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What we teach in Physics


Heat Energy Transfer

Learners explore types, sources and uses of energy and develop their understanding of how energy is transferred and conserved. They will consider the relevance of these concepts to everyday life. They will explore the nature and sustainability of energy sources and discuss benefits and assess possible risks to form an informed view of responsible energy use. Learners can use their knowledge of the different ways in which heat is transferred between hot and cold objects and the thermal conductivity of materials to improve energy efficiency in buildings or other systems.

Vibrations and Waves

Learners explore the nature of sound, light and radiations in the electromagnetic spectrum. They use musical instruments to explore the relationship between vibrations and sounds produced. They develop their understanding of the properties of light and other forms of electromagnetic radiations. They explore how different waves relate to the environment and how we make use of them in health, medicine and communications.



Learners first develop an understanding of how forces can change the shape or motion of an object, considering both forces in contact with objects and those which act over a distance. They investigate the effects of friction on motion and explore ways of improving efficiency in moving objects and systems. Study of speed and acceleration of an object leads to an understanding of the relationship between its motion and the forces acting on it. This is linked to transport safety. Learners develop their understanding of the concept of buoyancy force and density.


The learner’s knowledge about electricity begins with knowing how to use it safely and this aspect is reinforced throughout their learning. They develop their understanding of electricity as a means of transferring energy by investigating circuits. Learners develop their understanding of series and parallel circuits and of electrical and electronic components and apply their knowledge to the process of designing, constructing, testing and modifying.

What we teach in Biology


Biodiversity and Interdependence:

Learners explore the rich and changing diversity of living things and develop their understanding of how organisms are interrelated at local and global levels. By exploring interactions and energy flow between plants and animals (including humans) learners develop their understanding of how species depend on one another and on the environment for survival. Learners investigate the factors affecting plant growth and develop their understanding of the positive and negative impact of the human population on the environment. Learners also develop their understanding of how our knowledge of the universe has changed over time and explore ideas of future space exploration and the likelihood of life beyond planet Earth.

Cells and Body Systems

Learners develop their knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of organs of the body, including the senses. They learn about cells as the basic units of life, and their organisation to form familiar body systems. Specifically learners investigate the digestive system and its importance in relation to the process of energy production by aerobic respiration.



Starting with observations of similarities and differences between individuals, learners develop their understanding of how organisms develop and pass on genetic information to the next generation. They begin to develop their knowledge of genetics and of the role of DNA and examine moral and ethical questions which arise from technological developments.


Through observation, research and practical investigation learners explore the risk and impact of microorganisms in relation to health, and then in industrial processes. They experience the use of technology in monitoring health and improving the quality of life and develop informed views on the moral and ethical implications of controversial biological procedures such as the use of stem cells in medical treatments.

What we teach in Chemistry

S1/S2: The S1 and S2 science course is in the second year of following the Curriculum for Excellence experience. The pupils cover 4 chemistry topics over the 2 years. S1 chemistry topics - particles and acids and metals S2 chemistry topics - elements and reactions. At the end of each topic there is a test which allows pupils to demonstrate the knowledge they have learned.

The Staff

Principal Teacher:Janey Irving

Teacher: Dawn Frost

Principal Teacher: Brian Johnston

Principal Teacher: Sallie Shewan

Principal Teacher: Susan Shanks

Teacher: Judith Reid

Learning in the sciences will enable pupils to:

• develop curiosity and understanding of the environment and their place in the living, material and physical world

• demonstrate a secure knowledge and understanding of the big ideas and concepts of the sciences

• develop skills for learning, life and work

• develop the skills of scientific inquiry and investigation using practical techniques

• develop skills in the accurate use of scientific language, formulae and equations

• apply safety measures and take necessary actions to control risk and hazards

• recognise the impact the sciences make on their life, the lives of others, the environment and on society

• recognise the role of creativity and inventiveness in the development of the sciences

• develop an understanding of the Earth’s resources and the need for responsible use of them

• express opinions and make decisions on social, moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues based upon sound understanding

• develop as a scientifically-literate citizen with a lifelong interest in the sciences

• establish the foundation for more advanced learning and future careers in the sciences and the technologies.

ELGIN HIGH SCHOOL “Working together for success”