Secondary Science Department
|"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."|
~ Albert Einstein
A warm welcome to the SIS(HK) Secondary Science Webpage! Please click on the following links to obtain information about the Science Department.
|Lower Secondary Science|
The Science Department strives to develop and nurture students to be responsible and effective global citizens, who are able to use their science knowledge and process skills to contribute to an increasingly technologically-driven world.
Goals of Science Education in SIS(HK)
We offer six years of science education, spanning Sec 1 to DP2. The goals* of our programme are to enable our students to:
- acquire and apply a body of knowledge, methods and techniques that characterize science and technology,
- develop an ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesize scientific information,
- develop experimental and investigative scientific skills including the use of current technologies,
- appreciate scientific study and creativity within a global context through stimulating and challenging opportunities,
- develop an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and their influence on other areas of knowledge,
- develop and apply effective collaborative and communication skills in the study of science,
- develop critical awareness, as global citizens, of the ethical implications of using science and technology, and
- develop an appreciation of the possibilities and limitations of science and technology.
(*as adapted from the aims of IBDP Group 4 subjects)
At Secondary 1 and 2, students take the lower secondary science course.
At Secondary 3 and 4, students can choose to offer Biology, Chemistry or Physics for the Cambridge IGCSE Examinations.
At Diploma level (DP1 and DP2), students can offer IB Biology, Chemistry or Physics at Standard or Higher Levels.
The assessment weightings for the final grade in a science subject are as follows:
S1-S3 and DP1
S4 & DP2
The final grade is based solely on the Mock Examinations
Legend: CA1 – Continuous Assessment in Semester 1
CA2 – Continuous Assessment in Semester 2
EOY – End-of-Year Examination
The Lower Secondary Science (LSS) curriculum at SIS(HK) is a further development of the primary science curriculum. It is also a bridge to, and a foundation for, the pursuit of scientific studies at Upper Secondary and IBDP levels. The curriculum is designed to inculcate a spirit of scientific inquiry, by encouraging students to learn through more hands-on experiences and open-ended investigations.
In Sec 1, students learn to use precise terminology to communicate scientific kowledge through listening, reading, speaking and writing. They also develop sound investigative skills, which includes making careful observations, forming hypothesis and predictions, planning an investigation, collecting relevant data and using appropriate apparatus.
In Sec 2, students learn Biology, Chemistry and Physics from three separate subject specialists. These three modules are taught concurrently and cover the basic concepts in the three disciplines of science. Apart from deepening the content focus within each science subject, students will continue to develop the relevant scientific attitudes, such as concern for accuracy and precision, integrity, inquiry, and initiative. The skills learnt are essential for entry into all three IGCSE science subjects.
The units covered in the LSS curriculum include:
1. Safety in the lab
1. Biological molecules
1. Physics in concert: Sound, light, electricity
Biology covers areas such as medicine, genetics, cell biology and biochemistry. The curriculum is regularly updated to keep pace with new developments in the field.
Students of Biology will learn about how organisms function and their interactions with other living and non-living factors in the environment. They will come to understand not only the principles of contemporary science but also its practical applications and accompanying ethical implications.
IGCSE Biology (Sec 3 & 4)
The Cambridge IGCSE Biology programme provides an essential grounding for sciences in the IB Diploma Programme. It is also a requirement for most undergraduate courses in the sciences, medicine, dentistry and biotechnology. The course at SIS(HK) makes use of our well-equipped laboratories to provide a strong and practical base. The Cambridge IGCSE Biology (0610) syllabus and relevant resources are available at the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) website:
IBDP Biology (DP1 & 2)
Students can choose to take Biology at either the Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). More information on IBDP Biology can be obtained from the IBO website: http://www.ibo.org/en/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/sciences/biology/
HL Biology will develop students’ conceptual understanding in the areas Cell & Molecular Biology, Genetics & Evolution, Ecology, Animal Physiology and Plant Biology. In the process, students will understand the living world at different levels of organisation, examine the relationship between structure and function, and investigate interactions that affect sustainability of life on Earth.
SL Biology students will develop an appreciation for how life functions at all levels. It is a challenging but interesting course that gives students a good foundation in all aspects of biology, with the necessary skills and attitudes to appreciate their role in contributing to sustainability and quality of life in a modern society.
