Biology, Chemistry, Science and Physics

Biology, Chemistry, Science and Physics

Future destinations are limitless as many degree courses require at least one science subject for entry. As well as science-based degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, science subjects are a prerequisite for medical courses such as Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Veterinary Medicine. A vast number of other courses and careers would benefit from, if not expect a science – Accountancy, Engineering and Mathematics are such examples.

Science is the department that deals with Junior Science meanwhile, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are individual departments for S3-S6. Every member of teaching staff across the sciences has SQA marking experience. Furthermore, the Heads of Physics and Biology are Senior and Team Leaders respectively for SQA examinations and the Head of Chemistry is an experienced marker.

At Wellington, all pupils receive Science until S2. Following that, the science subjects follow the same format. They also include a significant amount of experimental work in their teaching.


S1 and S2

The science course enables pupils to become familiar with working in a laboratory and using scientific equipment. They learn to be constantly aware of the need for safety – and they also get used to wearing their white lab coats and safety glasses!

There is a large element of practical work with the emphasis on investigation and problem solving. The practical work involves the skills of observation, measuring, recording, manipulation, procedure, fairness, safety and drawing conclusions.

Topics covered over these two years include Matter, Elements, The Periodic Table, Chemical and Physical Changes (Chemistry); Energy, Forces, Electricity and Magnetism (Physics); Variation, Photosynthesis, Food Digestion and Growing Up (Biology).


National 5

The National 5 course comprises three units which are undertaken over two years (S3 and S4). External examination counts for 80% of the overall grade meanwhile experimental investigation is marked externally and accounts for 20%.

A former Wellington School Head of Chemistry wrote the National 4 and National 5 Chemistry textbook for BrightRed Publishing.



At Higher level, the course again comprises three units carried out over a single year – either in S5 or S6. The SQA external examination accounts for 80% of the overall grade with an experimental investigation making up the final 20%. As at National 5 level, the investigation is marked externally.


Advanced Higher

The three units of the Advanced Higher course are carried out over a year, most typically in S6. External examination makes up 77% of the grade with experimental investigation accounting for 23%. Again, it is marked externally. Wellington pupils have twice won the Advanced Higher Chemistry prize for the best investigation in Scotland in the past 7 years and in 2018, a Wellington student won the prize for the best performance in the Advanced Higher Physics examination.

Wellington School’s Heads of Physics is Senior Team Leader for Advanced Higher Physics and has written examination papers at this level.


Curricular Activities and Extracurricular Clubs

Two Science Captains are elected each academic year from the S6 class. As part of their remits, the Captains assist younger pupils in class and organise and deliver a lunchtime study support class for S3-S5.

There are a number of annual activities across the science subjects, including: the S1 trip to Glasgow Science Centre, trips to St Andrews University Chemistry Day, a visit to Glasgow University Particle Physics Masterclass, Biology field excursions and Biology & Environmental Science river studies.

Science has strong links with Modern Languages and has been involved with many Comenius, UCAPE and Erasmus projects over the years including an Environmental Energy project (2012-2014).  The Science Department is currently involved in a three year Astrophysics project with seven partner schools from across Europe.  The project, Eurostronomia will run from 2017-2020.