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Established in 1641


Biology is the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, evolution, distribution and the relationships they have with each other. It is an exciting and rapidly advancing subject. Biologists are making an increasing contribution to ensuring the world becomes a healthier and safer place. The following links provide detailed information and documents from the SQA relating to the courses offered in the senior phase. National 4 Biology National 5 Biology

National 4 and 5 Biology

The National 4 Biology Course enables learners to develop the ability to solve problems and establish relationships in Biology by acquiring a broad knowledge base and practical skills. The National 5 Biology Course enables learners to develop a deeper understanding of Biology concepts and the ability to describe and interpret biological phenomena National 4 and 5 Biology is split into 3 units that builds on Knowledge gained from S1-3:
  • Life on Earth – How is all life on the Earth interconnected, and what are the current threats to life on earth? This will include: Factors affecting Biodiversity and distribution of life on Earth, how energy moves in the ecosystem, how nutrients (e.g. nitrogen) are recycled in the ecosystem, sampling and measuring of environmental factors, natural selection and evolution, and the human impact on the environment.
  • Cell Biology – What happens inside the tiny cells which make up our bodies, and the all other living things, which help to keep us alive? This will include: study of cell structure and function, transport in cells, production of new cells, DNA and protein production, enzymes and their role in cells, genetic engineering, photosynthesis, and respiration.
  • Multi-cellular Organisms – How do plants and animals control their bodies and behaviour to survive? This will include: Specialisation of cells and tissues, the role of stem cells, controlling the body (role of the brain, nerves and hormones), reproduction and inheritance, transport systems in animals (heart and blood) and plants, and effect of lifestyle on health and wellbeing.

N5 Assessment

The external assessment for the National 5 course will comprise two parts: An assignment worth 20 marks to be completed in school and SQA marked. A final exam in May comprised of multiple choice and written questions.

CFE Higher Biology

The Higher Biology Course develops learners’ curiosity, interest and enthusiasm for Biology in a range of contexts. The skills of scientific inquiry and investigation are developed throughout the Course, and the relevance of physics is highlighted by the study of the applications of Biology in everyday contexts. The following link provides detailed information and documents from the SQA relating to the courses offered in the senior phase. Higher Biology Higher Biology is split into 3 units that build on Knowledge gained from S1-4:
  • DNA and the genome – (1) Structure of DNA, (2) Replication of DNA, (3) Control of gene expression, (4) Cellular differentiation, (5) The structure of the genome, (6) Mutations, (7) Evolution, and (8) Genomic sequencing.
  • Metabolism and Survival – (1) Metabolic pathways and their control, (2) Cellular respiration, (3) Metabolic rate, (4) Metabolism in conformers and regulators, (5) Maintaining metabolism – surviving and avoiding adverse conditions and extremophiles, (6) Environmental control of metabolism, (7) Genetic control of metabolism, and (8) Ethical considerations in the use of microorganisms, hazards and control of risks.
  • Sustainability and Interdependence – (1) Food supply, plant growth and productivity, (2) Plant and animal breeding by manipulation of heredity, (3) Crop protection, (4) Animal welfare and behavioural indicators of poor welfare, (5) Symbiosis, (6) Social behaviour, (7) Mass extinction, regaining biodiversity and measuring biodiversity, and (8) Threats to biodiversity.

Advanced Higher Biology

The course is designed for pupils wishing to further extend their knowledge and understanding of the dynamic arena of Biology. Advanced Higher Biology is highly regarded for entry into further education courses in Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry and indeed many other Biological courses. The content of the Advanced Higher course covers a proportion of the 1st year University Biology content resulting in a smoother transition from school to University. The course comprises of two 40 hour units, a 20 hour unit and the Investigation.
  • Cell and Molecular Biology – This unit seeks to develop knowledge and understanding in the context of areas of Biology such as: prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells, Cell Cycles & Differentiation, Nucleic Acid Structure & Function, Membranes and Cell Signalling
  • Environmental Biology – This unit seeks to develop knowledge and understanding in the context of areas of Biology such as: Energy Flow/Fixation, Nutrient Cycling, Biotic Interactions, Interactions between Species and Pollution
  • Physiology, Health & Exercise -This unit seeks to develop knowledge and understanding in the context of areas of Biology such as: Cardiovascular System, Pathology, Exercise, Osteoporosis and Diabetes Mellitus
  • Investigation – This is an extended experimental investigation on a topic appropriate to Advanced Higher Biology involving research, planning, data collection, data analysis and evaluation. A report of around 3000 words is the conclusion of this work and a day book is required to monitor the progress on a day to day basis.


Mrs E Boyce (Prinicpal Teacher) Mr A Ledsom Mrs L Campbell Miss J McLean Mr D Shearer

Lab resources

Useful websites: BBC Bitesize Biology Higher Bitesize Revision Biology In Motion Potometer Simulation Investigating Cells General Biology Interest Various learning activities Quiz Activities & Games Cafe Sci