Biology

My name is Christian Setzer and I teach Biology at KYSIS. I grew up in the picturesque city of Cape Town where I completed a BSc (Hons) majoring in Ecology & Evolution and Applied Biology. I gained my teaching experience whilst privately tutoring various subjects, demonstrating undergraduates at University and completing an internship at the German International School in Cape Town. Teaching is something I delight in.

If you look at the etymology of the word Biology you will find that it comes from the Greek Bios meaning “life”, and logos meaning “word” or “study of”. So Biology is the study of LIFE and that is a wonderful thing. The world is just teeming with life, a diversity that surpasses the imagination, a complex interdependent web of causal links. There is abundance in every sense of the word, a richness that can hardly be measured, yet alone be fully understood. However, we do our best to understand this complexity. Human curiosity and the thirst for knowledge have led to the exploration of this biological world and all its facets.

In A level biology we will be exploring this biological world. The syllabus includes a diverse range of topics, from structure and functioning of cells to the physiology of the human body to ecology & evolution. The beauty of biology is that you frequently have the opportunity to apply and test the theoretical knowledge with practicals. For instance, how can we determine the difference between different sugars? Well, using the Benedict’s test. What does a smoker’s lung look like? Well, we can have a look under the microscope and see the effects of emphysema for instance. The list goes on.

So the A level biology course will enable you to develop your problem solving skills, data analysis and experimental skills. You will develop a wide appreciation and understanding of Biological concepts which can be applied to your future career. Our students are currently aspiring towards careers including Medicine, Dentistry, Biomedical Science, Veterinary Medicine, Zoology and Cardiology.
Description of Subject

The aims of all courses in Science are to:

1. Provide, through well-designed studies of experimental and practical science, a worthwhile educational experience for all students, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level and, in particular, to enable them to acquire sufficient understanding and knowledge to:
  • become confident citizens in a technological world and able to take or develop an informed interest in matters of scientific import
  • recognize the usefulness, and limitations, of scientific method and to appreciate its applicability in other disciplines and in everyday life
  • be suitably prepared for studies beyond A Level in Science, Engineering, Medicine or in Science-dependent vocational courses
2. Develop abilities and skills that
  • are relevant to the study and practice of science
  • are useful in everyday life
  • encourage efficient and safe practice; encourage effective communication
3. Develop attitudes relevant to science such as
  • concern for accuracy and precision
  • objectivity
  • integrity
  • the skills of inquiry
  • initiative
  • inventiveness
4. Stimulate interest in, and care for, the environment in relation to the environmental impact of Science and its applications.

5. Promote an awareness of the impact science has on it community.

6. Stimulate students and create a sustained interest in Science so that the study of the subject is enjoyable and satisfying.

BIOLOGY AS and A2 (9700)

Cambridge International AS Level candidates will study and be assessed on these sections:
  • Cell Structure
  • Biological Molecules
  • Enzymes
  • Cell and Nuclear Division
  • Genetic Control
  • Cell Membranes and Transport
  • Transport
  • Gas Exchange
  • Infectious Disease
  • Immunity
  • Ecology
Cambridge International A2 Level candidates will study and be assessed on these sections:
  • Energy and Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Regulation and Control
  • Inherited Change
  • Selection and Evolution
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Gene Technology
  • Biotechnology
  • Crop Plants
  • Aspects of Human Reproduction

Methods of Assessment in all science subjects:

The assessment for all three science courses is by external examinations which concentrate on the following skills:
  • Knowledge with understanding
  • Experimental skills and investigations
  • Experimental skills and investigations
Paper 1 (AS)

Type of paper: Multiple-choice (40 questions)
Duration: 1 hour
Marks: 40
Weighting AS: 31%
Weighting A2: 15%

Paper 2 (AS)

Type of paper: Structured questions on AS
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Marks: 60
Weighting AS: 46%
Weighting A2: 23%

Paper 3 (AS)

Type of paper: Practical Test (Two or more experiments)
Duration: 2 hours
Marks: 40
Weighting AS: 23%
Weighting A2: 12%

Paper 4 (A2)

Type of paper: Structured questions on A2 Core and applications
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Marks: 100
Weighting A2: 38%

Paper 5 (A2)

Type of paper: Planning, evaluation and analysis
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Marks: 30
Weighting A2: 12%

To obtain the full ´A level´ the student must complete AS course and A2 course.

Students for Advanced Subsidiary (AS) certification will take Papers 1, 2 and 3 at end of the first year.

Students then carry their AS marks for P1 and P2 and then sit Papers 4, 5 and 6 at the end of the second year.