Economics etc. 3. The aesthetic and creative – involving both practice and appreciation in Music, Drama, Literature and a variety of Art and Craft media. 4. The scientific – understanding the natural world and become in the processes by which that understanding is achieved and developed. 5. The Physical – learning to use the body skilfully and to take good care of it. 6. The technological – appreciating and practising the integration of concepts and skill from science, craft, aesthetics and economics through which man shaped the world in order more effectively to meet his needs. 7. The environmental – understanding the complex interdependencies in the local, national and global environment; developing an awareness of the impact of man’s technology on that environment and of the consequent need to protect the environment and manage scarce resources responsibly. 8. The social/political/economic – recognising the interdependence of individuals and society; understanding how social, political and economic institutions function and change and how individuals both develop and operate within these institutions. 9. The ethical and spiritual – enabling young people to develop a coherent set of attitudes, values and beliefs which, in a pluralist and multi-racial society, should include the capacity to understand, respect and tolerate races, beliefs, world-views and the ways of life other than one’s own. 10. The inter-personal – the ability to relate appropriately to and interact effectively with other people in a wide variety of different situations. 11. The historical – an appreciation of how the human race itself, particular ‘races’ and nation – states, and all human activities and institutions have evolved through time. 12. The philosophical – explicit understanding of the distinctive features of different areas of knowledge and experience and of the contribution they make, separately and together, to our understanding of practical activity the natural and social world.


Key Stage 3 Science Curriculum At Key Stage 3 Year 8 and Year 9  pupils study science 4 lessons per week and Year 10 pupils have 5 lessons. The science department delivers the N. Ireland Revised Curriculum through co-operative learning activities, practical experimental work and theory based learning taking account of the individual learning needs and styles of every pupil. Topics studied include the Human Body, Chemical Reactions, Earth and Space, Materials and their Uses, the Periodic Table, Energy, Light and Sound and Forces and Electricity. Year 8 Myself *Introducing Science *Light and Sound *Growing Up My Home *Forces *Acids and Alkalis My Environment *The variety of Life *Environment *Matter My World *Magnetism and Electricity Year 9 Myself *Respiration *Digestion My Home My Environment My World Year 10
  • Plants
  • Life Processes and Environment
  • Life Processes
  • Materials
  • Chemical Changes
  • Periodic Table
  • Energy and Space
  • Light and Sound
  • Forces and Electricity


Key Stage 4 Science Curriculum Year 11 OCR Gateway Science
  • Understanding ourselves
  • Understanding our environment
  • Energy for the home
  • Living for the future
  • Carbon chemistry
  • Rocks and metals
Year 11 BTEC First Certificate in Principles of Applied Science
  • Principles of Science
  • Chemistry and our Earth
  • Energy and Our Universe
  • Biology and our environment
Year 12 OCR Gateway Additional Science
  • Living and Growing
  • The Periodic table
  • Forces for Transport
  • It’s a green world
  • Chemical Economics
  • Radiation for Life
Year 12 BTEC First Certificate in Applications of Applied Science 
  • Applications of Chemical Substances
  • Applications of Physical Science
  • Health Applications of Life Science
  • Scientific Skills

Post 16

Post 16 Science Curriculum Lower Sixth Applied GCE Science AQA
  • Investigating Science at Work
  • Energy Transfer Systems
  • Finding out about Substances
  • Choosing and Using Materials
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Synthesising Organic Compounds
Upper Sixth Applied GCE Science AQA 
  • Planning and carrying out a science investigation.
  • Medical Physics
  • Sport Science
  • Controlling Chemical reactions
  • Physics of performance Effects
  • Actions and development of Medicines
Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth A-level Biology

Examination Performance

Science Department Examination Success 2013 This year the science department enjoyed more pupil success in examinations. All of our sixth year students studying Applied GCE science in conjunction with the University of Ulster’s ‘Step Up’ programme gained places in university to study a variety of science related courses including Forensic science, Bio-medical Science and Nursing. There was a 100% pass rate in St. Mary’s in this subject  again this year. 85% of students achieved at least 2 Grade Cs at A2 level and over 90% achieved C or above at AS level. At Key Stage 4 pupils also achieved considerable success with over 90% of pupils gaining at least one pass grade in GCSE science. Of the pupils who studied OCR Double Award Science there was a 90% pass rate with the majority of pupils gaining grades A or B. Of the pupils studying BTEC First Extended Certificate in Applied Science more than 90% achieved 2 GCSEs in Science at Grade C or above. We look forward to more success in the year ahead.

