Science – Junior Phase

S1 & S2

In S1 and S2, all pupils follow the same science course. It provides a broad general introduction to science to equip all pupils with a range of scientific skills and basic scientific knowledge.

The S1 – S2 course covers the 4 areas identified in the Curriculum Organisers of the National Benchmarks for the Sciences – Planet Earth, Forces, Electricity, Biological Systems and Materials.

Predominantly this will be at level 2 and 3.

In S1, pupils will learn about

  • the states of matter, elements, atoms and compounds, gases in the atmosphere
  • cells, microorganisms and vaccination
  • forms of energy; light and sound
  • forces

In S2, pupils learn about

  • biodiversity, photosynthesis, body systems and reproduction
  • separating methods, chemical reactions, acids and alkalis
  • electricity, space and heat

The additional skills that are developed include presentation of data, reporting and summarising findings through investigation and an extended use of scientific vocabulary and research.


In S3, pupils will cover the areas identified in the curriculum organisers, to a greater depth at level 3 and level 4. To allow the successful delivery of the specialism needed at level 3 and 4, the curriculum is organised into the three discrete sciences. Pupils will complete two six week blocks of each discrete science on a timetabled rota.

In S3 Biology, pupils will learn about

  • DNA and inheritance
  • animal responses and behaviour
  • plant reproduction
  • enzymes

In S3 Chemistry, pupils will learn about

  • atomic structure
  • smart materials
  • writing formula
  • hydrocarbons and fuels

In S3 Physics, pupils will learn about

  • forces and space
  • electricity
  • sound

Before the end of S3, pupils are given an opportunity to select one science subject and carry out a short investigative project over the course of two weeks, before they move onto the senior phase in S4.

Useful and interesting websites:

Link to BBC Bitesize level 3

Link to BBC Bitesize level 4