Biology

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Welcome to the Biology Department

Biology studies life in all its forms, from tiny single cells to whole organisms and how they interact with each other and their environment.

Biologists are leaders in the research and understanding of a wide variety of diseases and develop innovative medicines and treatments to help those in need.  They find ways to protect crops and animals ensuring the safety of our food, they assist us to combat the effects of climate change and they help us to fight the effects of environmental pollution.  Their knowledge is essential for our justice system which relies on biologists to collect and analyse evidence from crime scenes. The knowledge biologists have of the human body helps develop and improve physical fitness and wellbeing in the leisure industry.


Biology is a highly desirable and sometimes essential subject for many jobs.

  • Health Service – nursing, medicine, laboratory technician
  • Pharmaceutical or Biotechnology industries-researcher, sales
  • Fitness/Beauty industry-PE teaching, personal trainer, beautician,
  • Food and drinks industry- product development, marketing
  • Environmental Biology- marine biologist, conservationist

For further information on a career in Biology visit www.biocareers.org.uk


Biology Department Staff

  • Mrs J Dickens
  • Miss K Wilson
  • Mr R Lambert
  • Mrs J Randall
  • Mr A Wilson

Biology S3

In S3 students are offered the opportunity to build on the key chemical principals first introduced through the S1 and S2 Science course.

The S3 course provides progression to National 4 and National 5 Biology in S4. The course is fundamentally knowledge based with a key focus on practical activities which demonstrate course concepts. Investigative and problem solving skills are developed to ensure that students are prepared for progressing to National 4 and 5.

There are a number of learning pathways students can take during their senior phase based on their personal interests and requirements for further education.

National 4/National 5

In fourth year students can opt to achieve at either National 4 or National 5 level. The course covers all of the major areas of biology and allows students to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying themes of biology: evolution and adaptation, structure and function, inheritance, life processes of living organisms, and interactions between organisms and their environment.

National 4/National 5 biology is studied over one year and explores the following three units

  1. Biology: Life on Earth
  2. Cell Biology.
  3. Multicellular Organisms

National 4 develops key knowledge and skills required to progress to National 5 level in fifth year or sixth year. At National 4, students will need to pass three unit assessments and complete an Added Value Unit, all of which is internally assessed.

National 5 students will study three units and sit an external element. The external element is split into two sections: a written scientific assignment and an external exam at the end of the year. It is recommended that an A/B pass is achieved in the external element to allow progress to Higher level in fifth year.

More information on the course structure can be found on the SQA website.


Senior Phase – Higher/Advanced Higher

In their fifth and sixth year students can choose to further develop and deepen their knowledge by studying initially at Higher level and then at Advanced Higher level.

The purpose of the Higher Human Biology and Advanced Higher biology courses is to develop the student’s enthusiasm for biology as well as developing skills of scientific inquiry and investigation. This will enable students to become scientifically literate citizens and be able to review the science-based claims they will meet.

At Higher level, students will study three units and sit an external element. The external element is split into two sections: a written scientific assignment and an external exam at the end of the year.  It is recommended students achieve an A/B pass at Higher level to allow progress to Advanced Higher level in their sixth year.

At Advanced Higher level students will study three units, sit an external exam and complete a scientific project.

More information on the course structure can be found on the SQA website.

Supported Study is offered throughout the year. Please ask your class teacher for further details.