In the Junior School, all pupils study the same broad range of subjects: Art, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English, Food and Nutrition, French, Geography, History, Information and Communication Technology, Latin, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Physics, Religious Education and Technology. All forms have Games afternoon. Our teaching approaches ensure that our pupils develop their thinking skills, personal capabilities and creativity within the context of these subjects.
In line with the Revised Curriculum of Northern Ireland, all our pupils in the Junior School have classes which address citizenship, personal and social development, health education, employability and careers. In the second year, pupils have the opportunity to choose two languages from French, Latin, Spanish, German and Russian (one must be a European language).
- Art & Design
- Computing & ICT
- Food & Nutrition
- Learning for Life & Work
- Physical Education
- Religious Education
- Technology & Design
As well as meeting the statutory requirements of the NI Curriculum, we aim to develop skills in a wide range of practical disciplines in both two and three dimensions, using traditional and digital media and technologies. We also foster an awareness of art and design (both traditional and contemporary) in a broader sense.
We contribute to the whole-school development of literacy skills by teaching pupils how to analyse the work of other practitioners critically, using the visual language of art and design, and to evaluate their own work and progress. We hope to promote an enjoyment of Art and Design for those pupils who do not intend to study it beyond Key Stage 3, as well as laying the foundation for further study for those who do.
We recognise the importance of our contribution to raising awareness of the range of career opportunities within the creative and cultural industries in Northern Ireland and beyond, and all classes at Key Stage 3 undertake a unit of work linked to real-world design contexts (Corporate Identity, animation and 3d design). We have had guest speakers from Higher Education, industry and past pupils to talk to pupils at both Key Stage 3 and in examination classes.
We believe strongly in the importance of drawing as a fundamental means of expression and communication in art and design, especially the discipline of drawing from first hand sources. We foster good relations through group and pair work, where appropriate, and provide opportunities for the use of digital technologies in each year group. Forms 1 and 3 use Photoshop for design exercises and tonal separations for screen printing and Form 2 produce a stop-motion animation on ipads using iStop Motion and iMovie.
Biology is the science of living things. A biologist tries to find out more about how plants and animals work. Biologists like to know more about what goes on inside you, and inside other plants and animals too. Biology is also concerned with why there are so many different kinds of plants and animals. To a biologist the natural world is full of questions just waiting to be answered.
Aims of the Biology Department
- To develop an enjoyment of, and interest in, Biology.
- To develop an understanding of scientific methods.
- To teach the essential knowledge and understanding of some of the main areas of Biology, and also the skills necessary for pupils to be able to make use of Biology in new and changing situations in society.
- To give pupils a scientific training, either as an end in itself or as an appropriate foundation for further study of Biology or related subjects at KS4, A Level and beyond.
What are living things made of? (Microscopes, cells and organs)
How did I get here? (Reproduction)
Food, Glorious Food (How plants and animals get food)
The Interdependence of plants and animals
Staying Alive! (How the lungs and heart works)
Love Matters (Contraception and STIs)
The Amazing Nervous System
Chemistry is the science that asks questions about materials, the differences between them, how they react with one another and how heat or other forms of energy affect them. What is water made of? What happens when hydrogen burns? How are plastics made? All these questions are of interest to chemists.
Curriculum Key Stage 3
Pupils study the following topics:
- Physical Change
- Chemical Change
- Chemical Analysis
- Acids and Alkalis
- Chemical Equations
Drama is taught to Form 1 and Form 3 pupils, in The Junior School, where they receive one lesson per week. During their time in class, pupils will build their confidence, expertise and knowledge of theatre practices as they will be guided through an exciting range of topics such as Genres of Performance, Theatre Styles and Practitioners. Pupils will be assessed through Performance, the Rehearsal Process and a Written Evaluation.
We have a fully operational Drama Studio for both Rehearsal and Public Performance. GCSE and A Level Examinations are performed here each year. Both the Senior and Junior Drama productions are staged annually in The Whitla Hall. The Senior School Show is performed every November with Form 5, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth Students, whilst the Junior School Show is produced in June and involves pupils from Forms 1-3. Previous School Productions include: School of Rock, Guys and Dolls, Legally Blonde JR and Mary Poppins JR. After-school rehearsals are held for both Examination Classes and the School Productions.
