BIOLOGY - KS4

 

Biology Learning Journey

 

WHO’S WHO?

Progress Leader: Mrs A Howarth
Assistant Progress Leader: Mrs R Barry/ Mrs N Griffiths
Teaching Staff: Mrs D Preston, Mrs L Atkinson, Mr A Carey, Miss D Keen
Science Technician: Mrs L Mason
Link Governor: Mr J Gardner

COURSE INFORMATION

Biology should be taught in progressively greater depth over the course of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. GCSE outcomes may reflect or build upon subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3. GCSE study in biology provides the foundations for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should be helped to appreciate how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are both inter-linked, and are of universal application. These key ideas include:

  • the use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • the assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • that change is driven by differences between different objects and systems when they interact
  • that many such interactions occur over a distance without direct contact
  • that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review
  • that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry.

These key ideas are relevant in different ways and with different emphases in biology, chemistry and physics. Examples of their relevance to biology are given below.

The GCSE specification in biology should enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of biology through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on biology through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Biology should be studied in ways that help students to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into how science works, and appreciation of its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of such study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying, and thereby encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements

COURSE ASSESSMENT

Assessment objectives (AOs) are set by Ofqual and are the same across all GCSE Biology specifications and all exam boards.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific techniques and procedures.
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific enquiry, techniques and procedures.
  • AO3: Analyse information and ideas to: interpret and evaluate; make judgements and draw conclusions; develop and improve experimental procedures.

The marks awarded on the papers will be scaled to meet the weighting of the components.
Students’ final marks will be calculated by adding together the scaled marks for each component.
Grade boundaries will be set using this total scaled mark. The scaling and total scaled marks are shown in the table below.

Component Maximum raw mark Scaling factor Maximum scaled mark

  • Paper 1 marks available 100
  • Paper 2 Marks available 100
  • Total scaled mark: 200

Throughout Key stage 4 students will also focus on key skills. These include:

  • Knowledge and understanding of command words- describe, explain, compare & evaluate.
  • Planning valid investigations to include:
  • Identifying independent, dependent & control variables
  • How to represent data
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Calculating risks

 

 

YEAR 10

   

TERM

UNIT OF STUDY

KEY LEARNING

Autumn

Infection and response

This section will explore how we can avoid diseases by reducing contact with them, as well as how the body uses barriers against pathogens. Once inside the body our immune system is triggered which is usually strong enough to destroy the pathogen and prevent disease. When at risk from unusual or dangerous diseases our body's natural system can be enhanced by the use of vaccination. Since the 1940s a range of antibiotics have been developed which have proved successful against a number of lethal diseases caused by bacteria. Unfortunately many groups of bacteria have now become resistant to these antibiotics. The race is now on to develop a new set of antibiotics.

Spring

Bioenergetics

In this unit students will explore how plants harness the Sun’s energy in photosynthesis in order to make food. This process liberates oxygen which has built up over millions of years in the Earth’s atmosphere. Both animals and plants use this oxygen to oxidise food in a process called aerobic respiration which transfers the energy that the organism needs to perform its functions.
Conversely, anaerobic respiration does not require oxygen to transfer energy. During vigorous exercise the human body is unable to supply the cells with sufficient oxygen and it switches to anaerobic respiration. This process will supply energy but also causes the build-up of lactic acid in muscles which causes fatigue.

Summer

Ecology

In this unit students will understand that the Sun is a source of energy that passes through ecosystems. Materials including carbon and water are continually recycled by the living world, being released through respiration of animals, plants and decomposing microorganisms and taken up by plants in photosynthesis. All species live in ecosystems composed of complex communities of animals and plants dependent on each other and that are adapted to particular conditions, both abiotic and biotic. These ecosystems provide essential services that support human life and continued development. In order to continue to benefit from these services humans need to engage with the environment in a sustainable way. In this section students will explore how humans are threatening biodiversity as well as the natural systems that support it. We will also consider some actions we need to take to ensure our future health, prosperity and well-being.

