STEM & Innovation School
Our Maths, Science and Technology courses are exciting, engaging, and have real-life implications in the world we live in today. Through all subjects on offer, pupils develop valuable interdisciplinary skills in problem solving, logical thinking and numeracy, all of which are vital in the workplace.
65% of pupils beginning School today will work in jobs which don’t exist yet; making sure our Senior pupils are prepared for our ever-changing digital and technological world is very important to us, and this is reflected in the curriculum.
Curiosity is nurtured, and at all stages pupils are encouraged to be open-minded and questioning, in order to appreciate the value of maths, science and technology in their own lives.
The teachers at KA have a real passion for Maths, Science & Technology – which is communicated in all subjects and classes, whether it be in the more supported S1 and S2 environments or a more independent S6 AH. Students are gradually given more initiative and independence as they progress through the Senior School.
On entering the Biology Department, there is a real sense of life as befits this branch of science. The Department is very well equipped and housed within two large and bright teaching laboratories not to mention a mini zoo of snakes, fish and insects.
Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.
Each stage of a pupil’s time in Biology will offer a wide range of topics, from large scale ecology and study of the workings of the human body through to the microscopic level with cell and molecular biology.
The learning experience that a pupil will have in Biology starts with a fascinating and varied look at the diverse topics Biology has to offer.
- Have you ever wondered what the inside of a snake looks like?
- Can genes be switched on and off?
- Is there such a thing as ‘good bacteria’?
- Why does bread taste sweet after chewing?
Chemistry is the study of atomic particles and how they combine and react. Pupils acquire a knowledge and understanding of chemical patterns and apply them to both familiar and unfamiliar situations. Whilst theoretical ideas form the basis of all learning, this is a highly practical subject and a third of lesson time is spent carrying out practical work.
Chemistry begins in the stars. The stars are the source of the chemical elements, which are the building blocks of matter and the core of our subject.
The SP-S2 courses are taught initially by whole class teaching using common course materials but there is still an emphasis on the development of practical skills. Throughout the year pupils are encouraged to develop their thinking skills and to become independent learners whilst carrying out a variety of exciting investigations and experiments.
Computing Science is an exciting and evolving discipline which is driving innovation and radically changing every aspect of our society. More and more of the everyday devices we use to live, work and socialise rely on Computing Science to function. Digital literacy is a fundamental skill and so understanding computer science is part of the necessary skill set for an academically well-rounded person in today’s world.
Everyone should learn to code, it teaches you how to think.
Computing is intellectually stimulating and challenging. It requires clear logical thinking, problem solving, imagination, creativity, working independently and as part of a team, sound organisational skills and good management skills. These are transferable skills, highly valued in any profession.
At KA we ensure that pupils have access to the latest hardware and software. The Department has two spacious computer suites, each with 20 desktops for pupils, and all fully networked and equipped with Smartboard technology.
There is also a new innovative computing space in the refurbishing ‘Thinking Space’ Library which is an open access area, equipped with 14 computers. These can be used by pupils during breaks and study periods, to do assignments, access their e-mail accounts or to use the Internet, in an environment where the appropriate security mechanisms are in place.
As the common language of the sciences, mathematics enables people across time, cultures and disciplines to communicate and collaborate in the development of human knowledge.
Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.
Shakuntala Devi, Indian Writer and Mental Calculator
During the first four years at KA, pupils lay the foundations required for the National 5 exam whilst studying beyond the confines of the usual curriculum. Regardless of ability in mathematics, we give every pupil the opportunity to be challenged, supported and inspired. Thereafter, pupils can progress to SQA Higher and onwards to SQA Advanced Highers in Mathematics.
Our pupils develop their confidence and competence in basic skills, which allows them to mature into independent problem solvers who enjoy the challenges of the subject and can judge when to utilise appropriate technology. Beyond the syllabus, pupils from all years have the opportunity to regularly participate in both local, Scottish and National Mathematical Competitions.
We study physics for three main reasons: physics is interesting, physics is useful, and physics enables a wide variety of careers. Physics can be as practical as calculating the stresses in a bridge or as abstract as mapping the curved space-time near a black hole.
It studies systems ranging in size from the smallest elementary particles to the entire universe. Physics is at the heart of everything.
Nothing happens until something moves.
In S3 and S4 the study of well-known physics applications is intended to stimulate interest and increase motivation of pupils of a wide range of ability. All learners should gain an understanding of the 3 study units for National 5 exams: Electricity and Energy, Waves and Radiation, and Dynamics and Space.
In S5 and S6 pupils are encouraged to develop skills in making critical and evaluative comment. Advances in physics mean that our view of what is possible is continually being updated. This is reflected in the course, allowing pupils to deepen their understanding of the processes behind scientific advances.