Biology is essentially the study of life and living organisms. This makes it a vast subject with many interesting categories. Biologists study organisms’ structure, evolution, distribution, behaviour, function, taxonomy (classification) and growth.
By studying Biology your child could be learning about cell makeup, plant germination, a whole ecosystem, animal behaviour, the function and form of human organs, benefits of various diets or exercise and much more. So whatever your child’s interest, be it sports, plants, cooking or animals, there is bound to be an area of biology to match it.
Knowledge of Biology could prove extremely useful in later life as it is essential for careers such as Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Sports Science, Veterinary work, Zoology, Conservation and Botany. As well as providing the building blocks for a fantastic career, an understanding of Biology can also be of great personal use in other important areas such as health, fitness, gardening, cooking and a general understanding of Planet Earth!
If you are studying or working in Biology you are known as a Biologist.
The first live cell ever seen was back in 1674, by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who became known as the father of microbiology.
A study that has become popular recently is Ecology but people have actually been studying it since the 18th century!
Oh no…Cells commit suicide! If a cell becomes damaged or gets an infection it will self-destruct. This process is called Apoptosis!
Did you know that 95% of the cells in your body are bacteria and most of them are found in your digestive system? Another reason to eat well!
The term ‘bacteria’ was devised by German Biologist Ferdinand Cohn. It is based on the Greek word ‘bakterion’ which means small rod or staff.
Not all bacteria are bad. We’ve heard about the ‘friendly bacteria’ in those little yoghurt drinks that help digestion. Other friendly bacteria help with the production of food, keep soil fertile and stop the growth of harmful bacteria.
OK now, prepare yourselves for this one…..humans have MILLIONS of bacteria growing on their skin and mucous membranes, so wash those hands and blow those noses!
DNA contains the information needed to make you and other living things work. Although your DNA is personal to you, some elements can be shared. Did you know that humans share 60% of their DNA with a banana!!!!
DNA is incredible. There is approximately 1.8 m (6ft) of DNA in every cell in your body and an average adult’s body has around 50 trillion cells in total.
The female Wrasses fish really does change for her man! Whenever a male fish dies the dominant female in their group actually changes sex to replace him!
Life on earth began approximately 400 million years ago, but life in the oceans started much, much earlier than that - around 3.3 BILLION years ago.
Like many people you probably believe that the Blue Whale is the largest animal in the world. While it is the most massive, it is not the longest. The Lion’s Mane Jellyfish, due to its long tentacles, can grow up to 42m (140ft) long as opposed to the Blue Whale which is a mere 30m (98ft) long!
At present, Marine Biologists have accounted for 1.5 million unique marine creatures, but they still believe there are many, many more to be found…so get hunting!
The largest organ in your body is your skin!
Some practical points to check are:
Do you need to provide stationery or equipment? Do these need to be purchased before the lessons start?
Are there any text books that you need to order/pay for in advance?
There are three examination boards accredited by Ofqual. These are:
AQA –One of the leading providers of GCSEs and A Levels. Used by most secondary schools and colleges in the UK.
Edexcel – Considered the UK’s largest awarding organisation, they offer both academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools and colleges.
OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) – Over 13,000 centres choose OCR for their A Levels and GCSEs.
There is no minimum qualification required to tutor Biology at home in the UK at present, however we would recommend you ask to see copies of qualifications held.
There are many benefits to introducing your child to a Biology tutor. Closing some of the holes in their learning will enable them to catch up with or creep ahead of their peers, building their confidence and enabling them to enjoy the subject. Whether building a young child’s confidence or assisting them with exam preparation a Biology tutor is your way of helping them gain control of their learning.
English Natural Philosopher and Architect, Robert Hooke (1635 –1703) discovered cells.
Charles Darwin (1809 –1882) was an English Naturalist who invented the theory of evolution which declared that evolutionary change was gradual and required thousands/millions of years.
James Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American Molecular Biologist, Geneticist and Zoologist best known as a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick (1916– 2004) who was an English Molecular Biologist, Biophysicist and Neuroscients.
Louis Pasture (1822 – 1895) was a French Chemist and Microbiologist and was one of the most important founders of Medical Microbiology.
Australian Physician, Barry James Marshall (born September 30, 1951) showed that the bacterium Heliocobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcers, reversing decades of medical beliefs that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid. This discovery has also allowed for a breakthrough in understanding a causative link between Heliocobacter pylori infection and stomach cancer.
Paul Andersen introduces the topic of Biology by covering the four main ideas – evolution, free energy, information and systems. This is a 9 minute overview which might be useful for an older child. Very interesting and delivered with pictures and diagrams to illustrate his ideas.
Hank describes why plants are so amazing – This is very funny and very informative. Hank from the ‘Crash Course’ team makes biology exciting!
Photosynthes explained by Hank
Evolution - a crash course – Hank is back.
Having studied Biology as a degree, I have found it to be one of the best options that I could have picked. As opposed to a subject like Maths, Biology is something that other people are genuinely interested to hear about. My knowledge of Biology helps answer questions about the world around me. Friends often ask me for my opinion on medical dilemmas, or about something that we may see on our day-to-day lives. Biology is not just one subject. It covers human anatomy, animal behaviour, plants, bacteria and many more areas. It can be tied in with other subjects - and not just science - such as economics and politics.
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