English in Methody has a focus on developing the skills to communicate with confidence and enjoyment at all levels. In all English classes there is strong emphasis on active pupil participation, the practical application of language and the enjoyment of reading and literature in all its types and genres. Group work is very popular and oral activities including discussion, role-play and presentation form a significant part of the pupil experience. The English Department actively encourages the pupils’ abilities to build an argument ‘from scratch’ in support of their own opinions and thoughts on a given topic. We are keen to ensure that literature is not viewed in a vacuum, but is seen in all its contextual relevance (relevance to both its own contemporary audience and a modern-day readership). We work closely with other departments in the College, and are increasingly exploiting the keen links between History and English.
In a bid to increase the idea of relevance in the English classroom, the English Department works hard at providing real-world audiences for the pupils, taking their writing far beyond the confines of the basic teacher-pupil readership. Writing, both fiction and non-fiction, for real audiences is always encouraged and nurtured. Our pupils enter a wide range of competitions and regularly have poems published in anthologies such as Poetry in Motion and Young Writers, as well as the College magazine. The Inter-Schools Creative Writers Network, led by former MCB English teacher and novelist Dr Sheena Wilkinson (assisted by current MCB teacher Mrs Devlin) has seen great success with the publication of another excellent Anthology featuring writing from MCB students, as well as pupils from Belfast INST, Sullivan Upper, Victoria College and Aquinas. Recently, past pupil and regular Writers Network attender Dervla Carroll (2015 leaver) has seen great success, being named by the BBC as the top up-and-coming young poet in Ireland.
Indeed, the English Department offers one of the widest ranges of Extra-Curricular activities of any subject in MCB: from our Junior and Senior Hewitt Societies for Creative Writing (named after Methody Alumnus John Hewitt), to Junior and Senior Debating Societies. Additionally, we offer a popular Sixth Form Enrichment Class in ‘World Literature’ which meets every week, not mention a successful ‘News Team’ in operation in Middle and Senior school.
When appropriate and relevant to what the pupils are learning, we take English out of the classroom. We are lucky to have a passionate and deeply interested Librarian here in Methody, and all pupils have access to a well-stocked and carefully curated collection of books. Miss Patterson also leads invaluable introductory lessons each year on how to best use the Library to its fullest potential. All pupils have the opportunity to visit the cinema and theatre, and we are strong advocates of the ‘Read-On’ programme. Junior pupils have enjoyed visits from leading authors such as Alan Gibbons, Cathy Cassidy, Lee Weatherly, Dan Freedman, Darren Shaw and Anthony Horowitz.
The English Department in MCB is keen that ALL pupils have an enriching and rewarding experience of studying English with us. In our well-equipped specialist rooms, we make use of audio-visual and computer facilities, and are particularly proud of our extensive Fronter resources and how these contribute to the independent learning of the pupils in all year groups throughout the subject. In Junior School, we offer spelling programmes in each year which aim to contribute to a growing vocabulary familiarity and consequently add to the effectiveness with which a pupil can express themselves orally and on the page. The English Department operates a thorough support system designed to identify and support those pupils who might be finding aspects of the study of English particularly challenging and frightening, for example our EAL students. Research skills are developed from Form 1 right through to A Level, and pupils will produce projects on a variety of interesting, relevant and engaging topics throughout their time with us.
In the last 8 weeks of teaching prior to External Exams, the English Dept run weekly Revision Lectures and designated Study Clinics for Form 5, Lower 6th and Upper 6th, and each Easter, we run an intensive Easter Study Day for Upper Sixth students. All of this is done to maximise the students’ understanding and confidence in the subject as they approach their final exams.
