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Preliminary Biology is taught over 2.5 terms in year 11. We strongly believe that a key factor to HSC success is early preparation. Our approach to preliminary science courses is to use this time to cover the preliminary syllabus with the intention of building a strong foundation for HSC topics.
We cover Preliminary Biology 24 weeks, spending exactly 6 weeks on each module, including revision. In the last 5 or so weeks before the end of term 3, we discuss exam technique in depth, preparing students for their end of year Preliminary exams, as well as giving them a solid introduction into the important exam skills they need for the HSC.
Each week, there will be a 2 hour interactive class which will cover a section of the course in detail. In each class, students will receive a theory booklet which contains all the notes they need for that week's content.
As mentioned, the preliminary course content is covered with greater speed. The theory materials will cover a small section of the syllabus per week. Our teachers will patiently teach every week's content from first principles, ensuring a good fundamental knowledge base for each dot-point.
Towards the end of the year, we give our students an early start into the year 12 content, focusing on developing skills and familiarity in the core areas of the year 12 course. Students are given plenty of mock exams and exam-style questions throughout the year, giving them the confidence to succeed in exams as early as practical.
We do live demonstrations in class for important experiment dot-points so students don't miss out on these important syllabus dot-points that will be assessed in practical exams. Demonstrations include viewing cell structure, stages of mitosis / meiosis and other microscopic things under a microscope, dissections, analysis of biological models, and other activities. Classes will also go through the practical skills required by the syllabus so students aren't caught off-guard by these types of exam questions.
Just like the HSC course, each week's booklet will have a homework section which contains questions covering all the dot-points covered in that week. The questions are presented in exact HSC exam format, complete with the amount of marks each question is worth. All homework is marked according to a marking criteria, so teachers can explain to students the exact break-down of the marks allocation and give accurate feedback for improvement.