The rapid progress in the field of life sciences poses a challenge for Biology education, especially in terms of designing a framework that integrates fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes. With this in mind, this syllabus has adopted a framework that will chart a new direction for Biology education. An overview of this framework is depicted in Fig. 1: H1 Biology Curriculum Framework.
The Practices of Science are common to the natural sciences of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These practices highlight the ways of thinking and doing that are inherent in the scientific approach, with the aim of equipping students with the understanding, skills, and attitudes shared by the scientific disciplines, including an appropriate approach to ethical issues.
The content in this H1 Biology syllabus is organised around four Core Ideas of Biology and an Extension Topic. The Learning Experiences2 refer to a range of learning opportunities selected by teachers to link the biology content of the Core Ideas and Extension Topic with the Practices of Science, to enhance students’ learning of the concepts. Rather than being mandatory, teachers are encouraged to incorporate Learning Experiences that match the interests and abilities of their students and provide opportunities to illustrate and exemplify the Practices of Science, where appropriate. Real-world contexts can help illustrate the biology concepts and their applications. Experimental activities and ICT tools can also be used to build students’ understanding.
The Extension Topic is based on important emerging biological issues impacting both the local and global contexts. It requires students to demonstrate assimilation of the Core Ideas and extend their knowledge and understanding to real-world challenges. Furthermore, the Extension Topic will equip students with the necessary knowledge and process skills to make informed decisions about scientific issues. In line with this, the Extension Topic chosen is Impact of Climate Change. The Extension Topic takes up about 10% of the total H1 Biology curriculum.
Students are expected to study all four Core Ideas and the Extension Topic.
2 Learning Experiences can be found in the Teaching and Learning Syllabus.