The Sheila Smyth Lecture
These lectures are held in memory of Sheila Smyth, and were inaugurated by Michael and Edna Longley in 1997. The College continues to endeavour to bring our Sixth Form students the experience of listening to and learning from a selection of successful writers, critics and broadcasters, all of whom have strong links with Northern Ireland. To date, our speakers have been:
1997 - Michael Longley
1998 - Glenn Patterson
1999 - Helen Lewis
2000 - Marie Jones
2001 - Jennifer Johnston
2002 - Frank McGuiness
2003 - Bernard MacLaverty
2004 - Colm Toibin
2005 - Seamus Heaney
2006 - Lucy Caldwell
2007 - Carlo Gebler
2008 - Paul Muldoon
2009 - Mick Gordon
2010 - Ian Sansom
2011 - Sinead Morrissey
2012 - Peter McDonald
2013 - Brian McGilloway
2014 - Peter Hollywood
2015 - Ciaran Carson
2017 - Alan Gillis
2018 - Andy White
2019 - Marie-Louise Muir
The French Department teaches French as a core subject to all pupils in the first three years. In the French Department we strive to develop the ability of young people to use French effectively and with confidence.
Our aim is to make the study of French an enjoyable experience and to develop an awareness of the French language while encouraging an imaginative, practical and creative approach to it.
Facilities and Resources
Use of ICT is made at all levels. There is a range of audio-visual materials and French ICT packages. Pupils have access to interactive materials and MCB google classrooms which are used as part of their learning and assessment. Pupils regularly give presentations and the Internet is increasingly used to access background information.
Foreign Language Assistants
The principal contribution of the foreign language assistants is in the sixth form where they conduct well-planned conversation classes, where timetabling permits they may also teach GCSE groups. In addition assistants can participate in language-related cultural activities with all age groups. The presence of a native speaker brings the subject alive and encourages authentic use of the French language.
Pupils in Forms 1 – 2 Encore Tricolore 1, Form 3 use Studio 2 Rouge as their main textbook. These books are supplemented with linked workbooks and grammar exercises.
Trips and Exchanges
Visits to France provide junior pupils with the opportunity to use their French in real situations, as well as gaining an insight into the French way of life. We have an extremely successful trip to Paris in Form 3, and an e-twinning programme had been piloted for junior pupils in some teaching groups.
Food & Nutrition is a highly relevant, vibrant subject undertaken enthusiastically by all pupils at Key Stage 3 .
Pupils have regular experience of practical activities in which they are encouraged to develop a range of skills, including food preparation skills, organisational skills, problem solving abilities, working as part of a team and time management.
Independent learning is important, with teachers providing support through ICT and handouts where necessary. The emphasis is on investigation, acquiring new concepts and community ideas both in written and oral form. By using a variety of teaching and learning strategies pupils engage with key issues in a meaningful way.
Curriculum Key Stage 3
Food & Nutrition is taught as a discreet subject in KS3 to all year 8, 9 and 10 pupils, in addition to fulfilling the requirements as one of the 4 Learning for Life and Work (LLW) required components.
Food & Nutrition provides pupils with opportunities to explore real issues relevant to real-life contexts. These experiences lead to the development of a wide range of transferable skills.
In Years 8, 9 and 10 pupils get the opportunity to examine key concepts in relation to:
- Healthy Eating
- Home and Family Life
- Independent Living
Each year is divided into a series of booklets which are designed to be enjoyable, challenging and relevant for our pupils. A wide range of practical cookery is built into each booklet so that pupils can develop a range of important skills such as working with others, thinking for themselves, cooking skills and using equipment.
The Geography Department in Methody aims to give all pupils a wide range of skills, experiences and knowledge which reflect the breadth and changing nature of Geography. The Department mixes the best of the traditional approaches and values of the subject with new, challenging geographical ideas and examples which arise from a constantly changing world. We believe that fieldwork is an essential and practical method of stimulating a sense of wonder in our environment. The everyday use of ICT in our teaching is strong and vital; helping to provide structure, support and stimulus to learning in the classroom and at home.
Form One study is mainly skills based and introduces pupils to fieldwork, atlas use and map work. It concludes with a study of a rapidly changing local area of Belfast. The course is very practical and uses a wide range of active learning approaches. It includes a field based study of land-use changes on the Lower Lisburn Road.
