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Staff Members

  • L. Kirkwood - Principal Teacher of Biology

  • K. Beck – Teacher of Biology & Rights Respecting School Lead

  • E. Dalgleish – Teacher of Biology

  • L. McLean – Teacher of Biology and Numeracy Lead

  • K. Nisbet – Teacher of Biology 


Biology is a fascinating and complex scientific field that explores the natural world and the life that exists within it. It is the study of living organisms and their interactions with each other and their environment. Through the study of biology, we can understand the diversity of life on earth, the complex processes that occur within organisms, and the ways in which living things interact with each other and their surroundings.

Studying biology can help to answer important questions such as:

  • What are the basic building blocks of life?

  • How do organisms obtain and use energy?

  • What are the processes that govern growth, reproduction, and development?

  • How do living things adapt and evolve over time?

  • What is the role of ecosystems and the environment in shaping life on earth?

Careers in biology are varied and can include fields such as medicine, biotechnology, environmental science, and education. Studying biology can lead to skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and laboratory techniques that can be applied in a wide range of fields.

Studying Biology gives you the opportunity to engage with a wide range of careers including research, medicine, dentistry, forensics, biochemistry, zoology, microbiology, genetics and many more. It allows you to be at the forefront of revolutionary discoveries and research. Studying Biology is of benefit not only to those pursuing a career in science, but also to those intending to work in areas such as veterinary medicine, engineering, conservation or teaching.

S3 Biology

In S3 Biology you will investigate the world of animals and plants from single cells to whole organisms. You will find out how animal and plant species depend on each other, the impact of population growth and natural hazards on biodiversity. You will study adaptations shown by both animal and plants for survival and find out how certain behaviours can ensure species survival. You will also learn about processes such as photosynthesis and cell division and be introduced to ideas at the forefront of modern scientific development, such as the use of stem cells and the role of DNA in Forensic Science.


Throughout the course you will apply scientific skills and communicate information related to your findings, which will develop skills of scientific literacy. Your work in Biology will lead to certification in courses at National 3, National 4 and National 5, should you choose to continue your studies in fourth Year.

National 4/5 Biology

The content of the S4 courses are designed to build on each of the topics studied in S3. There are two levels that can be studied in S4: National 4 or National 5. For both levels, there are three units studied.

Cell Biology

This section concentrates on learning about cells and DNA, microbes and their use in industry. Learners also study respiration. At National 5, learners further develop their knowledge by studying genetic engineering and the production of proteins.

Multicellular Organisms

This section develops further knowledge of organs and organs systems along with health technology and defence against disease. Exploring the knowledge and ethics behind fertilisation and embryonic development is also part of this section. At National 5, learners also study transport systems in plants and animals along with the absorption of materials.


Life on Earth

Building on skills and knowledge developed previously, this section involves learning about sampling techniques and identifying living organisms. Learners will also study chemicals used in agriculture, their impact on food production and photosynthesis. At National 5, further studies of ecosystems and the distribution of organisms is also tackled.

National 5 Health Sector

The emphasis of this course is to prepare candidates for working in the health sector and develop employability skills valued by employers. There are five units covered:


Working in the Health Sector

This unit introduces learners to the range of provision and the services provided by the health sector in their local area. Learners will participate in an interview for a specific job role which will help to develop knowledge and understanding of the world of work.

The unit also focuses on the employability skills and attitudes identified as being those most valued by employers in the health sector. Learners will be given the opportunity to reflect on and evaluate their own employability skills and record their progress throughout the unit.


Life Sciences Industry and the Health Sector

This unit is designed to introduce learners to the contribution of the life sciences industry in the diagnosis and treatment of illness. Learners will investigate the safety of pharmaceutical products made by the life sciences industry and the health and safety responsibilities of employers and employees in the life sciences industry. Learners will also undertake a risk assessment in relation to production, storage or use of products made by the life sciences industry.


Improving Health and Well-being

This unit is designed to introduce learners to the wide range of options available in the health sector that help tackle current health and lifestyle issues. It introduces learners to the health and safety risks to workers in the health sector and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Also, through team working, learners will give advice in relation to the promotion of health.


Physiology of the Cardiovascular System

This unit will provide learners with an introduction to the structure and function of the cardiovascular system. Learners will apply this knowledge to investigate the effect of a specific disorder on the structure and function of the cardiovascular system.

Learners will participate in a practical activity which will help to develop

knowledge and skills in taking physiological measurements at different activity levels. Learners will also participate in a practical activity to demonstrate current first aid procedures to provide emergency life support.


Working in Non-Clinical Roles

This unit introduces learners to the range and diversity of careers in non-clinical roles in the health sector. Learners will undertake an investigation into the roles and responsibilities of non-clinical roles and the diversity of career opportunities available. Learners will also participate in a practical activity which will enable them to demonstrate customer care skills in a non-clinical role.

Higher Biology

The content of the Higher courses are designed to build on each of the topics studied in N5. We offer two Higher courses: Higher Biology and Higher Human. For both courses, there are three units studied.


Higher Biology


DNA and the genome

Candidates develop an understanding of DNA and how the structure of the genome leads to the basis of evolution and biodiversity. Genomics is studied as one of the major scientific advances in recent times.


Metabolism and survival

Metabolic pathways and their control are considered along with the

conditions in which organisms survive and their means of coping with these.


Sustainability and interdependence

The interdependence and complex interactions between organisms is explored and sustainable food production, with the fundamental process of photosynthesis at its core, is investigated.


Higher Human Biology

Human Cells

Candidates develop an understanding of cellular processes such as DNA replication, cellular differentiation, protein synthesis and respiration.


Physiology and Health

In this unit, candidates will learn about the role hormones play in the process of gamete production and fertilisation. The process of fertility and screening procedures are also investigated. Following on from this, candidates will deepen their understanding of the cardiovascular system, physiological mechanisms and their impact on health.


Neurobiology and Immunology

In the final unit, aspects of the nervous system such as the brain, memory and neurological pathways are investigated. Defence mechanisms used by the body as part of the immune response are also studied.

Advanced Higher Biology

The Advanced Higher Biology Course is based on integrative ideas and unifying principles of modern biological science. It covers key aspects of life science at the molecular scale and extends to aspects of the Biology of whole organisms that are among the major driving forces of evolution. In addition, the Advanced Higher Biology Course aims to develop a sound theoretical understanding and practical experience of experimental investigative work in biological science.

The course covers the following areas:


Cells and Proteins

The key areas covered are:

  • laboratory techniques for biologists

  • membrane proteins

  • communication and signalling

  • protein control of cell division


Organisms and Evolution

The key areas covered are:

  • field techniques for biologists

  • evolution

  • variation and sexual reproduction

  • sex and behaviour

  • parasitism


Investigative Biology

The key areas covered are:

  • scientific principles and process

  • experimentation

  • reporting and critical evaluation of biological research

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