Sciences – Stage 1 Biology

Staff Contact

Nathan Wohling


SACE Credits/Course Length

10 Credits per Semester (20 weeks).  Students may study both Semester 1 and 2 as the courses cover different content.


Required Background



Course Outline

Biology involves the study of the organisation of life, from the microscopic (cells and organelles) to the macroscopic (ecosystems). Students learn about the human body specifically, its relationship to other organisms, and study the impact of human activity on the wider environment. The year is broken down into 4 units; Cells, Body Systems, Genetics and Ecology, 2 of which are studied in each semester. Students develop skills in analysis, evaluation, investigation and processing information and apply these in experimental situations and ethics based issues analysis’. Developing a working Biological literacy and working with the scientific method are essential and cover all assumed knowledge for Stage 2 Biology.


Course Content

Semester 1

In semester 1 students study the structure and function of cells and key structures in the human body. Cellular components and membrane transport mechanisms are used to describe larger organisms and specifically the function of the kidneys and circulatory system. Effects of various drugs, animal to human organ transplantation, cancer treatments and prevention, and the selling of human embryos, among others, are all explored as issues currently challenging the biological community.

Semester 2

In semester 2 students study the structure and function of DNA and its role in both determining characteristics and as the unit of heredity. In term 4 students study ecology, the interaction of species within ecosystems. Ownership of DNA, the creating of human embryos for research, genetic transfer between species, sustainable and mining practices and the size of the human population are all examined as issues currently challenging the biological community.



Assessment in Stage 1 Biology is entirely school based. Students undertake tasks within the following:

Skills and Applications tasks 40%

Investigations Folio 60%

Skills and application tasks

The skills and application tasks comprise of 3 assessment pieces, 1 assignment and 2 tests based on the topics and information covered. Tests are arranged into Multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions of approximately equal length and are assessed at the end of each unit.

Investigations Folio

The Investigations folio consists of one practical report and one issues analysis per semester.

Practical Report

The practical report is conducted during the first term of the semester and allows students to apply knowledge and understanding to design conduct and present scientific information.

Issues Analysis

The issues analysis is a research based assignment which asks the students to inquire into a contemporary biological issue of concern to them and present alternative views on the issue.