National 4/5 Biology

Biology affects everyone and aims to find solutions to many of the world’s problems.
Biology — the study of living organisms — plays a crucial role in our everyday existence, and is an increasingly important subject in the modern world. Advances in technologies have made this varied subject more exciting and relevant than ever.
An experimental and investigative approach is used to develop knowledge and understanding of biology concepts. The Courses develop pupils’ 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 pupils to become scientifically literate citizens, able to review the science-based claims, which they will meet.

The Course covers major areas of biology ranging from cellular to whole organism and up to ecosystems.

In Life on Earth, environmental biology, biodiversity and its measurement, food production and ethical issues are covered.
Many more issues are introduced such as evolution,human behaviour and GM crops.

In unit 2 pupils investigate increasing levels of complexity from cells and tissues to whole organs and body systems. This includes nervous, digestive, reproductive and circulatory systems. Studying health and disease allows pupils to examine response to infection and their own lifestyle choices.

In S4 biology the focus on cellular level processes will lead to an understanding of the importance and roles of the cell. Relevant to cancers, stem cell medicine and genetic engineering for example.

Assessment
Pupils will have their progress monitored by regular tests covering knowledge and understanding and problem solving. Practical skills will be assessed through an assignment which is likely to involve research and investigation using scientific skills.
Some assessment material in S3 may be used as evidence for National Qualifications in S4.

Homework
Pupils studying biology will have many new words and meanings to learn. There is a homework package, which should be completed regularly to maximise chances of success in their assessments.
This includes A4 write on homework sheets, summary sheets and ongoing revision of notes and biology websites/e books.

Progression
Pupils successful in National 5 Biology could progress to Higher Biology in S5 (an upper grade B or A may be required).
To enhance the chances of studying a science and/or engineering course beyond secondary school level biology is best studied with at least one other science.