The main focus of the Form Two course is Places. A regional approach helps us look at what makes places different and special. We begin with a wider look at the countries of Asia. We study the physical and human geography of Japan in more detail. Physical Geography is the focus for the introduction to Weather and Climate topic, which pupils study after the Christmas break. The Spring term includes a fieldtrip to Ballintoy on the North Antrim Coast, which provides a great opportunity to see how our landscape can be shaped by natural forces and human activity. This gives Junior School pupils an introduction to basic Geology.
The Form Three geography course is based around three main themes. We begin the year by introducing Geographical Information Systems, GIS. This gives pupils an opportunity to use new technology and skills in the presentation, interpretation and analysis of digital data. Using Ipads, handheld GPS devices, traditional and online mapping resources, pupils are experiencing 21st century geographical research techniques. They will experience using Crime Mapping, Google Earth, and ArcGIS software.
Pupils will then study Brazil, focusing on life in the urban areas, then moving on to the study of the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon provides a stimulating look at how traditional peoples live and how deforestation is changing this unique ecosystem. Pupils take part in a range of active learning exercises, including designing their own rainforest animal, building a favela, and virtual fieldwork in the Amazon!
We conclude Key Stage Three with a Development, looking at the contrasts in living standards across the globe. We look at development solutions such as fair trade and appropriate aid.
MCB Geography Ballintoy
As only half of Form 2 managed to get to Ballintoy this year. MCB Geography Department decided to return and film the field trip.
Click the link below to watch:
German is the mother tongue of more Europeans than any other language. It is the first language of some 90 million people in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Northern Italy, and is spoken in many other countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Culturally and commercially it is one of the world's most important languages. Who can imagine physics without Einstein or music without Bach?
Germany is a major trading partner of the UK and Ireland. Frankfurt and London are the EU's leading financial centres. German is a valuable asset for careers in science, fashion, communications, business and tourism.
Pupils in each Form have access to Kerboodle (www.kerboodle.com) - a new, interactive language course which makes excellent use of technology to teach German. This is supplemented using other technology such as Quizlet, Quizizz and Kahoot!
Learning German encourages pupils to develop their ICT skills alongside their language skills.
Opportunities to speak German in Methody
The German exchange takes place every 2nd year and goes to Kirchseeon, 25 minutes east of Munich. Unfortunately the last exchange was unable to take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, though we were delighted to have been able to welcome the Germans to Belfast in October 2019. This exchange is open to all pupils studying German in Forms 3.
We are very grateful to have the support of the Goethe Institut and the UK German Connection, who provide help in promoting German. Many of our pupils have benefitted from their initiatives.
The Friends of the Goethe-Institut London is a charity which focuses on social mobility projects and provides young people from the UK with a first-hand experience of Germany. One of their projects is a Work Shadowing Programme in Schwäbisch Hall. Abbie Fitzsimmons was fortunate to be selected for the programme in October 2019, following a competitive application.
UK-German Connection is a bilateral government initiative for school and youth links. It was established in 2005 and is funded and governed by the UK and German governments, British Council and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst. Bringing young people together lies at the heart of their work. They offer a dedicated linking service and offer complementary funding for UK-German activity as well as a range of bilateral programmes, trips and seminars. Networks and virtual activities facilitate the active involvement of young people in the development of UK-German youth relations. A number of pupils from Methody has been selected for language courses in Germany, seminars in Northern Ireland and Germany and, this year, webinars.
During Lockdown, Form 2 were asked to complete a project on the famous Bavarian castle, Schloss Neuschwanstein, the inspiration for the Disney castle. Here are two examples of quality work produced by Eve Woods and Sinead Quah.
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without rootsMarcus Garvey
All pupils study history from Forms 1-3, giving them a good overview of recent world history. We start in Form 1 with a course to develop the skills of historian, which dips into various periods of history in order to teach concepts such as causation, interpretations, chronology and significance. We then look at four main topics – Voyages of exploration, Reformation, Spanish Armada and Gunpowder Plot. Each of these topics look at life in Tudor England and provide opportunities for dressing up, role play and creativity.
