Aims and Philosophy

  • To strive to make the courses on offer of interest to and relevance to learners.
  • To stimulate and maintain curiosity and enjoyment in Biology.
  • To encourage objectivity and an analytical approach to solving biological problems.
  • To develop learners understanding of themselves and the world in which they live by helping to make them aware of the applications of Biology in everyday life
  • To develop skills and confidence in using these skills independently and as part of a small team
  • To encourage learners to develop their capacities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society
  • To develop an awareness of the importance of Biology as a qualification leading to science and non-science related careers

S1 and S2 Science

The first and second year science course is divided into topics which cover all three sciences: chemistry, biology and physics. Each topic is followed by a test.

In S1 pupils study:

  • An introduction to science
  • Cells
  • Forces
  • Matter
  • Body Systems
  • Waves
  • Chemical Reactions

The department are also involved in the interdisciplinary projects- European Week of languages (learning about Marie Curie) and Scotland and its people (learning about Scottish scientists)

In S2 pupils study:

  • Reproduction and growth
  • Electricity and heat
  • Elements, compounds and mixtures
  • Planet Earth

The course allows learners to develop literacy and numeracy skills, to evaluate environmental, scientific and technological issues, and to apply critical thinking in new contexts. It encourages teamwork and the development of scientific skills.

Homework is integrated within the course.


S3 is the final year of the Broad General Education during which pupils continue to develop their practical skills and improve their knowledge of the basic principles of chemistry. The course contributes to pupils’ general education by drawing their attention to applications of chemistry in everyday life.


In S4 pupils will build on what they have learned in S3, leading to presentation for National 3, 4 or 5 Qualifications at the end of S4.


National 5 Biology

Some pupils choose to study National 5 Biology as a one year course in S5

Higher Biology

The Higher Biology course contributes to improved knowledge and understanding of the physical and natural world. It also provides a good grounding for further study in Biology and other related subjects such as environmental science and food science as well as providing some background knowledge for work related training in health and technology.

The course is divided into 3 Units:

  • Unit 1 DNA & The Genome
  • Unit 2 Metabolism and Survival
  • Unit 3 Sustainability & Independence
  • Advanced Higher Biology

A one-year course that builds on the Higher course developing further the underlying theories of Biology and the practical skills used in the biological laboratory. The course also develops the skills of independent study and thought that are essential in a wide range of occupations.

There are three units and a project within the course:

  • Unit 1 Cells and Proteins
  • Unit 2 Organisms and Evolution
  • Unit 3 Investigative Biology

Higher Human Biology

The Higher Human Biology course builds on the knowledge gained in National 5 Biology about the Human Body. Each unit is assessed internally. Practical Skills are assessed internally. The pupils will complete a research assignment during the year. They will also sit an external exam at the end of the course.

The course is divided into 4 Units:

  • Unit 1: Human Cells
  • Unit 2: Physiology and Health
  • Unit 3 Neurobiology and Communication
  • Unit 4 Immunology and Public Health