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High School Biology

Biology Department Introduction

      Biology is the study of life. Biologists attempt to understand the living world at all levels using many different approaches and techniques. Many areas of research in Biology are extremely challenging and many discoveries remain to be made. Biology is still a young science and great progress is expected in the 21st century.
      The high school Biology department at Shanghai High School International Division is designed to make the learning of Biology fun and exciting by bringing new hands-on activities into the classrooms, and to make teaching and learning Biology a more enriching and rewarding experience for both students and teachers. Through daily homework assignments, lab experiments, projects, and regular exams, students will gain a basic understanding of how scientific knowledge is acquired, analyzed, and supported in the fields of Biology.

      In high school Grade 9-12, there is Ecology and Evolution for Grade 9 students, Cells & Genetics for Grade 10 students, and pre-college general Biology for Grade 11 and 12 students. Standard level, or Honors level courses are provided in each grade for students with different levels of English proficiency and academic basis. There are also, Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) in Grade 11 and 12 for college-bound students who plan to enter fields requiring a strong foundation in Biology.

Approaches to Teaching



      There are a variety of approaches to the teaching of Biology in SHSID. By its very nature, Biology lends itself to an experimental approach, and it is reflected throughout all the courses provided to students. The experimental approaches collaborated with class lectures and activities, internet and technologies, are presented in a way that is: based on inquiry; focused on conceptual understanding; developed in local and global contexts; focused on effective communication and collaboration; differentiated to meet the needs of all students; informed by assessment (formative and summative).
      The approaches to teaching in Biology are aimed to make our student achieve at the bellowing three levels:

1. Gain a basic understanding of scientific concepts and methods.
2. Get the best grade possible in the Biology Public Examinations.
1. Build problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills.
2. Develop communicating of scientific concepts.
1. Appreciate the importance of Scientific method, as an aid to constructive logical thinking.
2. Stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Biology, and to encourage interest in, and care for, the environment.
3. Encourage students to embark upon further studies in Biology.

Technologies and lab
      Laboratory work accompanies our Biology courses and will be focused on acquiring basic lab and critical thinking skills. The use of computer and web-based technologies are integrated into the classroom and lab, and is a tool that aids students in data collection, data processing, and communicating their understanding of scientific concepts. There are five general Biology lab rooms in the primary and middle school. In high school the department’s research and teaching laboratories include: one General Biology lab room, one Human Health lab room, one Biochemistry and Molecular Biology lab room, one Microbiology lab room, one Cell Culture Lab room, and one Ecosystem Data-logging lab room, providing students with innovative teaching and learning spaces.

      Faculties in the Biology department are recognized for their excellence in teaching. All of the teachers are certified, all holding master's degrees. They bring energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the classroom. They are aimed to help students to develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills in a lab-based setting.

      Biology is one of the most popular courses in SHSID. The faculties in Biology department have created an environment of high achievement without antagonistic competitiveness, where academic rigor and creativity are celebrated and supported through after school activities and the curriculum. Each year, we have students participated in the Shanghai Adolescents Science and Technology Innovation Contest, and the International Science and Engineering Fair, ISEF in with research work in Biology. Many students have got full scores in SAT Biology tests, and we have maintained the average score of IB Biology above 6.5 since 2008. There are Biology clubs provided to students in both middle school and high school. Activities include preparing and presenting experiments and technical information before groups and sharing information about career, technical training, and college opportunities. To provide students in our school a even broader platform for scientific research and innovative thinking, in 2015, we have collaborated with the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences (SIPPE), students in SHSID can join into the research team at SIPPE, and can carry out their individual investigations under the direction of researchers and scientists in SIPPE.