The purpose of the Course is to develop learners’ interest and enthusiasm for biology in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed, throughout the Course, by investigating the applications of biology. This will enable learners to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims they will meet.
The course is designed for students who wish to continue their study of Biology beyond National 5 and who may wish to progress to Advanced Higher.
Recommended Entry: While entry is at the discretion of the centre, pupils would normally have obtained an A or B pass at National 5 Biology.
Units – Title and Brief Description
Biology: DNA and the Genome (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge through study of DNA and the genome. The Unit covers the key areas of structure and replication of DNA, gene expression, and the genome. This Unit explores the molecular basis of evolution and biodiversity, while the unity of life is emphasised in the study of gene expression. This approach enables the development of both analytical thinking and problem solving skills in context. An understanding of gene expression, at the cellular level, leads to the study of differentiation in organisms. In addition, the Unit covers the evolution and structure of the genome and genomics, including personal genomics.
Biology: Metabolism and Survival (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge by investigating the central metabolic pathways of ATP synthesis by respiration and how control of the pathways is essential to cell survival. The Unit covers the key areas of metabolisms as essential for life, maintaining metabolism, and metabolism in microorganisms. Analytical thinking and problem solving skills will be developed in context, through investigation of how cellular respiration is fundamental to metabolism and by examining the stages of respiration. In whole organisms, it considers adaptations for the maintenance of metabolism for survival. In addition, it examines the importance of the manipulation of metabolism in microorganisms, both in the laboratory and in industry, including ethical considerations
Biology: Sustainability and Interdependence (Higher)
In this Unit, learners will develop knowledge by investigating how humans depend on sufficient and sustainable food production from a narrow range of crop and livestock species, focusing on photosynthesis in plants. The Unit covers the key areas of the science of food production, interrelationships and dependence, and biodiversity. Analytical thinking and problem solving skills will be developed contextually within these topics. The importance of plant productivity and the manipulation of genetic diversity to maintain food security are emphasised. The Unit also covers interrelationships and dependence, through symbiosis and social behaviour. By studying biodiversity, the Unit attempts to measure, catalogue, understand and address the human impact, including mass extinction.
Progression: Successful completion of this course can lead to Advanced Higher Biology.
Assessment: Internal Assessment is based on:
External Assessment is based on:
· an assignment, which requires learners to demonstrate aspects of challenge and application; learners will apply skills of scientific inquiry, using related knowledge, to carry out a meaningful and appropriately challenging task in biology and communicate findings (20 marks scaled to 30 marks)