Science - Biology


The word biology is derived from the Greek words /bios/ meaning /life/ and /logos/ meaning /study/ and is defined as the science of life and living organisms. An organism is a living entity consisting of one cell e.g. bacteria, or several cells e.g. animals, plants and fungi.


Biology provides opportunities for students to engage with living systems. In Unit 1, students develop their understanding of cells and multicellular organisms. In Unit 2, they engage with the concept of maintaining the internal environment. In Unit 3, students study biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life. This knowledge is linked in Unit 4 with the concepts of heredity and the continuity of life.


At Aldridge:

At Aldridge SHS, biology is offered in Year's 10 through to 12. Year 10 is a course that introduces students to the important foundations that underpin Units 1 to 4 (Year 11 and 12). The course also introduces students to the types of assessment that they will face in Year 11 and 12, with the focus being on unpacking assessment tasks and the specific marking criteria involved with each piece.

Biology, along with all of the senior Sciences, also explicitly teaches the strategies related to responding to the cognitive verbs used in assessment tasks and the subsequent criteria on which the students will be graded.

Why study Biology?

Biology focuses on the study of living organisms.  What is life? How do we protect it? How organisms survive at the molecular, cellular, and anatomical levels? What is the ecological interrelationship one organism has with another? What evolutionary patterns are associated with organisms? These questions are important to living creatures like ourselves and studying Biology is about understanding the answers.

Facilities, equipment and software:

Students will become trained in using Scientific data logging software (Loggerpro – supplied by the school). Here at Aldridge we have a laboratory specifically set up to suit the needs of senior biology students.


Units of study: 

Year 10:

 Year 10 Biology 


Unit 1: From Cells to Organisms



Unit 2: Maintaining the Biological Machine


Unit 3: Into the Wild


Unit 4: When Mendel met Darwin


  • Topic 1: Animal Physiology
  • Topic 2: Plant Physiology

    Assessment: Student Experiment


  • Topic 1: Homeostasis – The Nervous and Endocrine systems
  • Topic 2: Fighting the Infection – The immune system response

    Assessment: Research Assignment


  • Topic 1: Classification and biodiversity
  • Topic 2: Ecology and field work techniques

    Assessment: Data Test


  • Topic 1: Mendelian genetics
  • Topic 2: Darwinian Evolution

    Assessment: Written Exam (covering Units 3 & 4)




Year 11, Sem I: Unit 1: Cells and Multicellular Organisms

In Unit 1, students explore the ways biology is used to describe and explain how the structure and function of cells and their components are related to the need to exchange matter and energy with their immediate environment. An understanding of the structure and function of cells is essential to appreciate the processes vital for survival. Students investigate the structure and function of cells and multicellular organisms. They examine the structure and function of plant and animal systems at cell and tissue levels in order to analyse how they facilitate the efficient provision or removal of materials.

Year 11, Sem II: Unit 2: Maintaining the Internal Environment

In Unit 2, students explore the ways biology is used to describe and explain the responses of homeostatic mechanisms to stimuli and the human immune system. An understanding of personal and communal responses is essential to appreciate personal lifestyle choices and community health. Students develop scientific skills and conceptual understanding in homeostasis, the immune system and the relationships between global, community and individual immunity. They examine geographical and population data to analyse strategies that may have personal and communal consequences.

Year 12, Sem III: Unit 3: Biodiversity and the Interconnectedness of Life

In Unit 3, students explore the ways biology is used to describe and explain: the biodiversity within ecosystems; a range of biotic and abiotic components; species interactions; adaptations of organisms to their environment; principles of population dynamics; and how classification systems are used to identify organisms and aid scientific communication.

Year 12, Sem IV: Unit 4: Heredity and Continuity of Life

In Unit 4, students explore the ways biology is used to describe and explain the cellular processes and mechanisms that ensure the continuity of life. An understanding of the processes and mechanisms of how life on Earth has persisted, changed and diversified over the last 3.5 billion years is essential to appreciate the unity and diversity of life.



Formative assessment – Units 1 and 2: Student Experiment, Data Test, Research Task and Mock External Exam.

Summative assessment – Units 3 and 4: Student Experiment (20%), Data Test (10%), Research Task (20%) and External Exam (50%).



Biology is a General subject suited to students who are interested in pathways beyond school that lead to tertiary studies, vocational education or work. A course of study in Biology can establish a basis for further education and employment in the fields of medicine, forensics, veterinary, food and marine sciences, agriculture, biotechnology, environmental rehabilitation, biosecurity, quarantine, conservation and sustainability.


Mrs Hamill is trained in the Arts as well as having a Biology degree, specialising in Zoology. She has a very holistic approach to her teaching.

Miss Graham was an Honours graduate who spent a lot of time in the field as a research biologist specialising in the Outback Queensland marsupial population as well as Ecology. She is very passionate about the ethical implications of Science education.

They have been at Aldridge SHS since 2004 and 2009 respectively. Both are experts in their fields and are well respected by their students and teaching peers.


Last reviewed 22 April 2021
Last updated 22 April 2021