Full Year, Semester

The study of Biology is constructed around inquiry into and application of understanding the diversity of life as it has evolved, the structure and function of living things, and how they interact with their own and other species and their environments. By investigating biological systems and their interactions, from the perspectives of energy, control, structure and function, change, and exchange in microscopic cellular structures and processes through to macroscopic ecosystem dynamics, students extend the skills, knowledge, and understanding that enable them to explore and explain everyday observations, find solutions to biological issues, and understand how biological science impacts on their lives, society, and the environment. They apply their understanding of the interconnectedness of biological systems to evaluate the impact of human activity on the natural world.

Recommended background: IBMYP level 5 or higher in the Year 10 Science biological science units.


The following topics provide the framework for learning in Stage 1 Biology:

Semester 1

Cells and Microorganisms
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Semester 2

Infectious Disease
Multicellular Organisms


Assessment at Stage 1 is school based.

There are two assessment types:

  • Investigations Folios (practical investigations and Science as a Human Endeavour investigations)
  • Skills and Application Tasks (topic tests)

Four assessment pieces are completed in each semester of Stage 1 Biology.

Semester 1

Osmosis practical report (IF)
Cells and Microorganisms topic test (SAT)
Keystone Species SHE investigation (IF)
Ecosystems and Biodiversity topic test (SAT)

Semester 2

Disease Spread and Prevention SHE investigation (IF)
Infectious Disease topic test (SAT)
Enzymes practical report (IF)
Multicellular Organism topic test (SAT)

Stage 1 Biology is assessed using two criteria:

Investigation, Analysis and Evaluation

  • This criterion assesses students ability to research relevant information, to deconstruct problems, design investigations, test hypotheses, identify variables, consider possible risks, create tables and graphs, analyse data and evaluate results.

Knowledge and Understanding

  • This criterion assesses students ability to understand science as a human endeavour, to recall Biological information, to use Biological terminology and use their knowledge in unfamiliar situations.

Successful completion of this subject leads to Stage 2 Biology

 Students who intend to study Biology at Stage 2: must complete 20 credits of Stage 1 Biology. Students should investigate whether tertiary study requires Stage 2 Biology as a prerequisite or assumed knowledge.