Cullybackey College Crest
  • Principal:
  • Mr D Donaldson
  • B.Ed., M.Ed., P.Q.H.

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School Report

Curriculum Mapping



The ethos behind the teaching of Science at Cullybackey College is to try and capture a pupil’s natural curiosity about the world around them and in turn to inspire them to development that curiosity into learning that is both active and independent which in turn will blossom into meaningful understanding of the disciplines of science that make discovery and advancement possible.

Science at KS3

From the very first topic in Year 8, our goal is to continue to engage interest in Science, seeking to develop the skills of analysis and reporting of data that allow the pupils to carry out effective scientific investigation.

Year 8

Safety in Science: How can we be safe in the Laboratory? What are hazard symbols? How can we safely use science equipment? Using the Bunsen Burner.

Acids and Alkalis: In this topic pupils are initially encouraged to think about the acids and alkalis that are all around us and the inherent dangers that some present. Learning then progresses to the safe identification and investigation of this group of common chemicals. Finally, everyday uses of these chemicals are considered.

Cells and Organs: The building blocks of life are examined after microscope training. Then after looking at the basic components of a cell, specialisation of cells for distinct functions and the necessity of cell division is considered. Finally pupils learn how the joining together of many cells makes organs and then organ systems to construct an organism.

Forces: Forces are acting on us all the time but how many different types of force are there and what do they do? Pupils will measure forces and will examine the connection between forces and movement, with the idea of balanced or unbalanced forces presented. Particular attention is given to friction and density and finally the forces required for flight; you even get to make paper airplanes!

Ecology: Human impact upon the environment is a common topic of the news nowadays and in this topic we consider the requirements for the survival of the many different living things that occupy this Earth. We examine the way in which plants and animals are adapted to surviving in many different environments, often in very harsh conditions.

Growing Up: It is time you grew up! Human reproduction is the topic being considered here and we take a look at the body changes that occur during puberty as well as the miracle of life.

Solar System: In this topic we look beyond Earth and consider our place in the Solar System. Why do we have day and night and why are there different seasons? And while we are asking questions why is the position of the Earth in the solar system so important and what has that got to do with porridge? Finally, we consider planetary travel and plan for a holiday with a difference!

Year 9

Water: We take water for granted (well we do live in Northern Ireland!), but having clean water to drink should not be taken for granted. The scientific techniques necessary for water purification are considered as well as the essential ability of water to act as a solvent for many substances.

Food and Digestion: We all like food, don’t we? What Nutrients does food provide the body with and how does the body change a banana into the molecules needed to stay alive and to stay healthy? Carrying out chemical tests to identify different nutrient types is an essential skill in this topic.

Lungs and Heart: These two vital organs are studied, looking at how the circulatory and respiratory systems work and their provision of reactants necessary for the essential respiration reaction. Pupils get to measure their own breathing and pulse rates in relation to exercise, and the harmful effects of smoking to both systems is considered.

Sound and Light: Light and sound are taken for granted by most but the science behind these phenomena is fascinating. How do we see and hear information? How does the eye and the ear work? These and many more questions are investigated.

Electricity: Electricity is the most useful way of moving energy from one form to another and almost everything we do relies on it. After studying the history of electricity and then considering the dangers of electricity, pupils investigate electrical circuits practically.

Year 10

Periodic Table: It’s elementary my dear Watson! Learning gets down to the atomic level in this topic as pupils examine the Periodic Table, using patterns of reaction and atomic structure to examine the lay out of this famous collection. Different parts of the Periodic are considered with particular attention paid to metals, halogens and gases.

Speed: Would Usain Bolt be able to outrun a cheetah? This is just one of the questions we will consider in a topic that leaves no room for guesswork as we calculate speed from measurements taken by the pupils, including calculating their own speed!

Reactivity: In particular the discovery of the reactivity of different metals is considered in this topic through experimental investigation, the goal being to establish a reactivity series for metals. Connected to the idea of metal reactivity, pupils also learn about displacement of metals. Factors affecting the rate of a reaction are investigated experimentally and pupils also consider the importance of chemical reactivity in industrial science.

Energy: All this science Science learning uses up a lot of energy! What do we need energy for? What are the different types of energy? These and other questions are answered as pupils learn about how energy can be transferred from one form into another and electrical energy in an important focus because we depend upon it so much and there are environmental problems caused by the way in which we make electricity.