YEAR 11

   

Autumn

Homeostasis

Throughout this unit students will learn that cells in the body can only survive within narrow physical and chemical limits. They require a constant temperature and pH as well as a constant supply of dissolved food and water. In order to do this the body requires control systems that constantly monitor and adjust the composition of the blood and tissues. These control systems include receptors which sense changes and effectors that bring about changes. In this section we will explore the structure and function of the nervous system and how it can bring about fast responses. We will also explore the hormonal system which usually brings about much slower changes. Hormonal coordination is particularly important in reproduction since it controls the menstrual cycle. An understanding of the role of hormones in reproduction has allowed scientists to develop not only contraceptive drugs but also drugs which can increase fertility.
chemical reactions and are a key way for chemists to communicate chemical ideas.

Spring

Inheritance & selection

In this unit students will discover how the number of chromosomes are halved during meiosis and then combined with new genes from the sexual partner to produce unique offspring. Gene mutations occur continuously and on rare occasions can affect the functioning of the animal or plant. These mutations may be damaging and lead to a number of genetic disorders or death. Very rarely a new mutation can be beneficial and consequently, lead to increased fitness in the individual. Variation generated by mutations and sexual reproduction is the basis for natural selection; this is how species evolve. An understanding of these processes has allowed scientists to intervene through selective breeding to produce livestock with favoured characteristics. Once new varieties of plants or animals have been produced it is possible to clone individuals to produce larger numbers of identical individuals all carrying the favourable characteristic. Scientists have now discovered how to take genes from one species and introduce them in to the genome of another by a process called genetic engineering. In spite of the huge potential benefits that this
technology can offer, genetic modification still remains highly controversial.

Summer

Course complete

 

ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • STEM club
  • Science club
  • Eco club
  • Revision sessions available weekly at lunchtimes and after school

A LEVEL/BTEC REQUIREMENTS:

Students are required to gain a grade 6 or above to study biology, chemistry or physics at AS/A2 level. There are many BTEC course available that require a grade 9-5.

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD'S LEARNING

Support your child with homework. Ask them questions about what they are learning about in science & how it applies to the real World around them. Watch documentaries with them and talk about how the World is changing and the impact that humans are having on the world.

WHERE TO GO:

  • Museum of Science & Industry
  • Natural History Museum
  • Eureka
  • Knowsley Safari Park
  • Chester zoo
  • Blackpool zoo
  • Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre
  • The Sealife Centre
  • Blue planet Aquarium

WHAT TO WATCH:

  • Gadget Show on Discovery Science
  • Brain Games on National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Extreme Wild on National Geographic
  • Modern Marvels on History
  • Prehistoric on Animal Planet
  • Ancient Aliens on History
  • Superhumans on History
  • Megascience on Discovery Science
  • Science of stupid on National Geographic
  • Magic of science on Discovery Science

WHAT TO READ:

  • Horrible Sciences
  • Catalyst Magazine
  • Bad Science Series
  • KS3 CGP Revision Guides
  • BBC Operation Ouch
  • 500 Things You Should Know about Science
  • Richard Hammond Blast Lab
  • Focus Magazine

ONLINE:

 

www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/catalyst

 

Sciencemag.org

 

Discovermagazine.com

 

Popsci.com

 

BBC Bitesize

 

Newscientist.com

 

Sciencefocus.com

 

Senecalearning.com

 

GCSE pod

 

AQA

 

FUTURE CAREERS:

Applied Science

• Aeronautical engineer
• Biomedical engineer
• Civil engineer
• Chemical engineer
• Educational technologist
• Electrical engineer
• Engineering technician
• Engineering technologist
• Petrochemical engineer
• Mechanical engineer

General science

• Forensic scientist
• Government scientist
• Healthcare science
• Inventor
• Psychologist
• Research fellow
• School science technician
• Scientist

Life science

• Biologist
• Biomedical scientist
• Botanist
• Herpetologist
• Medical laboratory scientist
• Microbiologist
• Neuroscientist
• Clinical pharmaceutical scientist
• Zoologist

Natural science

• Archaeologist
• Astronaut
• Astronomer
• Biochemist
• Chemist
• Ecologist
• Geographer
• Naturalist
• Oceanographer
• Palaeontologist
• Pathologist