Senior Department Sciences

Biology

Course content
Our International GCSE in Biology aims to give students a knowledge and understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles, while developing experimental skills. Students will also learn to form hypotheses and design experiments to test them. The biology syllabus is designed to give flexibility both to teachers and to candidates and to place greater emphasis on the understanding and application of scientific concepts and principles than on the recall of factual material, whilst still giving a thorough introduction to the study of the subject. Our departmental aim is to make the students more aware of how living things work and to make them responsible for their environment.
 
Classes are tested regularly and take internal examinations at mid-year and year end. The papers are set according to the style and standard of the final IGCSE papers. There are three examinations at the end of the two years:
 
  • Multiple choice
  • Alternate to practical
  • Structured questions
A-Level
 
The syllabus' subject content is divided into an AS, done in lower 6, and A2 done in Upper 6.
 
The department offers well-equipped laboratories, with A2 and AS students having access to their own electric light microscopes. A great deal of practical work is undertaken at this level of the course. At the moment the pupils are taught only by the head of department.
Course Aims
 
Aims that are assessed include knowledge with understanding. Students should also be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in relation to factors such as
  • scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts, theories;
  • scientific vocabulary, terminology, conventions (including symbols, quantities and units);
  • scientific instruments and apparatus used in biology, including techniques of operation and aspects of  safety;
  • scientific quantities and their determination; plus
  • scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental implications.
Pupils must be able to handle information and solve problems using oral, written, symbolic, graphical and numerical forms of presentation, while also experimenting with their newly-acquired skills and investigations. 
AS candidates
 
Students begin the AS course as soon as they return from Service Projects and Lower 6 selection. A good grounding in Chemistry and Mathematics are recommended as well as an A grade at IGCSE.
 
The AS introduces cellular ultra structure, biochemistry and enzymes, transport at a cellular level, cell and nuclear division, genetic control, mass transport in plants and humans, infectious diseases and immunity, gas exchange and diseases of the gas exchange system with an emphasis on the effects of smoking, and some ecology.
There are three AS examinations done at the end of the year:
  • Multiple choice,
  • Advanced Practical
  • Written structured questions paper.
A2 candidates
 
The A2 course begins when the Lower 6 students have finished their examinations in November. It includes a Core and an Applications of Biology section, which is studied, in its entirety, by all A2 candidates.
 
Topics in the core include photosynthesis, respiration, regulation, inherited change, and selection and evolution. The applications build on these topics to introduce students to topical fields of biology such as biodiversity and conservation, gene technology, biotechnology, crop science, and reproduction using IVF. Students do some of their own research on the internet.
There are two A2 examinations:
  • Written Structured questions
  • Written Practical Planning, Analysis and Evaluation.
Chemistry
In forms 1 and 2, students have opportunities to apply scientific and technological knowledge and ideas, and are able to develop their awareness of the role and importance of science in everyday life.
 
Building on their earlier experiences in science, their growing scientific knowledge, understanding and increasing maturity, they will have opportunities to study how science is applied in a variety of contexts.
 
Form 1 and 2 science is a balance curriculum including biology, physics and chemistry, giving students a solid foundation for their IGCSE studies that commence in form 3.
 
Form 3 & 4 Chemistry
At this level students a can choose to do Pure Chemistry at IGCSE Level. Extended and Core options are available dependant on performance and ability.
A-level Chemistry is a not a subject for lazy pupils, as it is a rigorous and demanding subject! Pupils use principles and concepts that are within the syllabus and apply them in a logical, reasoned or deductive manner to novel situations. Candidates must have a genuine interest in and enjoyment of chemistry, be prepared to read widely and work independently. In addition, the ability to communicate clearly and unambiguously is vital.
 
Often, students tend to underestimate the course's demands. Foundations are laid in lower six and lack of consistency can result in disillusionment and an unfulfilling upper sixth year.
 
Entry requirements
  1. IGCSE Chemistry - at least a B grade
  2. IGCSE Physical Science - Grade A* or A and Mathematics grade B  AS / A2 Syllabus
 
Chemistry (CIE) 9701
 
AS topics cover the three main sections of chemistry and three examination papers are written at the end of lower six, including a multiple choice paper, a structured response paper and a practical examination.
 
A2 topics re-visit AS topics and develop these further. Applications of chemistry forms part of the structured response paper and introduces students to modern techniques used in chemistry and applications in industry. A further paper is written on experimental design, analysis and evaluation of results. These two papers are then written at the end of the upper sixth year.
 
Suitable combinations
 
Chemistry is traditionally, but not necessarily, studied in conjunction with other sciences.
 
Career prospects
 
Of all the science subjects, chemistry offers the widest range of options. As a discipline (B.Sc.Chem), it has an input into most scientific fields, eg environmental protection, health sciences (including toxicology), biological sciences (including genetic engineering), forensic science, transportation industries (including aviation), teaching, research, development production, industry, marketing, quality control, brewing technology and food processing.
 
Other degrees for which chemistry is appropriate include chemical engineering, dentistry, pharmacy, physiotherapy, bio-chemistry, agriculture, geology and oceanography. A-level chemistry is required by most universities for entry into medical and veterinary studies.
 
 
 
Physics
In forms 1 and 2, physics covers a general introduction to science. Various aspects of physics, chemistry and biology are covered at this level.
In form 3 pupils are directed by the school's setting system so that only sets 1 and 2 do pure physics. Those in sets 3, 4 and 5 do physical science which covers aspects of physics and chemistry. The physical science course is not considered to be an adequate preparation for further studies at A level.
In the teachers' experience, pupils who do physics as a pure subject at O level are unlikely to succeed at A level unless they achieve a minimum of at least a B grade pass. At A’level physics is offered and most student enjoy the subject.

 

Trip to Long Cheng
Reception and Grade 1 classes went on a trip to Long Cheng...they had so much fun. Thank you to Mrs Tachivona, Mrs Zhou and Miss Tauzeni for organising a lovely trip for the little ones.
District Merit Awards
Congratulations ‪#‎DivarisMakaharis‬ for attaining District Merit Awards, Keep up the good work. # SucceedwithHonourandPride
Divaris Makaharis Primary in Pictures
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Brownies and Girl-Guides
Brownies and Girl-Guides making salads.
Nursery Class ICT lessons
Nursery Class ICT lesson, lovely picture done by Michaella Kalube. #DivarisMakaharis
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