S2 Biology

The Biology component of Curriculum for Excellence in S2 is delivered by Biology teachers in two blocks. The first block term lasts about 8 weeks and includes classification and keys, microbiology, inheritance and variation, biotechnology and evolution. Pupils return to the department after their Physics and Chemistry courses for a second shorter block in the spring term. This covers the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes on Reproduction in animals and plants.
Assessment for Reporting and the S3 course options (along with S1 assessment information) is based on the first block (completion by February).
The aims of the course:
• To provide a stimulating course in line with Curriculum for Excellence that is sufficiently broad to give pupils a taste of as many aspects of current Biology as possible, thus informing them about Biology ahead of their course choice.
• To complete sufficient content in a relatively short time to allow valid assessment of KU for reporting and course choice.
• To enhance and then assess Investigative skills for reporting.
• To provide suitable progression between S1 and S3, incorporating elements which provide experiences which will prepare pupils for the national biology courses.
S2 Course content:
First block
A class booklet is provided which builds into revision material for the KU assessment. The first assessment covers core level 3 Experiences and Outcomes. Class work is supported by homework sheets. Assessment of investigative skills is another part of this course.
• The pupils learn about the variation found within species, and the genetic basis for variation (chromosomes, genes and DNA and mutation).
• Identification of plants and animals using keys and simple plant and animal classification.
• Adaptation in plants and animals (dessert plants and animals).
• Micro-organisms (including growing bacteria) types of microbes and their importance in causing disease.
• Biotechnology (yeast and dairy products, food spoilage)
• Evolution and extinction.
Second block
This is a shorter course about Reproduction lasting about 4 weeks. The content is currently covered by a booklet and homework sheets. 2013 should see the piloting of a more research/assignment based approach in preparation for the CfE style of national courses. The pupils learn about sexual reproduction in animals and plants.