Pollution: Another frequent topic in the news, the causes and effects of both natural and man-made pollution are considered with the focus on acid-rain and global warming. Pupils also learn how pollution is monitored.

Science at KS4

GCSE Single Award Science

We follow the CCEA Single Award Specification.:

Over two years pupils study three modules:

Unit 1: Biology
Unit 2: Chemistry
Unit 3: Physics

Each unit is worth 25% of the final grade and is examined separately over the two years with no final exam. The remaining 25% is covered by Controlled Assessment (practical skills).

Unit 1 covers the following Biology topics:

Food and Diet
Chromosomes and Genes
Nervous System and Hormones
Variation and Adaptation
Disease and Body Defences
Human Activity on Earth

Unit 2 covers the following Chemistry topics:

Acids and Bases
The World about Us
Elements and Compounds
Oils, Polymers and Materials
Hard Water
Recycling and Exploitation of Earth’s Resources
Using Materials to fight Crime

Unit 3 covers the following Physics topics:

Electrical Circuits
Household Electricity
Fossil Fuels, Road Transport and Safety
Earth in Space

GCSE Double Award Science

Over two years six units are studied with three examinations spread over the first year and three further examinations at the end of the second year. All examinations account for 75% of the final grade with Controlled Assessment (practical skills) providing a maximum remaining 25%.

Biology Unit 1 (11%):

Investigating Ecology, Classification and Biodiversity Populations
Ecological Relationships and Energy Flow
Human Activity and Its Effects on the Environment
Photosynthesis and Plants
Nutrition and Health
Enzymes and Digestion
Nervous System and Hormones

Biology Unit 2 (14%):

Osmosis and Plant Transport
Circulatory System
Microorganisms, Defence against Disease, Medicines and Drugs
Chromosomes, Genes and DNA
Cell Division and Genetics
Reproduction, Fertility and Contraception
Applied Genetics
Variation and Selection

Chemistry Unit 1 (11%):

Elements, Compounds and Mixtures
Periodic Table
Water, Solubility and Solubility Curves
Atomic Structure
Acids, Bases and Salts

Chemistry Unit 2 (14%):

Reactivity Series of Metals
Rusting, Oxidation and Reduction
Hard and Soft Water
Quantitative Chemistry
Rates of Reaction
Non-Metals and Their Compounds
Organic Chemistry

Physics Unit 1 (11%):

Force and Motion

Physics Unit 2 (14%):

Waves, Sound and Light
The Earth and Universe

CCEA A Level Biology (Year 13)

GCE Biology has two levels: AS and A2. There are three units in each level. Students can take the AS qualification or complete both levels to achieve the full A level qualification. The AS units make up 40% of the full A level qualification, and the A2 units make up 60%.

At each level, students must study all three units.

AS Level

  • Unit AS 1: Molecules and Cells
  • Unit AS 2: Organisms and Biodiversity
  • Unit AS 3: Practical Skills in AS Biology

A2 Level

  • Unit A2 1: Physiology, Coordination and Control, and Ecosystems
  • Unit A2 2: Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends
  • Unit A2 3: Practical Skills in Biology

AQA A Level Applied Science (Year 14)

A-level Applied Science offers students the chance to concentrate on some of the vocational aspects of Science. As well as being ideal for students seeking a broad background in Science, it also suits those entering this vocational area for the first time.

The units taught are:

UNIT 7 - Planning and Carrying out a Scientific Investigation

  • How to plan an investigation 
  • How to carry out the investigation 
  • Recording and processing the data obtained 
  • Evaluating and drawing conclusions from the investigation 
  • Presenting the outcomes of the investigation

UNIT 8 - Medical Physics

  • How physiological measurements are indicators of health 
  • The use of diagnostic techniques 
  • Thermography and its uses 
  • The use of X-rays 
  • Radiation, its uses and dangers 
  • The uses of ultrasound 
  • Lasers and fibre optics in medicine 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 
  • How radioisotopes, ultrasound and light are used in therapy

UNIT 9 - Sports Science

  • Health and fitness 
  • Sports injuries and conditions 
  • First aid techniques 
  • Prevention of sporting injuries and conditions 
  • Occupations involving the application of science to sport