Life Sciences

Life Sciences
Mission Statement
The study of Life for life

Every human being, regardless of who they are, should have an understanding of their own structure and function, the structure and function of other organisms around them, and an understanding of the environment in which they live. This, in essence, is Life Science - the study of Life.

Life Science is a living subject and there are so many aspects that lend themselves to hands-on practical work. This is an enjoyable and fascinating side of Life Sciences and it makes learning much more fun. It is easier for pupils to relate to theoretical concepts after practical work has been done. The practical component therefore forms an integral part of every section of Life Sciences.
It is our aim to be relevant and to get the pupils out into the biome and enjoy the subject as much as possible!

Curriculum Outline
There are four knowledge areas considered in Life Sciences in Grades 10 to 12:

Tissues, Cells and molecular study
1. The Chemistry of life.
2. Cell structure, cell division, cancer, tissues.
3. Micro-organisms: viruses, bacteria, protists and fungi.
4. Diseases and immunity.
5. Structure and significance of DNA and protein synthesis.
6. Discussion on issues relating to cloning, tissue sampling, DNA fingerprinting and applications to forensic science.
7. Meiosis.
8. Genetics, Inheritance and Genetic diseases.

Structures and control of processes in Life Systems
9.   Aerobic and anaerobic respiration, photosynthesis.
10. Human nutrition, breathing organs and gaseous exchange.
11. Structural support and transport, excretion, nervous system and endocrine system.
12. Asexual and sexual reproduction.
13. Human reproduction.
14. Issues relating to birth control and fertility.
15. Diseases related to all these systems.

Environmental Studies
16. Biosphere, biomes and ecosystems. Living and non-living resources.
17. Human influences on the environment.
18. Sustaining the environment.
19. Air-, land- and water-borne diseases.
20. Understanding and reporting on a local environment issue.
21. Effect of pollutants on human health.

Diversity, change and continuity.
22. Biodiversity of plants and animals and their conservation. Threats to biodiversity.
23. Adaptations for survival - symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, competition, and predator prey relationships.
24. Diseases related to parasitic relationships
25. Population studies.
26. Social behaviour and managing populations.
27. The history of life on earth.
28. Fossil studies.
29. Origin of species and theory of evolution.
30. Popular theories of mass extinction of organisms.
31. Cradle of mankind.

Skills taught in Life Sciences
The skills taught and developed are transferable and required in all walks of life.
There is an emphasis on both group and individual work in the following areas:

• Observation skills
• Measuring skills
• Recording skills
• Numeracy skills
• Skills relating to the development of logic
• Manipulation and handling of apparatus
• Procedural skills
• Interference skills
• Investigation skills
• Evaluation skills
• Discussion of moral and ethical issues 

Enrichment and Special Events
• The course material is continually revised and we aim to make the material interesting and relevant to our students. We value excellence and aim to extend     pupils so that they can reach their own potential. There is use of laptop and Internet related notes and assignments on a variety of topics. Pupils are able to     research and discover information at an advanced level. They are able to access new information and read about cutting-edge discoveries. 
• The application of what they have learnt in Life Science is also discussed with many other related topics such as cloning, biotechnology and disease conditions.     These topics extend pupil interest and knowledge and make them more aware of developments taking place in the world around them.
• We aim to discuss difficult issues with respect to the framework of the Christian ethos upheld by our school.
• Visits and outings are organised to places of interest depending on topics that are being studied. Some of the activities we have organised have been trips to     Pretoria University to see the scanning and transmission electron microscopes, ecological fieldtrips to Rietvlei Nature Reserve, visits to Maropeng, the        Sterkfontein Caves and the WITS Origins Centre and tours of Rietvlei Water Treatment Plant, ERWAT, SAKATA Seed Southern Africa, and FABI.
• Guest speakers are also invited to assist the learners in making choices about careers in the various scientific fields and to hear about actual research that is     taking place.

Laboratory Facilities
• All lessons are held in multi-purpose laboratories designed to be very user-friendly. The laboratories are fully equipped. Intervention and help is offered when     needed. There is a full-time laboratory technician who helps with the preparation and setting up of practical tasks.
• All laboratories have data projectors and interactive Smartboards to enrich learning. Pupils are given opportunities to give presentations to the class on topics     relevant to the syllabus. The Life Science Department has bought interactive software packages that staff and pupils use during lessons. Some interactive     software is loaded onto individual laptops so all pupils are able to revise at home using this software.

The study of Life Sciences is either required or strongly recommended for the study of the following careers. It must be stressed that most of the following careers require Mathematics and Physical Science.

• Medical Science
   Doctor, Dentist, Geneticist, Medical Technologist, Pathologist, Pharmacist, Nurse, Physiotherapist, Dietician, Occupational and Speech Therapist.
• Environmental
   Ecologist, Horticulturist, Game-Ranger, Wildlife Management, Forestry.
• Veterinarian Science
   Veterinarian, Veterinary nurse.
• Food Technology
   Dietician, Researcher, Brewer.                                                                 
• Education
   Teaching, lecturing, research.
• Biotechnology.

Date: Monday, 23 May 2016 14:19