Life Science

Life Science is the scientific study of living things from molecular level to their interactions with one another and their environments.

It encourages an enquiring mind and provides useful knowledge and skills which are needed in everyday life. Life Science provides stimulation of interest which may lead to areas of specialisation at tertiary level.

Who should opt for this subject?

Boys who are interested in all forms of life and their scientific study should choose this course. Those who want to know more about the human body and its functions, and who have an appreciation of the environment and current issues such as new discoveries, should consider Life Science as an option. The average boy copes with it if he is willing to spend time studying, as there are no short-cuts. It is a very content-based subject and a considerable amount of written information is needed, so a sound work ethic is vital. It suits the organised mind as well-kept files are an advantage. A good grasp of English also stands a boy in good stead.

Good skills the boys learn are:

  • the selection of key ideas
  • factual recall
  • understanding of concepts
  • application of information
  • to critically evaluate and debate scientific issues
  • greater awareness and appreciation of the environment and ecosystems that sustain everyday life

Outline of the curriculum

FORM 4

  • Chemistry of life: carbs, proteins & fats
  • Cell structure & division
  • Plant & animal tissues
  • Support & transport in plants
  • Human skeleton
  • Heart & circulation
  • Environmental studies
  • Biodiversity & classification

FORM 5

  • Biodiversity of micro-organisms: plants & animals
  • Photosynthesis
  • Animal nutrition (humans)
  • Cellular respiration
  • Gaseous exchange & breathing (humans)
  • Excretion & kidneys (humans)
  • Population ecology
  • Human impact on the environment

FORM 6

  • DNA: the code of life
  • Reproduction in vertebrates
  • Genetics & inheritance
  • Human nervous system, including eye & ear
  • Endocrine system
  • Homeostasis in humans
  • Evolution including human evolution
  • Plant responses

A favourite aspect of Life Science is the practical work, involving food tests, microscope work, dissection of various organs, and the study of the skeleton. Debates around evolution are also stimulating and thought-provoking.

Assessment

The year mark is comprised of 3 practical tasks, a minimum of 4 class tests, a project, and 1 June Exam. This total mark counts 25%. The November Exams (2 Theory & 1 Practical) make up the remaining 75%. (The Grade 12 pupils write Trials in addition to these tasks).