Biological Sciences (ATAR)
Biology is the study of the fascinating diversity of life.
Biology will be studied through the delivery of four units, each outlined below. This course explores the ways biologists work. Students will develop investigative, analytical and communication skills through field, laboratory and research investigations. Students will expand their critical evaluation and application skills, consider ethics and reflect on their role as global citizens.
Students should have achieved at least a 60% average in Biology by the end of their Year 10 Science course. Students should also be competent in Science Investigation Skills.
Biological Sciences – Year 11
Unit 1 Ecosystems and Biodiversity
Field work in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems is a feature of Unit 1. Students develop a greater understanding of biodiversity of life, ecosystems and the movement of energy and matter. Interactions within and between species and the abiotic and biotic components will be investigated. When in the field we study population sampling techniques, species diversity and species interactions. Students will use classification tools to identify organisms, describe the biodiversity in ecosystems and investigate ecological relationships between organisms.
Unit 2 Single Cells to Multicellular Organisms
Students will develop microscopy skills and learn about cells and how they function. They will appreciate that while cells have some features in common, differences exist between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, as well as autotrophic and heterotrophic cells. Our students will examine cellular inputs and outputs and gain higher understandings of photosynthesis, cellular respiration and enzymes. They will also appreciate that multicellular organisms are made up of interdependent systems of cells that are organised into tissues and organs. The structure and function of animal gas exchange, transport and digestive systems will be explored as will plant transport and gas exchange systems.
Biological Sciences – Year 12
Unit 3 Continuity of Species
Heredity, genetics and evolution are the foci of this unit. Students develop an understanding of why offspring resemble their parent/s. More specifically, students investigate the transmission of genetic material to the next generation of cells and to offspring. They consider and describe patterns of inheritance to predict the likelihood of traits in offspring. Students also investigate the theory of evolution by natural selection and explore genetic variation in gene pools, selection pressures and isolation so as to explain speciation and extinction.
Unit 4 Surviving in a Changing Environment
Students develop an understanding of how plants and animals regulate their internal environment despite fluctuations to their surrounding environment. More specifically, changes in temperature and water availability will be investigated, as will be the management of nitrogenous wastes and salt.
The incidence, life cycles, spread and changes to the global distribution of a variety of infectious disease caused by bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses are also a major focus. Disease management strategies will also be considered.
In conclusion, to fully understand the complexities of our world we need an understanding of Biology. Across Year 11 and 12, students use science inquiry skills to design and conduct investigations. The ability to carry out research through development of hypotheses, gathering and analysing data, and the evaluating and drawing of conclusions will be developed.
Studying Biology ATAR provides students with invaluable skills for a breadth of pathways and careers. It prepares students for medical, veterinary, food and marine sciences, agriculture, biotechnology, environmental rehabilitation, biosecurity, quarantine, conservation and eco-tourism. Biology also provides an excellent ATAR opportunity to students who wish to gain a strong Science understanding from one course.