Biology is a fascinating, popular and useful subject. In St. Columba’s College we aim to enthuse, inform and raise awareness about all aspects of the living world and about the functioning of our own bodies. In so doing we also aim to prepare pupils for their certificate exams to as high a level as possible, and to prepare them for their roles as decision-making, responsible and interested members of society. 

The Biology Department in St Columba’s is centred around the state of the art Biology Laboratory, housed in a purpose-built and recently renovated Science Building. The Biology Laboratory was custom designed to facilitate a collaborative and investigative approach to science education and is stocked with the best science and ICT equipment.

All pupils follow an integrated science course leading to the Junior Certificate examination at the end of form III. In Transition Year pupils may opt separately for Biology, and the TY course aims to enthuse and inform pupils about the living world as well as to provide a context for, and solid grounding in, the concepts and skills needed for the Leaving Certificate course in Forms V and VI.

Biology is continually the most popular of the non-compulsory subjects at Leaving Certificate in SCC, and all pupils are prepared initially for the Higher Level examination (over each of the past 6 years only one or two pupils in each cohort have sat the examination at Ordinary Level).  

There is a proud tradition in Biology in SCC and over the past three years for example, over 90% of pupils achieving an A, B or C grade at Higher Level (compared with a national average of 56%). Typically, 30-35% of pupils achieve an A grade at Higher Level.

In Form V there is a four day compulsory trip to the Burren region in County Clare, on which field work is carried out regarding: use of identification keys, quantitative and qualitative sampling techniques, seashore ecology, ecological succession in coastal sand dunes, the unique flora of the Burren and adaptations for life in different environments. 

The annual Biology prize is open to members of Forms IV, V and VI.

Biology Department Staff

Humphrey Jones, BScEd, PGDipGC (Head of Biology & Agricultural Science)

Peter Jackson, BSc, HDipEd

Karen Hennessy, BSc

Andrew Mitchel, BSc

Lorraine Harrahill, BScEd