Extra Curricular

 Science outside the classroom In the past year the Science Department enjoyed more pupil success in many extra-curricular activities.  More pupils than ever took advantage of the wide range of after school Science clubs and all could be found working very hard on a variety of projects or competition entries throughout the year. January 2014 Pupils from these groups have represented St. Mary’s at the Sentinus Northern Ireland Young Innovators Competition, BT Young Scientist Competition, the Finals of the BA Big Bang Competition,  North-West Scifest and the Salter’s Chemistry Fair. In January 2014, pupils from St. Mary’s College had 8 projects through to the Finals of the BT Young Scientists competition inDublin which had a record number of over 2000 entries, of which, only 520 got through to the Finals. St Mary’s received 3 awards in total: One project was Highly Commended in its Category and in another category Eadaoin Nash was overall winner. In January 2013 St. Mary's pupils also excelled at the 49th BT Young Scientist Exhibition in Dublin winning another 4 awards including the Irish Medical Board Special award for the second successive year. We look forward to the remainder of the year and to more success. March 2013 At the BA Big Bang Finals Competition, St Mary’s picked up 4 awards: Saoirse Nash was runner-up in her category and also received the British Research Board prize which allowed her to visit a Research Establishment of her choice (which she did in July). Two projects were also Highly Commended. May 2013 pupils took part in a Scifest Competition sponsored by INTEL. At the Derry Competition in Magee College, which was co-hosted by St Mary’s and Lumen Christi College, St Mary’s had thirteen project entries.  St Mary’s were runners-up in two categories and were also announced as Best Chemistry Project winners. In May again, four pupils represented St Mary’s at the Salter’s Festival of Chemistry, held at the Coleraine Campus of the University of Ulster. In June 2013, 23 pupils from the school participated in the Sentinus Northern Ireland Young Innovators Competition, held in Belfast.  St. Mary’s had 10 projects entered in the competition and scooped both the Best Silver Crest Award and the Runners-up Silver Crest Award.  St Mary’s were also awarded the KERRY Foods Award for Food Science and the Norbrook Laboratory Award for Best Practice.  All participating pupils received BA CREST certificates for their projects. Also in June, 6 projects were entered in the ‘Science, Myths and Magic’ Step-Up Science Fair 20011/12, held at the Jordanstown Campus of the University of Ulster. St. Mary’s pupils also took part in the other University of Ulster Step-Up engagement activities – lectures and competitions. St. Mary’s pupils finished in first place in the Science quiz competition. In addition this year saw more visits of the STEM module for forensic workshops as well as science trips to the Lough’s Agency and Belfast Zoo. We look forward to more success in the year ahead. June 2012 Sentinus Young Innovators Competition Winners 2012: CREST SILVER AWARD WINNER and Winner of the Norbrook Laboratory Award for Best Practice  Saoirse Nash CREST SILVER AWARD RUNNERS-UP Cara Molloy, Megan Mc Clean and Adele Cullen KERRY Foods Award for Food Science Aoife Bolster North-West SciFest  Award Winners: Chemistry Award Megan Ryan, Chelsea White, Kerry Dixon Runner-Junior Group Winners   January 2012 St Mary’s were also awarded the ‘Best Northern Ireland School Award’ and the INTEL Educator of Excellence Award.   January 2012 BT Young Scientist Competition Winners 2012: Highly Commended in the Chemical, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Junior Group Category: Kennedy-Keeney Robinson and Nicole Mc Hugh Highly Commended in the Chemical, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Intermediate Group Category: Adele Cullen, Cara Molloy and Megan Mc Clean Runner-up in the Chemical, Mathematical and Physical Sciences Intermediate Individual Category and BT Award to attend the BT Bootcamp at NUCD: Saoirse Nash Runner-up in the Biological and Environmental Junior Individual Category and Winner of the Irish Medicine Board Special Award: Lavina Blanking Best Northern Ireland School Award: St Mary’s College INTEL educator of Excellence Award: St Mary’s College BA BIG BANG Competition Finals (in Birmingham): Runner-up in the Intermediate Category and Winner of the British Research Board Award: Saoirse Nash Highly Commended in the Junior Category: Lavina Blanking Highly Commended in the Intermediate Category: Joanna Munoz, Danielle Mc Glinchey and Maria Mc Hugh     :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: BT Young Scientist links