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St John the Baptist’s College, Portadown



In St John the Baptist’s College, the Science Department strives to inspire, motivate and challenge pupils through a broad, coherent and practical programme of study at Key Stage 3.  Our science lessons are designed to stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in world around them.  

It is the objective of the science department to enable pupils to become well informed, confident citizens in an increasingly technological world.  Pupils experience a variety of activities during their course of study and are given every opportunity to apply scientific knowledge and ideas to help them solve problems.  It is our aim that pupils begin to make personal decisions and judgements based on their scientific knowledge on issues concerning personal health and well being, safety and the care of the environment, as well as equipping them with the important skills necessary in the world of work.


KS3 Overview

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, Science is delivered over 3 periods per week.. Pupils in Year 8, Year 9 and Year 10 follow a General Science Programme incorporating topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Throughout Key Stage 3, pupils are provided with opportunities to develop their Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities. Additionally, pupils are encouraged to set personal targets for progress and to review these targets on a regular basis.


Year 8

Introduction to Science

Earth & Space

Electricity & Magnetism

Organs & Systems

STEM activity 3: ‘Say cheese’

Kinetic Theory


Habitats and Energy in the eco-system

STEM activity 4: Animal feed

Everyday Materials


Year 9


STEM activity 6: Cancer control & combat


Energy Conservation

STEM activity 7: Capturing the wind

Sound & Light

Separation Techniques

Photosynthesis & The Flower

Respiration & Smoking



Year 10

Healthy body & Mind

The Heart

STEM activity 5: Heart Matters


Acids, Alkalis & Classification

Chemical Change

Chemical Reaction

Periodic Table





KS4 Overview

In St John the Baptist’s College we offer 3 options of Science that you can choose to study at GCSE level…

  • OCN Science
  • Single- Award Science
  • Double- Award Science


OCN Science

This option is an applied subject which means that your final grade will be awarded from your coursework mark rather than through sitting an exam paper. This will be offered to pupils studying a vocational path.

Single-Award Science

This option includes four elements; chemistry, biology, physics and practical skills. It is an exam based subject so if you choose to study this subject you will sit 3 exam papers, complete a practical assessment and sit a final exam paper based on practical skills.


Exam Paper weightings

Unit 1: Biology 25%

Unit 2: Chemistry 25%

Unit 3: Physics 25%

Unit 4: Practical Skills

Booklet A-Practical Skills Assessment 7.5%

Booklet B-Written Examination 17.5%



Double-Award Science

This option will reward you with 2 GCSE grades. You must choose this option if you wish to study Science at A Level.

This option has 7 units which will be completed over the 2 year GCSE period. This includes 2x biology exam papers, 2x chemistry exam papers and 2x physics exam papers and also a practical assessment (students will carry out 18 prescribed practical activities during the 2 years)


Exam Paper weightings:

Year 11:

Unit B1: Biology 11%

Unit C1: Chemistry 11%

Unit P1: Physics 11%


Year 12:

Unit B2: Biology 14%

Unit C2: Chemistry 14%

Unit P2: Physics 14%


Unit 7: Practical Skills

Booklet A- Practical Skills Assessment 7.5%

Booklet B- Written Examination 17.5%

Extra - Curricular Provision


The Science Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular activities at Key Stage 3 include:

  • Weekly Science Club
  • Eco Schools Club
  • Educational Visits to Exhibitions and Shows e.g. W5 at the Odyssey, Belfast., Planetarium Visits, Visit to the Zoo
  • Competitions
  • STEM Activities, STEM visits to South West College, Dungannon
  • Sentinus Workshops
  • GCSE science tuition




10th Jun 2024
Mrs Murray congratulating the winning team for the Almac Big Science Quiz today with...
13th May 2024
The students have received their Green Flag from Eco-Schools NI, for all their hard...
25th Apr 2024
Today the P7 STEM students made salt crystals and looked at cells through microscopes....
21st Feb 2024
Today in Miss O’Neill’s Science Club, our scientists made elephant toothpaste!
10th Jan 2024
Year 8 pupils learning about static electricity
13th Oct 2023
St John the Baptist PS came into school today to take part in several STEM activities....
9th Oct 2023
Year 8 Science poster winners
5th Oct 2023
Year 8 pupils carrying out measurement experiments in Science