Life Sciences

Life Sciences 2019-08-27T10:21:49+02:00

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Founded in 1856.

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Staff

Subject Head
Kerstin Stoltsz: BSc (Hons), HDE (UPE)
Click here to email Kerstin Stoltsz.

Christopher Townsin: MSc (Chemistry), HDE (UPE), Dip Bus Man (Damelin)
Click here to email Christopher Townsin.

Suzie du Plessis
Click here to email Suzie du Plessis.

Natural Sciences (Grade 8 and 9)
Benji Ekron
Click here to email Benji Ekron.

Carla Barclay: BSc, HDE (UPE)
Click here to email Carla Barclay.

Carl Snyman
Click here to email Carl Snyman.

Esté Bezuidenhout: BSc (Stell), PGCE (Cum Laude) (Rhodes)
Click here to email Esté Bezuidenhout.

Overview

This subject used to be called Biology before the new curriculum was introduced in 2006. The aim of this department is to encourage students to become aware of life around us, the interactions which occur in the environment, problems facing bio-diversity and life on earth, the working of the human body and most importantly, the appreciation of life as well as nuturing a keen interest in the Science of Life.

The courses offered cover a wide spectrum of biological topics from studying Cells, Tissues, Biological Molecules to Basic Control and Processes in Basic Life Systems. A large portion of the learning programme is devoted to Environmental Studies in which basic Ecology, Human Influences on the Environment, Sustaining our Environment, Population Studies and Diseases are studied. A substantial part of the Grade 12 learning programme is devoted to the study of Evolution based on early theories, as well as an explanation of evolution in terms of current knowledge.

In the Junior Grades (Grade 8 & 9) Natural Science is taught. The Life Sciences take charge of the Biology component in this Learning Area. The primary aim is to prepare students adequately for Life Sciences in the senior Grades, as well as instilling some awareness of the Human Body and our Environment, for those who choose not to continue with Life Sciences in Grade 10.

Being a practical subject a portion of the course is taught through experimental work. This aims to develop an understanding of scientific method which brings with it opportunity to take readings in the field and to transfer this data onto tables, graphs etc for interpretation and drawing of conclusions. To complement the practical component two excursions are undertaken each year. The Grade 8\’s explore geographical and biological situations in The Settlers’ Park Reserve whilst the Grade 10\’s undertake a trip to the Rocky Shore.

What is the Purpose of Life Sciences?

The study of Life Sciences enables learners to develop an understanding of the nature of science, the influence of ethics and biases, and the interrelationship of science, technology, indigenous knowledge, environment and society. Learners explore these concepts, which are essential to basic life processes and the interrelationship and inter-dependence of components of the living and physical world. This understanding is directed to improve the quality of life and life support systems in the biosphere. It also allows students to apply knowledge and skills in a way that will lead to sustainable management of resources and life-support systems.

Homework

Homework is left to the discretion of individual teachers in the department to supplement their teaching methods in the classroom.

Educational Resources

Suggested References:
Branch, M & G. 1981. The Living Shores of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers.
Dempster, ER. 2006. Crossing Over: The Basics of Evolution. Cape Town:HSRC. (Also available on the HSRC website)
Knobel, J. 1999. The Magnificent Natural Heritage of South Africa. Cape Town: Sunbird Publishing.
Lovegrove, B. 1993. The Living Deserts of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Fernwood Press.
Macrae, C. 1999. Life Etched in Stone: Fossils of South Africa. Johannesburg: Geological Society of South Africa.
McCarthy, T & Rubidge, B. 2005. The Story of Earth and Life: Cape Town: Struik Publishers.
van Wyk, B-E & Gericke, N. 2000. People’s Plants: A Guide to Useful Plants of Southern Africa. Pretoria. Briza Publications.
Skinner & Chimimba. 2006. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion.
Roberts Book of Birds.
Relevant Websites
National Geographic
Poodwaddle
Climate Change

Grade 8 and 9 Natural Sciences

Curriculum

Introduction to Natural Science

Introductory module
Graphs and processing data

Life and Living

The Microscope
Cells
Body Systems
Nutrition and the digestive system
Cellular Respiration
The Breathing System and Gaseous Exchange
The Circulatory System
Excretion
Human Reproduction
Movement
Sense Organs and the Nervous System
Photosynthesis

Tests and Forms of Assessment

Term 1

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task/ Investigation
Class Tests

Term 2

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task/ Investigation
Class Tests
Mid-year Exam

Term 3

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task/ Investigation
Class Tests

Term 4

Overall CASS mark determined according to departmental requirements
1 Practical task/ Investigation
Project
Final Exam

Grade 10 Information

Curriculum

Life at the molecular, cellular and tissue level

Molecules for life; Cells; Cell division (mitosis);
Plant tissues; Animal tissues; The leaf as an organ.

Life processes in plants and animals

Anatomy of plants
Transpiration
Support systems in animals (skeleton)
Transport system in humans (blood and lymph)

Environmental studies

Biosphere
Biomes: Environment; Ecosystems.

Diversity, change and continuity

Biodiversity
Classification
History of life on earth

Tests and Forms of Assessment

Term 1

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task
Class Tests
Informal Practicals

Term 2

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task
1 Exam Paper
Class Tests
Informal Practicals

Term 3

1 Controlled Test
1 Project
Class Tests
Informal Practicals

Term 4

1 Practical exam
2 Exam papers

Grade 11 Information

Curriculum

Diversity, change and continuity

Biodiversity and Classification of microorganisms
Plant diversity
Plant reproduction
Animal diversity.

Life processes in plants and animals and energy transformations

Photosynthesis
Animal nutrition
Cellular respiration
Gaseous exchange
Excretion

Environmental studies

Population ecology
Human impact on the environment

Tests and Forms of Assessment

Term 1

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task
Class Tests
Informal Practicals

Term 2

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical task
1 Exam Paper
Class Tests
Informal Practicals

Term 3

1 Controlled Test
1 Assignment
Class Tests
Informal Practicals

Term 4

1 Practical exam
2 Exam papers

Grade 12 Information

Curriculum

Life at molecular, cellular and tissue level

DNA and Protein synthesis
Chromosomes and Meiosis
Production of gametes
Genetics

Life processes in animals and plants

Vertebrate reproductive strategies
Human reproduction
Human nervous system
Receptors
Human endocrine system
Homeostasis
Plant responses to environment

Human impact on the environment

Examinable module from Grade 11.

Diversity, Change and Continuation of life

Evolution by Natural selection
Evolution of humankind
Hominin fossil sites
Alternatives to evolution

Tests and Forms of Assessment

Term 1

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical

Term 2

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical
1 Exam Paper

Term 3

1 Controlled Test
1 Practical
2 Exam Papers

Term 4

2 Exam papers