Biology, the study of living organisms, plays a crucial role in our everyday existence and is an increasingly important subject in the modern world. Biology affects everyone and aims to find solutions to many of the world’s problems. Advances in technologies have made this varied subject more exciting and relevant than ever. Biology courses should encourage development of skills and resourcefulness which lead to becoming a confident individual. Successful candidates in biology think creatively, analyse and solve problems. Studying relevant areas of biology such as health, environment and sustainability produces responsible citizens. Source – SQA Course Specification
The Biology courses, at all levels, seek to develop problem-solving skills and enhance understanding of some of the main concepts which exist in the living environment around us.
In S1 and S2, pupils will study each of the Sciences through a series of units in order to develop their scientific understanding, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. From S3, pupils will be able to pick each of the discrete Sciences.
In S3, pupils have 3 periods a week of Biology. There are a number of units covered in the S3 course which enhance pupils’ understanding of the fields of Biology and offer the opportunity to develop a variety of skills for life and work. These include:
· Cell Biology
· Animal Physiology
In S4, pupils in the Biology department will start their National courses.
National 3, 4 and 5 Biology are each composed of three units:
· Cell Biology
· Multicellular Organisms
· Life on Earth
National 3 and National 4 Biology are internally assessed with a formal assessment at the end of each of the units. National 5 is externally assessed with an end of course assessment set by the SQA and a written experimental assignment which is completed in school and marked externally.
In the Senior Phase there are three further discrete National Qualifications in the Biology Department: Higher Biology, Higher Human Biology and Advanced Higher Biology.
The Higher Biology course is offered to candidates who have a C or above in National 5 Biology or Environmental Science. The aim of the course is to allow pupils to develop an understanding of the living world and enhance their application, problem-solving and analytical skills within a Biological context.
The course is composed of three units:
· DNA and the genome
· Metabolism and survival
· Sustainability and interdependence