Course Outline


Cambridge IGCSE Biology Syllabus at GEMS Wesgreen International Secondary School aims to enables learners to:

  • increase their understanding of the technological world, take an informed interest in scientific matters, recognize the usefulness and limitations of scientific method, and how to apply this to other disciplines and in everyday life, develop relevant attitudes, such as a concern for accuracy and precision, objectivity, integrity, enquiry, initiative and inventiveness,
  • develop an interest in, and care for, the environment, better understand the influence and limitations placed on scientific study by society, economy, technology, ethics, the community and the environment and develop an understanding of the scientific skills essential for both further study and everyday life.

Learning Outcomes

The aims of all subjects state what a teacher may expect to teach and what a student may expect to experience and learn. These aims suggest how the student may be changed by the learning experience.

The aims of the Science Syllabus are to encourage and enable students to:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Develop understanding of nature, processes and methods of science through different type of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
  • Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Ongoing Objectives

Throughout each unit, the students are given the opportunity to build on the objectives below:

  • provide an enjoyable and worthwhile educational experience for all learners, whether or not they go on to study science beyond this level
  • enable learners to acquire sufficient knowledge and understanding to:
  • become confident citizens in a technological world and develop an informed interest in scientific matters
  • be suitably prepared for studies beyond Cambridge IGCSE

Unit Overviews

Term 1

Approximate length: 12weeks

For blended learning we will provide video links, live demonstrations of practical investigation as well as access to the relevant worksheets and resources that all students will need.

17.Reproduction in humans

This chapter will cover:

the structure and functions of the male and female human reproductive systems, fertilization and development of embryo, the role of the placenta, ante-natal care and birth, the menstrual cycle, oestrogen , progesterone and testosterone, methods of birth control, some sexually transmitted infections.

17.1 Human reproductive organs

17.2 Fertilization and development

17.3 The menstrual cycle

17.4 Birth control

17.5 Sexually transmitted infections

17.6 Sex hormones in humans

18. Inheritance

This chapter will support learners to understand: Chromosomes and genes, the structure and function of DNA, cell division by mitosis and cell division by meiosis, how to use genetic diagrams to predict and explain features of the offspring of two parents.

18.1 Chromosomes

18.2 Cell division by mitosis and meiosis

18.3 Inheritance

18.4 DNA and protein synthesis

18.5 Monohybrid inheritance

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

• Principles of hormonal coordination and control in humans

• Hormones in human reproduction, hormonal and non-hormonal methods of contraception

19. Variation and natural selection

This chapter will support learners to understand: continuous and discontinuous variation, sickle cell anaemia, adaptations to the environment, natural selection and selective breeding

19.1 Variation

19.2 Adaptive features

19.3 Selection

Specific National Curriculum Objectives Covered:

• The genome as the entire genetic material of an organism

• How the genome, and its interaction with the environment, influence the development of the phenotype of an organism

• The potential impact of genomics on medicine

• Most phenotypic features being the result of multiple, rather than single, genes

• Single gene inheritance and single gene crosses with dominant and recessive phenotypes

• Sex determination in humans

• Genetic variation in populations of a species

• The process of natural selection leading to evolution

• The evidence for evolution

• Developments in biology affecting classification

• The importance of selective breeding of plants and animals in agriculture

• The uses of modern biotechnology including gene technology; some of the practical and ethical considerations of modern biotechnology.

Term 2

Programme of Study

Term 3

Approximate length 7 weeks

Revision of Biology syllabus 0610 P2, P4 AND P6


Formative: Throughout the units, the learners will complete graded work, quizzes and investigation activities, which allows the teacher to assess the students’ attainment and inform their planning.

For each unit the students complete a pre and posttest. This allows us to see progress across the units and to inform our planning.  

Summative: At the end of each term, we complete internal tests. This allows us to measure the students’ progress throughout the term and year.

Mock Examination: The mock examination at the end of Year 11 is an important benchmark for teachers and students, and it serves several purposes:

It is an opportunity to be tested on the complete course material* under proper exam conditions.

• The students will have had to force themselves to start revising for these exams. Without the mock exams, they may have put off revision, until only a month or less before for the final exam.

• Students who are apprehensive or nervous about taking exams will have a chance to gain familiarity with the process so that ‘on the day’ they may feel less stressed and more confident.

• It provides an opportunity to spread the revision load of the subject over several months.

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