In Form 2, pupils look at the American West and the life of the Plains Indians. We then start to explore who else travel west , and how that impacted on the Plains Indians. During the Spring term, we continue our study of American history by exploring the lives of Black People in the Americas, dealing with slavery and civil rights. Finally in Form 3, World War One is the first topic we investigate, and we use some personal history to look at how WW1 affected those boys who had come to MCB. This is made particularly real for those pupils who go on the school trip to Belgium in June, where they are able to find the names of MCB pupils on various memorials and graveyards. In the second half of Form 3, we move onto WW2 era, and Hitler, understanding what it was like to live in Germany during his rule. The final study in Form 3 is a local study of Ireland before and after partition, reaching right up to the Troubles.
Latin is studied by all pupils in Form One and a large number of those in Form 2 and Form 3. Through the study of Latin, pupils are taught language, translation, comprehension and learning skills. In addition, they find out about life in Roman times in places such as Pompeii,. Roman Britain and Roman Egypt. The Cambridge Latin Course is used in each of these years and a dedicated website is available to help with the study of the language (www.cambridgescp.com).
Trips to Government Buildings at Stormont are an important part of the programme for local citizenship. All pupils in Form 2 took part in the KS3 session which included a mock election, a debate in the Debating Chamber and a tour of the building.
All Form 3 classes had the opportunity to attend a workshop led by Rym Akhonzada. Rym, originally from Tunisia, runs Interlingua NI, a business providing language classes and translating services. She has helped with the re-settling of Syrian refugees through her fluency in Arabic. During the workshops, pupils were made aware of some of the issues facing refugees, learnt some Arabic and had the opportunity to have a henna design on their hands.
Mathematics is fundamental to life in the sense that its unique language and forms of notation help us to calculate, estimate and problem solve. It also informs many of the choices and decisions we make about real life issues and challenges and the actions we subsequently take.
Through engagement with issues which have current and future relevance to young people, teachers can help pupils to see the relevance of mathematics to real life. Mathematics and Numeracy includes the contributory elements of Mathematics and Financial Capability.
All classes in Forms 1-3 follow common resources which allow the development of mathematical understanding and application. Written feedback within formal homework and assessments identifies areas for improvement alongside meeting the high demands of mathematical accuracy and presentation of solutions. Individual support is offered through staff and the use of L6th mentors.
Fronter and the departmental YouTube channel provide a wide range of resources and support material.
Other activities at this level include:
UKMT Junior Maths Challenge
UKMT Team Challenge
QUB Maths Week / Masterclasses
Explore Learning Maths Award
MCB Maths Society
Music has been regarded as important at Methody from the time of the College's foundation in 1868. The central philosophy has always been to involve as many individuals as possible, in as many areas as may be provided, to the highest standard attainable.
The musical life of the College may be viewed as two parallel paths - curricular activities and co-curricular pursuits. There has never been a conscious value judgement claiming that one of these areas is to be regarded as more important than the other. Rather, each tends to complement the other.
In Key Stage Three we try to ensure a progression of skills, which include Listening, Composing, Performing and Appraising. This gives us a good basis on which to start the GCSE course in Form Four.
IT is used in nearly all aspects of the music course. Composition classes are held in a computer suite and most classes have the opportunity to use Sibelius software to create their own pieces. Form One also uses the internet to research information for their projects on musical instruments.
Facilities and Resources
The Music Department is assigned as "G" Block on the campus. It is a purpose-built unit, added at the rear of the Whitla Hall in the early 1970s. There are two general-purpose rooms for class music, an electronic keyboard room (H6), one smaller room used chiefly for the GCSE and 'A' level courses, three store rooms and several studios or practice rooms which are used by the instrumental tutors.
The College has a stock of instruments which are made available to pupils, on request. From time to time, as resources permit, additional or replacement instruments are purchased. The College appreciates the value to pupils of the ready availability of instruments from the Belfast Education and Library Board, through the City of Belfast School of Music, and from the South Eastern Board.
The Chapel of Unity is situated at the heart of the campus, very close to the Music Department. Musicians are encouraged to play an active part in the life of the Chapel. As well as the daily assemblies, there are also regular annual services in the School calendar, such as the Remembrance Service, several Carol Services, termly communion services and a Leavers' Service at the end of the summer term. Music plays a central, supporting role in all of these events.
