BIOLOGY TEACHING AT OPEN GATE BOARDING SCHOOL
Biology taeching at Open Gate aims to develop all the essential skills and knowledge for living in a society where nature has become important in its ability to reduce the negative consequences of living in the stressful world of technology, industry and socio-economic relations.
We are convinced that mastery of the subject goes hand in hand with teaching methods that emphasize active learning. Therefore we allow students to build new knowledge upon their previously acquired knowledge foundations, respecting their individual differences in input level.
Modern biology is tightly connected to technology. Our laboratories are equipped with modern binocular light-microscopes with cameras able to record the observed specimen, as well as with stereomicroscopes suitable for the observation of larger objects. We would like to teach our students to carry out their investigation scientifically and this intention would not be possible without appropriate, precise tools such as the PASCO measuring systém. Some investigations (especially in the area of genetics) cannot be carried out „live“ because of some objective, technical obstacles. In order to provide the opportunity for practical work in these areas, we often use online simulations created by well-known universities such as Stanford or Cambridge University.
Regadless of the age or ability level of students in Biology, it is the student who is the most active element in the class as well as during field work. We fully respect their individual differences and offer the basics to those who are pure historians (e.g.) and much more (lectures at Universities, individual research activities) to those who want to study life science at university.
Nevertheless, a very high academic standard and scientific approach is expected of both groups.
At lower „gymnázium“ the curriculum follows the demands of the Czech National Educational Plan. Students use Czech language during the lessons but they already learn basic terms concerning the future change in language to English within biology classes.
Upper „gymnázium“ reflects the required skills and knowledge in the IB programme and is organized within the courses Pre-IB Biology I and Pre-IB Biology II. The situation is not easy – the teacher has to prepare the students for IB studies, but on the other hand there is the compulsory Czech curriculum to be taught.
In kvinta, students learn general biology, cytology, botany and zoology. Sexta students study human anatomy, physiology, phylogeny, ontogeny and genetics. Both classes are continuously preparing for IB studies especially within practical work.
During the last two years (septima + oktava) students who elect biology study this fascinating subject under the guidelines of requirements of the IBO. Although IB Biology seems to be very demanding, we never forget to regularly find some space so that our students could enjoy the classes and forget about rote learning for a while.
If you want to learn more about BIOLOGY TEACHING at Open Gate we recommend the web pages www.opengate.cz, where many students publish their experiences from our classes.