Biology is the study of living organisms which includes their physical structure, chemical processes, molecular interactions, development and evolution. Studying biology can take you from learning about the simplest single celled organisms to investigating some of the most complex organisms in nature. Biology helps to challenge your thinking whilst developing a wide range of skills such as communication, problem solving, analytical and practical skills.
Biology is at the forefront of key ecological issues and global challenges, with many fast growing industries such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals playing their part. Studying biology is the foundation of all characteristics of life. Apart from creating solutions to the challenges many living organisms face, it paves the way for inventions and discoveries that improve the quality of life.
In Year 10 Biology students study the topics of photosynthesis, respiratory system, variation and genetics, microbes and the kidney. This is designed to give pupils an early introduction to GCSE work which will help them in their GCSE course.
Assessment throughout the year is based on homeworks and end-of-topic tests as well as twice yearly exams. Many of these assessments involve foundation level GCSE questions.
Pupils currently study the CCEA Biology and Double Award courses for GCSE
Year 11 (Unit 1) – A more in-depth study of the topics undertaken in Year 10 is covered as well as studying nutrition, enzymes and digestion, coordination and ecology. Many of these topics are supplemented by a series of practical tasks and investigations in line with CCEA requirements. Also, a fieldtrip is undertaken to give a better experience of ecological processes.
Year 12 (Unit 2) – The year 12 topics include osmosis, plant transport, circulatory system and reproduction. Also the topics of health & disease and DNA & genetics build on the work started on these topics in Year 10. In January of Year 12 the pupils will carry out a practical examination where they test both their practical skills and, on paper, their interpretive and evaluation skills.
AS Module 1 deals with the core topics in GCE Biology and underpin many of the other topics and concepts studied in the other units. AS Module 2 begins the study of the main organ systems and also ecology. Supplementing these topics are a series of assessed practical skills (including fieldwork) which contribute towards overall assessment.
A2 Module 4 continues the study of the other body systems and looks at concepts which contribute to ecosystems and their development. A2 Module 5 covers the biochemical processes of respiration and photosynthesis and explores the impact of genetics on a number of different levels. Also the variety of phyla in plant and animal kingdoms are studied. As with AS, pupils will carry out a number of assessed practical tasks which contribute to their overall grade.
Biology News Articles
Year 14 Biologists went on a field trip to Greenmount on Friday 27th January to look at dairy farming, horticulture and waste disposal among many other things.
Congratulations to Ben Nicholl (Year 13) on his recent news, having obtained joint first in GCSE Further Mathematics and also joint second in GCSE Biology; both for the Northern Ireland CCEA examination board.