Alt Text

S2 Science (Human Health) Course Plan


Curriculum Area Curriculum for Excellence ‘Benchmark’ Activity

Body systems and cells:


Structure and function of organs and organ systems and their role in sustaining life.




Explores and explains the structure and function of at least three of the major organ systems, for example, Respiratory, Circulatory, Digestive, Excretory, Reproductive and Skeletal, and relates this to the basic biological processes required to sustain life.


Use of models, multimedia, dissection to investigate structure and function of organ systems. Glow science film clips.


Review of cell structure form S1: typical animal and plant cells. Define the term tissue and organ. List the main organ systems and complete a table with their function, making use of the torso to show body organs.


Investigate the digestive system in more detail: digestion demo. Pupils should be able to complete a piece of extended writing to describe the passage of food through the gut. Discussion of dietary requirements (main food groups). Use visking tubing to make a model intestine.


Investigate the breathing system in more detail. Experiment with inhaled and exhaled air. If available complete a lung dissection. Sequencing activity to describe breathing in and out. Creative writing to describe passage of oxygen / carbon dioxide. Link breathing system to process of respiration: demonstrate burning sugar and test for carbon dioxide.


Investigate the circulatory system in more detail. Complete a heart dissection (if available). Label a diagram of the heart. Look at microscope slides of the main blood vessels. Note the differences between arteries, capillaries and veins.


Brief mention of the other main systems including nervous (sense organs completed at level 2), excretory and skeletal systems.


Body systems and cells:

Role of technology in monitoring health and improving quality of life.






Uses a variety of instruments to monitor and record aspects of health, for example, pulse rate, blood pressure and recovery rate and gives examples of other aspects of health that may be monitored, for example, cholesterol and BMI.


Researches one condition that is screened for (for example, bowel cancer, macular degeneration and diabetes) and describes the symptoms of the condition.


Investigate the use of respirometers, peak flow meters, blood pressure monitors and medical thermometers. Research BMI.

Investigate blood glucose monitors for diabetics and artificial valves for heart disease treatment. Research ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle through positive lifestyle choices.


Include activities to:

·         Measure blood pressure

·         Measure pulse rate

·         Measure lung capacity using peak flow meters

·         Calculate  BMI from measurements

·         Measure body temperature using the laser / digital thermometer.

·         Discuss health technology including MRI scans, ECG’s, ultrasound, general radiography (e.g. X rays), endoscopes. Use cooperative learning activity e.g. 3 stray one stay using information on these technologies.

·         Test ‘urine’ for glucose (clinistix and benedict’s)



Body systems and cells


Body defences against disease and role of vaccines.


Describes how microbes (for example, bacteria and viruses) can cause disease and infection and how barriers to infection provide a first line of defence, for example, skin, mucus and stomach acids.


Describes how the immune system protects the body against disease if the first line of defence is breached, for example, through the action of white blood cells and production of antibodies.

Applies knowledge of body defence mechanisms to explain how vaccinations can protect individuals and populations from disease.


Investigate hand washing activities. Research current government/health board campaigns. Research methods by which diseases are spread and how these can be prevented

Investigate vaccines received in infancy and childhood. Investigate travel vaccines and why some diseases might be more common in other parts of the world.


Describe first line defences including the skin, mucus, acid, tears etc.

Describe the function of white blood cells in defence including phagocytes and antibody production (second line defences). Use clips from the internet to show phagocytosis (eating/ engulfing microbes).

Produce a cartoon strip showing invasion of the body by microbes and defence.

Define the term immunity and relate this to the process of vaccination. Video of Jenner and smallpox vaccine.





Fertilisation and embryonic development and risks to embryo.


Knows that a sex cell (gamete) contains half the genetic information needed to a make a complete individual.


Explains how the nuclei of an egg and a sperm (sex cells) fuse through the process of fertilisation and how the fertilised egg divides repeatedly to form an embryo.

Identifies the main structures within the pregnant womb (for example, placenta, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord) and describes their function.


Gives examples of substances, including toxins, which can cross the placenta from the mother to the embryo and demonstrates understanding of the potential damage to the embryo.


Use of models, reference materials and multimedia to explore fertilisation and embryonic development.


Label a diagram of a sperm and egg cell: note the differences and specific adaptations.  Describe the process of fertilisation – pupils could write a creative piece of work / storyboard describing the journey of a sperm cell from the testes to the oviduct.


Complete a paper based activity of foetus development and a sequencing activity to put the stages in embryo development in order. The role of the placenta should be explained.

Pupils should identify the harmful materials that can pass across the placenta: set up a debate / class discussion e.g. should pregnant women be allowed to drink alcohol?

Inquiry and investigative skills


Design procedures to test an hypothesis, controlling and varying an increased number of more complex variables


Present data/ information using an increasing range of ways, choosing appropriately from an extended range of tables, charts, diagrams and graphs and using suitable scales


Interpret and analyse the data and information and establish relationships between variables and link to the original hypothesis


Establish links between the findings and original questions and hypothesis or prediction. Use understanding of science concepts to explain the findings


Evaluate range of aspects of the investigation/enquiry including relevance and reliability of evidence


Communicate effectively in range of ways including orally and through scientific report writing

Investigation to measure the energy content of foods.


Investigation to measure the effect of exercise on breathing / pulse rate.