Pitlochry High School

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Biology

National 4/5 Biology course description

Aims:

The national 4/5 course builds on the level 3 science outcomes that had a biology focus by allowing pupils to cover the level 4 experiences and outcomes relevant to biology and by also introducing some new concepts and ideas that were not covered by the level 3 science outcomes. There are 3 units to the national 4/5 course which will be studied to different depths depending on whether you sit the national 4 or the national 5 course.

The course aims to:

  • Develop scientific and analytical thinking skills in a biological context
  • Develop understanding of biological issues
  • Acquire and apply knowledge and understanding of biological concepts
  • Develop understanding of relevant applications of biology in society

Unit Structure:

  • Life on earth
    • This will consist of 4 subtopics:
      • Biodiversity and evolution
      • Food production
      • Environmental studies
      • Behaviour
  • Multicellular organisms
    • This will consist of 4 subtopics:
      • Reproduction and inheritance
      • Cells, tissue and organs
      • Cell defence
      • Biological processes
  • Cell Biology
    • This will consist of 3 units
      • Cell Structure
      • Transport in cells
      • Genetics

Assessment National 4

At national 4 the course will be internally assessed through the assessment of each unit. Pupils will also be assessed on an added value unit where they will carry out a project and will be given a test at the end. Through this added value unit the pupils will be able to demonstrate the breadth of knowledge and skills they have acquired from across all the other units.

Assessment National 5

At national 5 the course will be externally assessed as outlined below. The units done as part of the course will also be assessed to check the pupils level of understanding of each unit.

Course Assessment National 5

Component 1: Question paper                                                        80 marks

 This question paper will assess the breadth of knowledge from across the units, depth of understanding and application of this knowledge and understanding to solve problems.

The question paper will give the learners the opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • Integrate and apply biology knowledge and understanding
  • Apply scientific inquiry skills
  • Apply scientific analytical thinking skills
  • Explain the impact of applications to society/ the environment.

Component 2: Assignment                                                              20 Marks

This assignment will give learners an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • Investigate/ research an appropriate biology topic/ issue.
  • Process the information gathered, using scientific investigative/ research skills
  • Apply knowledge and understanding related to the topic/ issue.
  • Present a reasoned and well-developed conclusion, supported by evidence.

Total:                                                                                                             100 Marks

Progression

Pupils successful at achieving a national 4 qualification in biology can progress to any of the discrete sciences at national 5 level.

Those successful in achieving a national 5 qualification in biology can progress to higher biology.