Leadership for a better world

Science Department

Science is the study of the world around us. The Biology department is alive with animals and plants of different varieties, and while some are there to be appreciated in their living form, others enable students to dissect and explore. The Chemistry department offers the bangs and the bubbles, while the Physics department remains one of reason, applying the laws and the theories to explain the many mysteries of the ever-expanding universe.

The Science department at Harrow International has dedicated Science specialist teachers who instil enthusiasm and excitement in students throughout the Upper School. Students are encouraged to acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them to make informed and ethical decisions. They are offered the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the world in which we live, while also following the developments as they happen and giving consideration to the mysteries that still remain. 

Please visit the department's blog for regular updates.

Curriculum Information 

Prep School (Years 6-8)
Prep School students have three Science lessons every week and they cover a variety of topics, from all three Science subjects. Through Year 6 to 8, students follow the Exploring Science: Working Scientifically British Key Stage 3 syllabus, which prepares them effectively for their IGCSE courses that follow. Practical activities are a focus of all Prep Science lessons and students are encouraged continuously to develop their investigative skills.

Senior School (Years 9-11)

All students complete the Edexcel IGCSE courses in all three Science subjects over three years. In Year 11, the majority of students sit two papers in each Science to gain three Separate Science IGCSEs.

In Biology, students complete topics covering the following areas: Organisms and Life Processes, Animal Physiology, Plant Physiology, Ecology and Environments, Variation and Selection and Microorganisms and Genetic Engineering.

In Chemistry, students complete topics covering the following areas: Principles of Chemistry, Chemistry of the Elements, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Chemistry in Industry.

In Physics, students complete topics covering the following areas: Forces and motion, Electricity, Waves, Energy Resources and Energy Transfer, Solids, Liquids and Gases, Magnetism and Electromagnetism, Radioactivity and Particles.

Sixth Form (Years 12-13)

Students complete the Edexcel International A-level course, offered in the three Science subjects. In each Science, students sit three units in Year 12 and gain an IAS-level qualification. Those who wish to continue on to A2 complete a further three units in Year 13 and gain an IA-level in their chosen subject.

In Biology, students complete the following units:

Unit 1 – Lifestyle, Transport, Genes and Health
Unit 2 – Development, Plants and the Environment
Unit 4 – The Natural Environment and Species Survival
Unit 5 – Energy, Exercise and Coordination

In Chemistry, students complete the following units:

Unit 1 – The Core Principles of Chemistry
Unit 2 – The Application of Core Principles of Chemistry
Unit 4 – Rates, Equilibria, and Further Organic Chemistry
Unit 5 – Transition Metals and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry

In Physics, students complete the following units:

Unit 1 – Physics of the Go
Unit 2 – Physics at Work
Unit 4 – Physics of the Move
Unit 5 – Physics from Creation to Collapse

Units 3 and 6 in each of the Sciences are written examination papers based on practical work studied during the IA-level course. These units develop students’ understanding of How Science Works through development of their investigative and analytical skills. There is no coursework component to any of the Science courses.

Each Science IA-level course is fascinating and rewarding for those prepared to accept the intellectual challenge offered. Students are given the opportunity to develop skills that are transferable to almost any Higher Education course, particularly science related subjects including engineering and medicine.

Outside the Classroom   

Many different events take place in the Science department throughout the academic year, including Science Week, in which students participate in fun and exciting lessons beyond the syllabus and they get involved with Science-related inter-house competitions.

Throughout the year, we also invite many guest lecturers to visit the school to talk to students about their exciting areas of research at universities in the UK and Hong Kong. Year 7, 9 and Sixth Form students participate in their own lecture competitions annually, where they develop their research and presentation skills.

The Physics department also encourages keen physicists to participate in the GCSE, AS-level and A2 British Physics Olympiad competitions, and students are supported in these by the Physics Olympiad Science Clubs run in conjunction with the ECA programme. The Physics department runs the Experimental Project Club in which an interesting problem is posed that is then investigated. This gives students hands-on experience of how experimental research is carried out by planning and undertaking open-ended experiments and independent research, communicating their findings in the style of an academic paper.

Further extra-curricular opportunities also take place within the Science department, including Prep School Science Club and Senior School Crest Award. These both offer students the chance to further develop their practical and investigative skills beyond the syllabus. Those who complete a Crest project receive a recognised award from the British Science Association.    


Head of Department: Miss Z. Holliday