Sciences – Stage 2 Biology

Staff Contact

Nathan Wohling


Required Background

1 Semester of Stage 1 Biology recommended


Course Outline

Stage 2 Biology is a 20 Credit subject which is organised into four content themes; Macromolecules, Cells, Organisms and Ecosystems. Each of these main themes is further broken down into; Organisation, Selectivity, Energy Flow, Perpetuation, Evolution and Human Awareness. The structure and function of the base building blocks of cells are studied, with a focus on the cell membrane and transport. Energy generation in cells is also studied. In term 2 the students study how macromolecules contribute to the maintenance of cells and their environment. The structure and function of Nucleic acids, polysaccharides and protein are all explored in depth. During semester 2, through the study of body tissue and organs, the students examine how cells and macromolecules are able to combine to create functional organisms. This is then drawn out into even larger scale when the students explore how many organisms work coherently to exist in stable ecosystems. Students learn skills in experimentation and issues analysis, which are used in a series of formative and summative assessment pieces. Students design and carry out three practical investigations and one issues analysis throughout the year, where they display their ability to apply these skills. Students also learn to research scientific information, and present it in an ethical way using correct Biological conventions. The external assessment component for Biology is an end of year examination.


Course Content

Cells (9 weeks)

Macromolecules (9 weeks)

Organisms (8 weeks)

Ecosystems (5 weeks)



Assessment in Stage 2 Biology is 70% school based and 30% externally assessed. Students undertake tasks within the following:

Skills and Applications tasks 30%

Investigations Folio 40%

Examination 30%

Skills and application tasks

The skills and application tasks comprise of 3 tests based on the Cells, Macromolecules and Organisms topics. 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 three practical reports and one issues analysis per semester. One practical report is a design report where students are required to plan their own experiment and conduct it to analyse a hypothesis. The Issues analysis requires the students to examine a Biology based issue and present conflicting views in an extended essay piece.