Biologists investigate the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. 

At one end of the scale is the cell, its molecular construction and complex metabolic reactions. At the other end of the scale biologists investigate the interactions that make whole ecosystems function.  Many discoveries remain to be made and great progress is expected in the 21st century.

Through studying a science subject students should become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. While the scientific method may take on a wide variety of forms, the emphasis on a practical approach. In addition, through the overarching theme of the “Nature of Science” this knowledge and skills will be put into the context of way science and scientists work in the 21st Century and the ethical debates and limitations of creative scientific endeavour.

The sciences are taught practically. Students have opportunities to design investigations, collect data, develop manipulative skills, analyse results, collaborate with peers and evaluate and communicate their findings. The investigations may be laboratory based or they may make use of simulations and data bases. Students develop the skills to work independently on their own design, but also collegiately, including collaboration with schools in different regions, to mirror the way in which scientific research is conducted in the wider community.

Please click on the arrow for a detailed breakdown:

Unit / Block of workMain themeKey Episodes / QuestionsLength of time.
Cells and Cell ProcessesFurther cell biologyCell theory, cell specialisation and cell replacement15
The ultrastructure of cells
Membrane structure
Membrane transport
The origin of cells
Cell division
Molecular BiologyMolecules to metabolism23
Carbohydrates and Lipids
Structure of DNA and RNA
Replication, transcription and translation
Heredity and Life CyclesGeneticsGenes20
Genetic modification and biotechnology
Organisms and Their EnvironmentEcologySpecies communities and ecosystems12
Energy flow
Carbon cycling
Climate Change
Cells and Cell ProcessesCell processesCellular respiration8
Unit / Block of workMain themeKey Episodes / QuestionsPossible Symbol?
Biology IA 
 Human PhysiologyDigestion and Absorption and nutrition66
Cells and Cell ProcessesThe blood system and the heart
Defence against infectious diseases
Gas exchange
Neurons and synapses
Hormones, homeostasis and reproduction
Antibody production and vaccination
The kidney and osmoregulation
Sexual reproduction
Functions of the liver
Transport of respiratory gases
Plant BiologyTransport in the xylem of plants13
Transport in the phloem of plants
Growth in plants
Reproduction in plants
Variation, Adaptation and EvolutionEvolution and BiodiversityEvidence of evolution12
Natural selection
 Gene pools and speciation
 Classification of biodiversity