NCEA Course Booklet

Year 13

Prerequisites Level 2 Biology preferred.

Assessment The course contributes towards NCEA Level 3 and University Entrance with 13 of the 20 credits externally assessed through examination, and the remaining 7 credits internally assessed.

Description The Level 3 course bridges the gap between College and university study as it aims to build on the wider application of the important biological principles studied at Levels 1 and 2. The classroom becomes more of a forum for the presentation, discussion and evaluation of interesting and challenging concepts. Each year a significant number of boys opt to take this Level 3 Biology course purely because they are interested in biology, and enjoy learning about the diversity and intricacy of living organisms (including our own origins), rather than because they are considering a career in biology. These boys contribute hugely to the atmosphere in the classroom. It is hoped that all boys develop a greater understanding of the rapidly changing world they are living in, and get a chance to discuss the 'meaning of life'. Students study the nature of life at all biological levels.

The following Achievement Standards will be assessed:

• AS 91601 (4 credits – internal) Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with guidance. • AS 91603 (5 credits – external) Demonstrate understanding of the responses of plants and animals to their external environment. • AS 91604 (3 credits – internal) Demonstrate understanding of how an animal maintains a stable internal environment. • AS 91605 (4 credits – external) Demonstrate understanding of evolutionary processes leading to speciation. • AS 91606 (4 credits – external) Demonstrate understanding of trends in human evolution. There is an expectation that boys are able to express themselves clearly in their written answers, and many find that their writing skills, and coherent expression of ideas improve over the year. This is not to say that boys need wonderful literacy skills to take Biology, but like a lot of subjects at this level, it helps.

The course covers:

• Using and communicating knowledge • The human manipulation of DNA in the science of genetic engineering • The evolutionary processes that form new species and the evolution of humans • The seasonal responses of plants to day length, complex navigation methods, and reproductive strategies of animals • The homeostatic mechanisms that control the blood sugar levels, temperature, blood pressure and metabolic rate of mammals

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