Science at St Columba’s is taught in our newly re-furbished building equipped with modern facilities. Senior I to Senior II pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics in rotation.

Thereafter pupils can take these subjects to National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level.





National 5 Biology is an exciting new course and covers: cell biology, multicellular organisms and life on earth. The assignment element allows pupils to pursue a personal interest in one of these areas.

At Higher level pupils start to gain a sense of just how vast a subject Biology is and to explore the impact that Biology has on both the environment and society, studying DNA and the genome, metabolism and survival, and sustainability and interdependence.

Advanced Higher is a challenging and exciting course of study which provides an opportunity for pupils to spend time investigating an area of particular interest to them.

Classroom teaching is enhanced by trips to places like Edinburgh Zoo in Senior I and Science Live in Senior V, where pupils have the opportunity to hear from top scientists like Professor Robert Winston.


This department aims to engage pupils through experimental work and help them to discover the magic of Chemistry.

The subject is essential for pupils hoping to study medicine, veterinary science, pharmacology and biotechnology. It is necessary also for those interested in research and the application of chemistry itself, molecular science and many engineering-based subjects.

Pupils gain a fascinating insight into the physical matter of everything around them. Teaching incorporates ‘learning by discovery’ methods and through practical investigations pupils extend their observational, evaluating and manipulative skills. Pupils benefit from a state-of-the art learning facility.

Help is always on hand at a number of supported study sessions throughout the year.  Chemistry prefects provide lunchtime drop-in classes to assist younger pupils with classwork, revision or homework problems.

Chemistry can be taken to National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level.


Physicists are unravelling the deepest mysteries of the universe and might one day even solve the greatest question of all in Physics and for humans - how did the universe start? The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest scientific experiment ever made by man, may just give mankind the answers they have been looking for. The LHC is a particle accelerator and this type of technology, developed by physicists, is also used to increase the cancer survival rate by using sophisticated high energy machines that can deliver beams of energetic electrons to malignant tumours. Satellite communications and GPS are also made possible by Physics. In the St Columba’s Physics department we are using a mix of modern and traditional techniques to excite pupils about the possibilities offered by the study of Physics and to develop their ability to problem-solve.

Physics can be taken to National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher level.

Pupils are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular opportunities such as the ‘Headstart’ programme, which gives them a taste of technology-based careers, or the Scottish Space School, which offers lectures and labs delivered by leading academics and researchers, and is supported by NASA astronauts and engineers.


Psychology develops a range of skills, which span both the sciences and arts and opens up employment options in a wide number of areas, such as education, human resources, policing, marketing and financial services.

Higher Psychology is offered to Senior VI students and is an extremely popular subject choice. The course is divided into three units: Individual Behaviour, Research and Social Behaviour.