St John's College

When directly translated, biology means, “the study of life”. Thus, biology – now known as Life Sciences – incorporates a huge range of subject matter, all of which is relevant to a person in today’s world.

Specific topics covered at St John’s are outlined below. However, the study of Life Sciences or Biology, involves much more than just the gaining of knowledge – accumulating facts and principles. There is an emphasis on the need for pupils to understand the knowledge they learn, to be able to apply that knowledge to interpret information that is unfamiliar to them, to explain phenomena, patterns and relationships and to solve problems.

This is a dynamic subject, and the body of knowledge that we call Biology has been built up over centuries through observation, investigation and experimentation. All pupils should learn Biology to enable them to make informed decisions as citizens of the 21st century. They need to be informed about the controversial issues of Biology, such as cloning, so that they can make balanced judgements about them. For others, learning Biology will prepare them for their future role at biologists.

We believe that the course offered will be a worthwhile educational experience that is stimulating and challenging and which enables the development of new skills and encourages effective communication.

The syllabus for each year is divided into four knowledge areas:

  • Tissues, Cells and Molecular Studies
  • Control and Processes in basic life systems
  • Diversity Change and Continuity
  • Environmental Studies

For each of these topics there are three learning outcomes:

Scientific inquiry and problem-solving skills. The learner is able to confidently explore and investigate phenomena relevant to Life Sciences by using inquiry, problem-solving, critical-thinking and other skills

Construction and application of Life Sciences knowledge. The learner is able to access, interpret, construct and use Life Sciences to explain phenomena relevant to Life Sciences

Life Sciences, technology, environment and society. The learner is able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of science, the influence of ethics and biases in the Life Sciences, and the interrelationships of science, technology, indigenous knowledge, the environment and society

Careers related to the study of Biology 

  • Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy
  • Research Scientist
  • Environmental Control and Management
  • Academic teaching or lecturing

Other related fields include Agriculture, Biochemistry, Botany, Conservation, Embryology, Genetics, Ichthyology, Landscaping, Marine Biology, Medical Technology, Microbiology and Zoology