Main Music Groups
The main performing groups in the College are:
- Methodist College Girls’ Choir
- Methodist College Chapel Choir
- The Band
- Irish Traditional Group
- Senior Orchestra
- The Methodist College Jazz Band
- Senior Choir
- Junior Choir
Please see the extra-curricular section for more information about these groups.
To promote the physical, personal and social well being of all pupils, irrespective of ability, by offering a challenging and enjoyable practical experience through a balanced, progressive and relevant activity-based programme.
- To acquire and refine a range of physical skills and develop an awareness of relevant safety procedures.
- To achieve their potential at their own level of participation.
- To experience and appreciate the contribution of physical activity and the benefit of exercise towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- To experience enjoyment of physical activity in school and in preparation for continued participation during leisure time and into adult life.
- To develop an awareness of the aesthetic and creative nature of movement.
- To develop an ability to plan, evaluate and improve performance in a range of activities.
- To appreciate the significance of co-operation and competition in physical activity and develop positive social, moral and sporting attitudes.
Physical Education and Games
The vast majority of pupils in MCB (Key stage 3 and 4) benefit from a combination of single PE lessons (50 mins) together with a double lesson of timetabled Games through which the Northern Ireland Curriculum is delivered. In addition, a limited number of pupils may opt for GCSE Physical Education
MCB is a ‘split site’ school and it is appropriate in a practical and planning sense to distinguish between PE and Games. PE is taught on the main school campus concentrating for the most part on Swimming, Gymnastics, Minor Games, Health Related PE, Athletics and Dance. Games, however, mostly take place off site at Pirrie Park playing fields and several other venues in close proximity to the College, concentrating on the major sports of Rugby, Hockey, Rowing, Netball, Athletics, Cricket and Tennis.
PE is taught by specialists, while Games, although involving the PE Department, is dependent on the additional support of numerous non-PE members of staff, where emphasis is given over to skill development and team building in keeping with the traditional nature of competitive Games within Methodist College.
Key Stage 3 Provision
Form 1 – 1 x PE Lessons/1 Double Games Lesson
Boys Games Choice – Rugby/Hockey; Athletics/Cricket
Girls Games Choice - Hockey/Netball; Athletics/Tennis/Rounders
Form 2 & Form 3 – 1 x PE Lesson/1 Double Games Lesson
Boys Games Choice – Rugby/Hockey Athletics/Cricket/Tennis & *Rowing* (*3rd Form Only)
Girls Games Choice - Hockey/Netball/Multi-Activity; Athletics/Tennis/Rounders
The PE programme at Key Stage 3 is a modular/progressive one that allows as much as possible for concepts to be revisited and developed over the three years. The school year is best divided into four approximately equal blocks of 6-7 weeks from September through to Easter, followed by a summer term programme which may vary in length.
The four block programme rotates with all pupils within a year group following the same scheme of work. It is hoped, however, that these schemes will not be so prescriptive that individual teaching style and special areas of study are prevented. Pupils are assessed informally throughout each module and this together with representation on school teams forms the basis for end of year comments on school reports.
The aims of the Physics Department
- To stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Physics and its methods of enquiry.
- To acquire a systematic body of scientific knowledge and to develop an understanding of Physics, including its power and its limitations.
- To enable students to acquire sufficient understanding and knowledge to become confident citizens in a technological world, able to take or develop an informed interest in matters of scientific import.
- To develop skills and abilities with re relevant to the study and practice of Physics, are useful in everyday life, and encourage safe practice and effective communication.
- To develop an understanding of the nature of scientific ideas and activity and the basis for scientific claims.
- To develop attitudes relevant to Physics, such as initiative, inventiveness, objectivity, integrity and a concern for accuracy and precision.
- To promote an awareness of the technological and environmental applications of Physics and their economic, ethical and social implications.
Forms 1 & 2 Physics, as well as Biology and Chemistry, are taught in General Science classes (6 periods per fortnight).
All Form 1 pupils start with ‘How do I become a good scientist’ which covers laboratory safety, practical measurements and analysis of results. Following this, each Science is covered through two general themes - ‘Size’ and ‘Changes’.
