- Category: Departments
- Last Updated on 11 August 2016
Biology is the scientific study of life. The more we learn about life, the more fascinating it becomes. Modern biology is as important as it is inspiring. Greater knowledge of genetics and cell biology is providing new tools in fields such as medicine and agriculture. Molecular biology provides new tools for the field of criminal science. Learning about the ecology helps us to understand the causes and consequences of global warming, etc.
The goals of the biology curriculum are to prepare the students to be “scientifically literate”, to learn how to learn, to develop a curiosity of the world around them, and to use the skills and knowledge of science and technology as they apply to their personal and social decisions. The aims are to become confident citizens, be suitably prepared and eager for studies beyond Ordinary Level, stimulate interest in and care for the local and global environment.
Three objectives will be kept in mind during the biology lessons and examinations. The first objective is ‘knowledge with understanding’. Students are expected not only to know but also to understand the facts and concepts in biology. Another objective is handling information and solving problems. If students have a good knowledge and understanding, they should be able to apply the knowledge to new situations. The last objective is experimental skills and investigations. This involves practical work. Students are introduced to the correct experimental techniques and skills. The focus is on relevant and accurate observations, measurements, and recording data appropriately and accurately.
Grade 7 – 8
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth and taxonomy. Biology is one of the largest and most important branches of science.
The main goals of biology lessons are to prepare students to understand natural life and to awaken their curiosity about living organisms and life.
The students learn the answers of these questions with the help of biology lessons:
- Why do we need to classify living organisms?
- How are plants and animals classified?
- How do we construct and use a dichotomous key to classify and identify living organisms?
- What are habitats, populations and communities?
- What are the roles of producer, consumers and decomposers in the ecosystem?
- How are nutrients and carbon recycled in the ecosystem?
- How does energy flow through a food chain?
- What is photosynthesis?
- What are the raw materials and energy needed for photosynthesis?
- What are the ‘growing conditions’ for ornamental plants and large-scale crops?
- What is aerobic respiration?
- What are the differences between respiration and breathing?
- What are the differences between photosynthesis and respiration?
- What are the differences between a plant cell and animal cell?
- What is ‘division of labour’?
- How are tissues, organs and systems formed?
- How are water and food substances transported in plants?
- What is the role of blood in the human body?
- Why is food important for survival?
- What is digestion?
- What are the main parts of the human digestive system?
- What are enzymes and what do they do?
Students prepare drama shows, presentations, and fact cards to help them to understand lessons completely and believe in themselves. They watch many videos about biology during the course.
Worksheets and many kinds of puzzles are given to them to review their lessons and for making lessons enjoyable.
Biology teachers have to prepare the students for the next year’s curriculum and examinations.
In grade 7, students have 2 sessions per week of basic biology.
The students learn:
- Diversity of Plant and Animal Life
- Transport in Living Things
- Digestion in Human Beings
Students learn about animal and plant cells. They will examine a cell under the microscope and compare the visible differences in structure of the animal cell and plant cell. Students will be able to state the relationship between cell functions and cell structures.
In the next stage, we will talk about nutrition. What about nutrition in plants? Students will learn that photosynthesis is the fundamental process by which plants make their food. They will see that most forms of life are completely dependent on photosynthesis. On the other hand, what about nutrition in animals? What is a balanced diet, what sort of diet can cause heart diseases, and why must most food be digested?
What is the difference between inspired and expired air? Why do we feel pain during intense physical exercise? The answers for these questions will be given in the chapter about respiration.
Finally, students will learn about the structure and function of kidneys, the removal of toxic materials and waste products out of the body.
Once food has been digested, how do the simple products get into the cells? What enables cells to continue taking substances that they already have in excess? The chapter about osmosis and diffusion answers these questions. In the next stage we will study about the ability of the body to regulate body temperature, etc.
After that, we compare the transport system in animals with the transport system in plants. Blood is pumped all over the body by the heart. But how are water and manufactured food transported in plants?
The nervous system helps the human body to sense and to respond to changes. Our brain is part of the nervous system, which coordinates the movement of our eyes while we read.
Grade 11 and 12
Development of organisms and continuity of life is the most important topic in this grade. Students learn about asexual and sexual reproduction. Different cell divisions are defined; one giving rise to identical cells and another resulting in the production of gametes. In the next stage we explore DNA, genes, mutations, and genetic engineering.
Another topic is about the relationships between organisms, and between organisms and the environment: The Sun is the principal source of energy input for biological systems; the relationship of the different players in ‘food webs’; the transmission and control of the malaria pathogen; the effects of humans on the ecosystem; consequences of deforestation; effects of water pollution, etc.
In grade 12, time permitting, we will also talk about the use and abuse of illegal drugs: the effect of antibiotics, alcohol and tobacco smoke on the body. Another topic we explore is enzymes and the effect of temperature and pH on them. Wrapping up will be learning about the fascinating realm of microorganisms and biotechnology. How can microorganisms play an important role in decomposition, in the production of food like cheese, bread or alcohol? How do we produce penicillin?