There is no reason to fear science, after all, science is a part of daily life and can be found all around us. Weather, current events, cooking, and baking are all examples of science at work in daily life. Science class can help students better understand the world around them.

"Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in."

Sally Ride

Junior Cycle Science allows students to develop a basic understanding of each of the above subjects. Even outside of the classroom your study of Junior Cycle Science will continue!  Your class will go on, research and discovery field trips, do out of class experiments and may even take part in out of school competitions. Junior cycle science is not only about the study of biology.  In fact, you will study a total of five strands, you will cover a multitude of topics in the following areas:

  1. The nature of science
  2. Physical World
  3. Biological World
  4. Chemical World
  5. Earth and Space

However for this article, and the batch is related to we are going to look into everything junior cycle regarding the biological world.

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Obtaining a basic knowledge in Biology can help you when pursuing so many different carers, from holistic medicines and cosmetic industries to nutrition and sports - Image by Mareefe from Pixabay
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What is the Biological World Strand in junior cycle science about?

The Biological World is the strand in the junior cycle which will turn into the subjects biology for leaving cert.

While studying the biological world strand students will learn about and develop an understanding of the diversity of life, life processes and how life has evolved.

Students will explore body systems and how they interact, they will also learn about the basics of human health. Students will carry out experiments and investigate living things and their interdependence and interactions with ecosystems. They will learn about issues of social importance, such as the impact of humans on the natural world.

Simply put the overall aim of this course is to develop students’ evidence-based understanding of the natural world. To increase their ability to gather and evaluate evidence and to make them more self-aware as learners, which in turn will lead to students becoming more competent and confident in their ability to use and apply science in their everyday lives, especially in areas such as health and nutrition.

Biology
In a sense, human biology is like the software, the inner workings of the human being. Each organ and cell with its own unique function which must be carried out to make the bodywork as a whole - Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What are the Main Topics Covered in Junior Cycle Biology?

Junior Cycle Biology covers many topics, however, for this article, we are going to have a look and the main ones. Below is a list and a brief description of,  the main headings or topics that are covered in the junior cycle syllabus::

  • Biodiversity - Biodiversity is the biological variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels.
  • Cells - Cell biology is the study of cell structure and function, and it revolves around the concept that the cell is the fundamental unit of life.
  • Circulatory System - The circulatory system is a network of blood vessels supplying the body with oxygen and nutrients while removing carbon dioxide and waste.
  • Digestive System - The digestive system consists of the parts of the body that work together to turn food and liquids into the building blocks and fuel that the body needs.
  • Ecology (living organisms) -  Ecology is the study of the relationships between plants, animals and their environment.
  • Evolution - Human evolution is the evolutionary process within the history of primates that led to the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominid family, which includes the great apes.
  • Genetics - Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.
  • Human Health - Human health, defined as the complete state of physical, social, and mental well-being
  • Human Reproduction - Human reproductive system, an organ system by which humans reproduce and bear live offspring. Provided all organs are present, normally constructed, and functioning properly.
  • Photosynthesis - Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy in the form of sugar.
  • Plant Growth & Reproduction - Most plants have roots, stems and leaves. These are called the vegetative parts of a plant. After a certain period of growth, most plants bear flowers.
  • Respiration - Breathing is the process that brings oxygen in the air into your lungs and moves oxygen and through your body.

As you can see you will cover many different areas throughout your three years of biological world studies in junior cycle science.

Circular system
As you can see from just the brief description of each topic above, anatomy is broken down into many areas of Junior cycle biology - Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Things to Remember About Junior Cycle Biology

Throughout this series of articles, we are going to look a little bit more in-depth at some of the many topics in junior cycle biology. However, there are a few things I would like to remind you about before we move on to the individual topics. Below I have compiled a shortlist of things you should remember when studying biology for your junior cycle, some of these tips may be helpful in other subjects or topics.

  1. There is no individual exam for junior cycle Biology. Biology at this level is taught as part of the science course for the junior cycle. Each student receives the same materials and resources, this is because junior cycle science is taught at a common level, meaning everyone gets the exam and assessments throughout the three years of the course.
  2. Don't forget to revise your experiment logbook, some of your questions might look similar to an experiment that you have already done. This will help you prepare for other experiments, improve your scientific skills and your logbook is usually used as part of your assessment so make sure it's neat and tidy.
  3.  When you're studying, if you come across new terms phrases and keywords that you're finding it hard or difficult to understand, sometimes writing a quick note on that word will make it easier for you to recognise and use in future. Having a note of important keywords and also be important when it comes to your final examination at the end of year three.
  4. Enjoy it! Science can sometimes seem like a daunting subject to try and learn, but it is actually a really fun subject.  Even if you only take your science class her junior cycle, you will learn so much about the natural world and your own biology it will amaze you! As I mentioned at the start of this article, having a basic knowledge of human biology can end up helping you in so many different career paths such as but not restricted to, physiotherapy, personal training, wellness coach and other healing practices to the more cosmetic side of things such as creating and using makeup hair products etc...
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Maureen

Hey, I'm Maur/Mo, I'm a writer from Ireland. I've written a novel and a lot of poetry and fiction. Currently, I work as a content writer at superprof