There is no better way to appreciate the complexities of evolution, the elaborate networks of ecology and Man’s effect on his surroundings than to immerse yourself in it in the way that only Hurtwood can.
How Biology is brought to life at Hurtwood House
ETHOS AND AIMS
The aim of the biology department is to develop the students biological knowledge in association with real life examples of biology at work.
To take account of some of the new advances in the field of biology and the issues these raise. Have an awareness of the application of biology in a variety of fields of study. To allow the students to develop the necessary skills to pursue a career in scientific study or to be able to transfer these skills to other areas.
Biology is a ‘living’ science
Edexcel Biology A (Salters-Nuffield)
Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk
This looks at cardiovascular disease (CVD) and includes the circulatory system and the importance of lifestyle choices to health. The structures of some carbohydrates and lipids are also detailed within this context.
Topic 2: Genes and Health
This topic considers the following biological principles through the context of the genetic disease cystic fibrosis: the properties of and transport of materials, across cell membranes and gas exchange surfaces; DNA structure and replication; protein synthesis, enzymes and monohybrid inheritance.
Topic 3: Voice of the Genome
This looks at the development of multicellular organisms from single cells to complex individuals. Looking at cell structure and ultrastructure, cell division, fertilisation, stem cells, gene expression and cell differentiation. Also the role on the environment when considering the expression of the genotype and the influence of epigenetic changes.
Topic 4: Biodiversity and Natural Resources
Starting with species diversity and the concept of niche and adaption this topic looks at the wealth of natural resources available to and exploited by humans. This includes medicines and fibres and a consideration of how zoos and seedbanks can help in conservation.
Topic 5: On the Wild Side
Photosynthesis is the primary process that underpins the majority of ecosystems, being an important component of the carbon cycle. This topic looks at how climate change can influence species distribution and how the evidence for climate change has been collected.
Topic 6: Immunity, Infection and Forensics
What questions need to be answered when a body is found? This topic looks at the work of a forensic pathologist along with how bacteria and viruses may have cause the death in the first place. It also looks at the complexity of the immune response and how an evolutionary race exists between the pathogens and the human immune system.
Topic 7: Run for your life
Sports science is the context for this topic looking at respiration, muscle contraction and homeostasis. Including the use of performance enhancing drugs as well as the mechanisms available for monitoring performance.
Topic 8: Grey Matter
The scene is set by considering how the nervous system enables us to see. Brain imaging and the regions of the brain are considered as are how imbalances in brain chemicals may result in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
Practical work will be carried out throughout the course and a number of skills will be assessed.
Field work – to include grass and fresh water ecology.
Dissection (not compulsory)
Visits to: Natural History Museum (Darwin centre), Millennium Seed bank and the London Zoo