Useful Biology Online Resources
The following websites can be used to supplement the learning of biology at various levels:
IBDP Biology interactive syllabus and notes
Skoool.ie interactive learning
GCSE Biology revision
BBC Bitesize GCSE Biology
Chemistry is often called the central experimental science, as it underpins both physical and biological sciences. Students pursuing chemistry will learn about the fundamentals of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry, its industrial applications, analytical techniques and the fundamentals of the Periodic Table.
Chemistry is taught at SIS(HK) through an extensive range of laboratory experiments. Students are expected to engage actively in practical work and learn safe, complex experimental techniques that they can use in new situations. They will learn to process their raw data, analyse it effectively and draw substantiated conclusions from it.
IGCSE CHEMISTRY (Sec 3 & 4)
This course follows the syllabus for IGCSE Chemistry (0620) developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). It serves to provide a solid foundation, in both theory and in practical techniques, that gives students the understanding and skills essential for further study and everyday life. It also helps students to understand the technological world and to inculcate in them an informed interest in science and scientific developments.
More information on IGCSE Chemistry can be obtained from the CIE website:
IBDP CHEMISTRY (DP1 & 2)
IBDP Chemistry prepares students for myriad careers in the sciences, medicine, pharmacy, the environment and industry. Students can choose to take chemistry at either the Higher Level (HL) or Standard Level (SL). More information on IBDP Chemistry can be obtained from the IBO website:
The focus of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the core foundations of chemistry, from organic chemistry, spectroscopic methods, medicines and drugs to basics such as stoichiometry, redox and rates of reaction. It is an experiential course, taught through laboratory work using an inquiry-based methodology. It teaches students to investigate, infer and apply their knowledge to problem solving in unfamiliar environments.
This course builds on the basics students had previously learnt in IGCSE Chemistry. It is a challenging but interesting course that gives students a good foundation and scientific literacy in all aspects of chemistry, which is useful for citizens living in a modern, technological society.
Useful Chemistry Online Resources
The following websites can be used to supplement the learning of chemistry at various levels:
http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/ (all year groups)
http://www.periodicvideos.com/ (all year groups)
http://www.rsc.org/eic/mole/ (magazine published 5x/year, appropriate for S3 students upwards)
http://www.knockhardy.org.uk/ (S3 & S4)
http://www.chemguide.co.uk/ (IBDP only)
Physics is the most fundamental of the experimental sciences, as it involves the study of matter and energy and their interactions in the Universe. Students pursuing any Physics course will learn about the fundamental physical laws in classical mechanics, thermal physics, wave motion, electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear physics.
Physics lessons will provide opportunities for students to actively study natural phenomena and learn principles, theories, laws and models (including mathematical ones) that are used to explain the physical behaviour of the Universe. Emphasis will be placed on developing science process skills and understanding scientific knowledge so as apply them to solve problems in novel or unfamiliar situations.
IGCSE PHYSICS (Sec 3 & 4)
This course follows the syllabus for IGCSE Physics developed by the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). It serves to provide foundational knowledge and skills required for advanced study in the subject at the next stage. It also aims to incite excitement and interest in human technological advances as well as foster confidence in a technological world.
More information on IGCSE Physics can be obtained from the CIE website
IBDP PHYSICS (DP1 & 2)
Students can choose to take physics at either the Higher Level (HL) or the Standard Level (SL). More information on IBDP Physcs can be obtained from the IBO website
The focus of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the core foundations of physics from classical mechanics, wave motion, electromagnetism to quantum mechanics and relativity. It is a broad-based and intensive course that will prepare students well for future careers in the sciences or engineering.
The focus of this course is to provide students with a general survey of the fundamental physical laws in classical mechanics, wave motion, electromagnetism, quantum and nuclear physics. It is a challenging but interesting course which gives students a good foundation to be scientifically literate citizens living in a modern technological society.
Useful Physics Online Resources
The following websites can be used to supplement the learning of physics at various levels:
The Science department regularly organises a range of enrichment activities to complement students' learning in the classroom. Through field trips, site visits to science-related organisations and participation in research-based competitions, students gain first-hand experience about how science may be applied in a real-world context. For example, selected DP1 and S4 students participated in Operation Wallacea Expeditions to Indonesia in 2014 and Madagascar in 2015. Operation Wallacea is an organization that runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes in remote locations across the world. Our students join their programs as research assistants and help the scientists in field surveys through data collection and processing.
A student-produced video to share their experiences in Madagascar: