Introduction

Biology as a subject helps pupils understand the living world and the ways its many species function, evolve, and interact.   It builds their problem solving, organisational and critical thinking skills as well as encouraging pupils to find the answers to many of life’s fascinating questions.

Departmental Aims

The aim of the Biology Department is to enable pupils to:

  • develop their knowledge and understanding of living things.

  • develop their understanding of the relationships between theories, evidence and explanations.

  • make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

  • become more aware of conservation and ecological issues in both their local area and worldwide.

  • have an understanding of up to date medical advances in treatment of common diseases.

Staff

Mrs U McAteer (HoD)

Mr D Gallagher

Miss A Jordan

Mrs K Wilson

Miss E McCutcheon (Biology Technician)

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Key Stage 3

This follows the Northern Ireland curriculum and is outlined in Junior Science department.

Key Stage 4

CCEA GCSE Biology is offered at Key stage 4.  It builds on the skills and capabilities developed during the study of Key stage 3 Biology.  It is a unitised course with the specification being divided into 3 Units.  Unit 1 examination can be sat at the end of Year 11 with Units 2 and 3 being taken at the end of Year 12.

 

Unit 1 Cells, living processes and biodiversity

  • study of cells, photosynthesis and respiration, nutrition, respiratory system, nervous system, excretory system and ecology.

Unit 2 Body systems, genetics, microorganisms and health

  • study of osmosis, transpiration, circulatory system, reproductive systems, DNA and genetics, variation and selection and health and disease.

Unit 3 Practical skills

  • this will involve planning and carrying out practical exercises associated with the topics studied in Units 1 and 2.

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Key Stage 5

Many pupils showing a genuine interest in Biology go on to study it at Key stage 5.  We offer CCEA GCE Biology as it encourages pupils’ interest and enthusiasm for the subject.  The specification offers 6 Units with the first 3 being examined at the end of Year 13 and the next 3 at the end of Year 14.  Pupils taking GCE Biology become independent learners and competent in the practical aspects of the subject.

AS 1: Molecules and Cells

  • deals with Molecules, Enzymes, DNA Technology, Viruses, Cells, Cell Physiology, Continuity of Cells and Tissues and Organs.

AS 2: Organisms and Biodiversity

  • deals with Transport and Exchange Mechanisms in plants and mammals, Adaptations of Organisms and Biodiversity with an emphasis on local contexts.

AS 3: Practical skills in AS Biology

  • deals with the practical aspect of AS topics.

 

A2 1: Physiology, Co-ordination and Control and Ecosystems

  • deals with Homeostasis, Immunity, Co-ordination and Control and Ecosystems.

A2 2: Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends

  • deals with Respiration, Photosynthesis, DNA as the Genetic Code, Gene Technology, Genes and Patterns of Inheritance, Mechanism of Change, Plant and Animal Kingdoms.

A2 3: Assessment of Practical skills

  • deals with the practical aspect of A2 topics.

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Career Opportunities

GCSE and A Level Biology can lead to a career as a:

Biochemist, Botanist, Dietician, Forensic Scientist, Nurse, Doctor, Pharmacist, Sports and Fitness Trainer, Physiotherapist, Biomedical Engineer or a member of the Ambulatory Services.  Other jobs include Marine Biologist, Animal Welfare Officer, Food and Drinks Analyst, Geneticist and Biology teacher.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Various opportunities arise for extra-curricular activities and trips.  These include field trips, workshops e.g. Gel electrophoresis activities and Operating theatre live events.  Also every year a number of AS level Biology pupils go to Villiers Park, Cambridge to attend short courses in certain Biological fields of study.

Achievements

Each Year a Biology Cup is awarded to the pupil who achieves the highest mark in A Level Biology.

Contact

38 Fortwilliam Park,

Belfast,

County Antrim

BT15 4AQ