Life Science

COURSE OUTLINE
The study of, and interest in life is rooted in the human spirit.  This subject offers students an opportunity to master an enormous variety of skills which are useful and applicable and have relevance to all areas of life : the ability to observe accurately, to think critically to evaluate and make logical sensible deductions and conclusions; to communicate effectively and most of all to appreciate life in all its various forms.

The work covered in Grades 10, 11 and 12 takes the student on a journey of discovering life in its various forms from the simplest unicellular organisms through to the more complex living forms.  The emphasis is not on the acquisition of knowledge alone.  While the student must obviously learn to master a large volume of information, much emphasis is placed on the student engaging with a vast amount and variety of resource material in order to master a number of skills such as the ability to find relevant information, assess the reliability of information and apply the knowledge gained to a variety of situations.

Throughout the course the emphasis is on the very delicate inter-relationships that exist between all organisms on our planet.


TYPE OF WORK

Students are expected to complete a number of practical exercises, research assignments and essays.  Every aspect of the syllabus has a very large practical component which enhances the theoretical aspects of the syllabus.

The study of live material forms an integral part of the course.

Excursions are conducted to enhance the learning programme and to give students an opportunity to conduct investigations in the field.  Opportunities are provided for students to interact with Biologists at work.

In the Gr. 10 course, 4 knowledge areas or themes are covered, namely:

1.  CELLS, TISSUES AND MOLECULAR STUDIES

2.  STRUCTURE, CONTROL AND LIFE PROCESSES

3.  ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

4.  DIVERSITY, CHANGE AND CONTINUITY


ASSESSMENT

TEST-BASED ASSESSMENT

A variety of questions are set to test both the mastery of the content, the understanding of the content and the application of knowledge.

OBSERVATION-BASED ASSESSMENT


This type of assessment is aimed at testing the learners observation skills and ability to record data.  This method is often used when doing practical work.

TASK-BASED ASSESSMENT

Task-based or performance assessment methods aim to show whether learners can apply the skills and knowledge they have learned in unfamiliar contexts outside the classroom.  Performance assessment also covers the practical component of the subject by determining how learners put theory into practice. Self assessment and peer assessment are also features of the programme.

Exams are written twice a year in accordance with the schools exam programme.

SPECIAL NOTES

The Life Science course offers every student knowledge which is vitally important in their everyday lives.

Life Science is considered a foundation course for further studies at tertiary level such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Radiography, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Agriculture, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Dietetics, Food Science, Genetic and Marine Biology.

The thinking and analytical skills learnt in Life Science will allow students to make informed decisions and comments that are not only biological.