Form 1 topics studied:
- Earth & Space
Form 2 topics studied:
- Using Electricity
- Light in all its colours
After Form 2, pupils move in to separate classes for their three sciences (3 periods per fortnight, per Science)
Form 3 topics studied:
- Heat transfer
Throughout the Junior school, pupils studying Physics have opportunities to enhance their understanding of the material by completing practical work in class, in groups or individually.
Throughout the Junior school, pupils studying Physics have opportunities to enhance their understanding of the material by completing practical work in class, in groups or individually.
All pupils have the opportunity to study Physics at GCSE, and in 2020/21 almost 70% of Form 4 opted to continue with Physics in Middle school. In Forms 4 & 5 topics previously covered are revisited in more detail, and new topics introduced.
When opportunities arise, pupils from all Key stages have the opportunities to attend lectures or workshops outside school.
Religious Education is taught to every pupil in the College through independent research, projects, discussions, developing analytical skills, use of ICT and reflective thought on key issues.
In Religious Education we aim to help pupils:
- Think for themselves, giving reasons and opinions on moral and religious issues;
- Explore matters of religious belief, including areas which people of religion disagree;
- Gain knowledge of the Bible stories. Centring on the life and teachings of Christ;
- Understand the beliefs and practices of religious traditions other than their own in an open-minded and tolerant way;
The N.I. Core Curriculum for Religious Education covers the following assessment objectives over the three years:
- The Revelation of God
- The Christian Church
- Morality and World Religions.
The Russian Department is responsible for the teaching of Russian from Form Two upwards. Through the study of Russian, students are taught listening, speaking, reading comprehension and writing skills.
MCB is the only school in Northern Ireland to offer Russian to its students.
Facilities and Resources
The main text books used for Russian are Novaya Iskra to GCSE. Use is made at all levels of a range of audiovisual materials and subject specific ICT packages. The Internet is regularly used to access background information. Notes for pupils are placed on the Learning Resources area of the College’s computer network.
Emphasis is placed on a thorough knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Source based and analytical essay writing skills are fostered at all levels.
Spanish is spoken by at least an estimated 350 million people around the world and is currently the 4th most commonly spoken language worldwide. Only Mandarin, English and Hindi have more speakers. Spanish is an official language on four continents and is the mother tongue in 21 countries. The sheer number of Spanish speakers and their rate of growth makes learning Spanish a smart choice.
The Spanish department aims to promote the learning of Spanish throughout the school. In learning Spanish, pupils learn to appreciate the culture and ways of life of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. The language can be taken as an option in Form 2. Pupils can then go on the study Spanish to GCSE and A Level or to drop the subject at the end of Form 3.
The main course book used for the lower school is Así. There is the provision of satellite television with a Spanish channel. Various videos are used to supplement teaching.
Educational Trips and Exchanges
In recent years the Spanish Department has taken trips to Andalucía in southern Spain, with pupils visiting Granada, Malaga and Sevilla, and also several trips to Barcelona. There is also an exchange scheme with Granada College in the south of Spain and many pupils have stayed with Spanish pupils and hosted them in return.
What is Technology and Design? To many people, Technology is woodwork and metalwork but this kind of approach to engineering has long since disappeared and the emphasis is now on systems, computers, materials and processes.
Technology is the study of skills and has grown to include the study of practical materials, skills and knowledge. Technology is more than just a study of theory, it is practical. It is the application of technical and scientific knowledge and skills. Technology students study advances made in science and engineering and then use this knowledge to solve everyday problems.
Technology is all about solving problems or developing products to meet a particular real world need. A Technologist will use engineering skills and ideas to design and manufacture technological products to meet needs.
All pupils in Forms One to Three study technology and then choose it as an option in Form four, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.
The aims of the Technology and Design curriculum are:
- To develop and sustain pupil innovation, creativity and Technology and Design capability.
- To enable pupils to apply the essential knowledge, understanding and skills to the design production process to allow pupils to solve problems successfully.
- To develop autonomy when taking a project to completion.
- To be aware of technological advancement and how it can affect our society and environment.
- To develop and stimulate interest into how technological products work and how they can be improved. Use ICT to enhance pupils’ technological capability.