Science for Excellence : Biological Science: Level 4

Souter, Nicky (2011) Science for Excellence : Biological Science: Level 4. Science for Excellence . Hodder Gibson, Paisley. ISBN 9781444145236

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Science for Excellence Level 4: Biological Science is directed towards the Level Four Science outcomes of a Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) in Scotland. Its main focus is on those experiences and outcomes relating to life science in Planet Earth, Biological Systems and Materials. It makes frequent reference to key concepts identified in the Curriculum for Excellence and the topics chosen in the text can be linked with content across Planet Earth, Biological Systems, Materials and Topical Science. Although the chapters are designed to meet the CfE Level Four outcomes they have also been influenced by the need to articulate with “National Four” and “National Five” developments which were underway at the time of writing. This is reflected in the enquiry based approach and content within each chapter. Science for Excellence suggests activities which are designed to encourage pupils to plan and design experiments which have opportunities for individual investigation or practical challenges but also others which are more designed to provide progression into the next stage. This is reflected in the inclusion of content in reproduction, cellular processing and inheritance and novel areas, for this stage such as behaviour, and homeostasis. In an attempt to allow our pupils make more informed decisions on scientific issues relating to their familiar local experiences the chapters have a strong Scottish viewpoint but this is balanced by reference to global issues. It is hoped that the established life science content, presented alongside examples of historical ideas at the time leads to pupils’ awareness of science as a developing process involving tentative ideas and that what is considered correct may be refined in light of new discoveries. Problems and activities are designed to examine and extend the content of the chapters. Some chapters allow for numerical and graphical activities where others seek to reinforce the scientific principles contained in the main text. It was also felt that in an attempt to make the learners more active participants, open ended and pupil investigation activities should feature. These activities encourage individual project work and research and also group work with learners being asked to make informed decisions on scientific advances which may have ethical or societal implications. The tasks are designed around the “broad features of assessment in science” The principles and practices outlined in Curriculum for Excellence have been adopted throughout Science for Excellence. The series is designed to be used in conjunction with schemes of work which reflect learning and teaching approaches which are most applicable to the sciences. Science for Excellence provides opportunities for scientific enquiry and examples of scientific scenarios where they can for example, link variables to determine relationships or improve their scientific thinking or make informed judgements on the basis of scientific principles. Science for Excellence use of real data and experimental type situations are designed to support the development of pupils’ scientific attitudes. They will be able to look at data critically, make informed judgements on the basis of these and be critical and analytical of the science as well as the implications of broad or bold claims. Scientific and technological development in various contexts and at different times is recorded and the impact of those developments is seen in context and as an indication of how our society has used and managed Science for our benefit. A significant challenge for CfE and the series Science for Excellence is contribute to public understanding and positive attitudes to science and help them to become more able to engage positively in today’s scientific issues that affect us all. It is intended that the series’ approach and content will help them to appreciate the scientific challenges and issues facing mankind and respond in critical and informed ways. Enquiry, scepticism, analysis and questioning lie at the heart of ‘real’ science; we offer, in the text and within the selected images, some of the dilemmas facing science and society. These require continual revisiting and further scrutiny. Science for Excellence provides a sound preparatory text for all pupils including those progressing to the next stage with secure understanding of key issues in Science. We are inspired by science and its impact on our lives. We have been motivated by the pupils and new teachers we have taught, our colleagues in schools. Teachers are, outside the family, the most important influence on young people; the quality of their work is frequently underestimated and Science for Excellence is offered to support their challenging work. We are grateful for the patience and constant support of the outstanding team at Hodder Gibson as well as those closest to us.