FHSST Biology/Contents/How to use this textbook

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How to use this textbook[edit]

The South African high school Biology curriculum is built around 3 Learning Outcomes - things that you need to show you can do. Each Learning Outcome has 3 Assessment Standards. These are the things the classroom teacher, or the exam board, will use to test whether you meet the Learning Outcomes.

Learning Outcomes Overview[edit]

  • Learning Outcome 1: Scientific Inquiry and Problem Solving Skills
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 1: The learner identifies and questions phenomena and plans an investigation.
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 2: The learner conducts an investigation by collecting and manipulating data.
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 3: The learner analyses, synthesises and evaluates data and communicates findings.


  • Learning Outcome 2: Construction and Application of Knowledge
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 1: The learner accesses knowledge.
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 2: The learner interprets and makes meaning of knowledge in Life Sciences.
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 3: The learner shows understanding of how Life Sciences knowledge is applied in everyday life.


  • Learning Outcome 3: Life Sciences, Technology, Environment and Society
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 1: The learner explores and evaluates the scientific ideas of past and present cultures.
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 2: The learner compares and evaluates the uses and development of resources and products and their impact on the environment and society.
    • Focus of Assessment Standard 3: The learner compares the influence of different beliefs, attitudes and values on scientific knowledge.


Learning Outcome 1 is testing whether or not you have practical skills. See Useful Information for details of the skills you will need to develop.

Learning Outcome 2 is testing your knowledge of Biology.

Learning Outcome 3 is testing whether you can apply your knowledge to real life situations.

What do I need to know for the exam?[edit]

In school, each Learning Outcome is covered through using the same subject material in different ways. Because of that, this textbook is based on the subject material, and not the Learning Outcomes. In each section we aim to explain how the material should be used, and what skills should be learnt, to meet each of the Learning Outcomes.

The 4 subject areas are:

  • Tissues, cells and molecular studies
  • Structure, Control and Process in basic life systems of Plants and Humans
  • Environmental Studies
  • Diversity, Change and Continuity

Read each section through carefully. You can only really start to show that you have certain skills if you know the subject material properly.

We aim to cover everything you should learn from Grade 10 through to Grade 12, since each year builds upon the foundation of the previous year. However, the balance of our explanations will be focused on the Grade 11 and 12 work, since this will not have been tested externally.

Good luck!