Biology in S3 and S4

S3 Biology

 This year pupils are continuing their Science Education at CfE Levels 3 and 4 with work that will support their progression to National 4 or 5 Biology next year.

 Two main units are delivered in S3-

Life on Earth incorporates study of the biodiversity of Planet Earth and its biomes; practical ecology; evolution and the impact of humans on the environment.

Cells looks at the structure of plant, animal and microbial cells; cell growth; cell transport; proteins and their synthesis; respiration and photosynthesis.

Lesson Powerpoints are available on Edmodo pupils have been given their group access code. An on line text book covering the whole course is available at this site.

S4 Biology

 In S4 pupils continue with their study of Biology at National 4 or National 5, completing the cells unit and then moving on to study multi-cellular organisms which examines the hierarchy of organisation, stem cells and meristems, control and communication, reproduction, variation and inheritance, transport systems in plants and animals and effects of lifestyle choices on animal transport systems.

 Assessment for National 4 and 5 Biology

There are several outcomes that must be passed through class activities including investigation write ups, short reports and tests throughout the units. These build up into a folder of evidence that may be submitted for verification to SQA.

For National 5 in S4 pupils produce an assignment that contributes 20% of their final mark and will be externally marked. The other 80% will be assessed through an end-of-course examination.

Preparing for the N5 Prelim and the SQA exam.


The sooner you start getting ready the better! Different people revise best in different ways. Here is some advice and a list of resources that you might like to use.

  1. Make up a realistic  revision timetable so that you will not be left panicking at the last   moment. Keep your revision sessions short but frequent and use a variety  of approaches. (A prelim timetable is available on this PAGE.)
  2. Remember biology involves  a lot of learning of structures and terms. You have the notes that you  have completed throughout the course Learning Outcomes summarised at the end of each set.  LEARN the facts then test yourself or get someone else to test you. (If you’ve lost your notes download a new copy from “Biology Pickup” in school.)
  3. Edmodo site- You have all now joined the group so you just have to log in. If you forget your password Mrs.MacFadyen can help you to reset it. In brief this site contains copies of all of the Powerpoints used in lessons plus copies of revision materials, past paper questions, learning outcomes, glossaries and links to other helpful sites (Edmodo is also available as a phone app.) All of the resources uploaded onto Edmodo will be downloadable from Biology Pickup in school.
  4. The SQA website- the full  SQA course details and specimen paper are available at
  5. In preparation for the prelim after school revision sessions  will start after the September break on Wednesday 3.40- 4.40pm in Room 53 in preparation for the prelim and then after the February break at the same times. We shall revisit the course unit by unit and do past paper questions.
  1. Last year’s past paper and the specimen paper are available at for National 5  on line from SQA .   In class we will use the published copy of the SQA National5 Biology Specimen Paper plus model practice papers from Hodder Gibson and the Leckie and Leckie practice papers though there would be no harm in you investing in your own copy.
  2. More revision resources  include a new the on line text book mentioned above BBC Bitesize guide and the excellent revision guide such How to Pass National 5 Biology (ISBN 978-1-4441-8454-9).