Hello and welcome to the Applied Human Biology Department at Reigate College.
My name is Liz Sanders and I’m the Head of Department for Applied Human Biology. The BTEC course is excellent preparation for many vocational careers so I’m really pleased you’ll be studying it at Reigate College and I’m looking forward to welcoming you to the department in person at the beginning of the academic year.
In advance of that, I’d like you to complete a series of tasks and activities over the coming months to keep your GCSE Science knowledge and skills fresh and in your mind. These activities are for you to complete independently from home, and we will then discuss together what you’ve learnt when you start the course in September.
The tasks will be released here, in three phases (see table below) and should be completed by Choices Day on 1 September 2021. Please throw yourself into them and above all enjoy them!
Please note, some Course Leaders (for example for Music) may release their tasks earlier, as they may form part of the College’s audition process. If this applies to you, you’ll be notified separately.
New Starters Course Tasks and Activities
To be completed by
Explore your Subject
Explore your Subject
Take note! How to approach studying Applied Human Biology
Effective notetaking from a variety of types of sources is an essential skill you’ll develop during your Applied Human Biology course. We’d like you to have a go at this in the two examples outlined in Activities 1 and 2 below. It’s really important you take notes in your own words and avoid copying and pasting from internet sources.
This is an example of how you would use the skill of notetaking to research and summarise how a pathogen causes disease, in this case how SARS-CoV-2 virus causes COVID-19.
Watch the video clip on COVID-19
Use the information in the video and your own research to create a COVID-19 Fact File. You will need to copy the table shown below and answer the questions using your own words.
During your Applied Human Biology course you’ll learn that as well as the information you find in your research, you also need to take a note of the source of that information, and the date it was accessed, so please include this information in your table.
Another way in which you will record your research is by creating a mind-map. Use this technique to create a mind map (like the one shown below) of cardiovascular disease. You should base your information on the WHO fact sheet and your own research.
During your Applied Human Biology course you’ll revisit and build on the concepts you learnt at GCSE. You will be assessed via a mixture of coursework and examination so it’s important that you can both understand and remember the basic concepts to enable you to add to your knowledge.
Task 1: BBC Bitesize
revision of the biology of the cell
Task 5: Disorders of
the Respiratory and Nervous Systems
Using your own research skills, produce a 300 word summary
including references (with date accessed) on your choice of two of the
following (include one disease of the Respiratory System and one of the Nervous
Motor Neurone Disease
As a minimum, you should include information on:
of the disorder
of the disorder
Task 6: The role of
Research the different types of clinical staff who would
investigate and treat the disorders you chose. What role do they play in
diagnosing and treating these disorders? The following websites will help you
in your research:
Please bring your answers to this series of tasks to your first lesson of the course.
Scientific writing and avoiding plagiarism
In this next series of activities, you will learn:
how to write scientifically, but in your own words
what plagiarism is and how to avoid it
A key skill in scientific writing is reviewing the work of other
scientists to reach your own conclusions. To do this you need to be able to read
and rewrite scientific literature in order to condense the information, use the
information to support your argument or review the available knowledge of a
field before proposing a research project.
It’s important to write clearly using scientific terminology but
TASK 1: Please answer the following questions:
What does plagiarism mean?
Do you think plagiarism is over emphasised? Give a reason for your
How can you avoid plagiarism but still write scientifically?
TASK 2: Below are three extracts taken
from the New Scientist article: ‘Controversial forensic DNA test gets
the green light’. Under each are ways of rephrasing the extract. Can you spot
which one in each case has not used plagiarism?
Although Caddy’s report backs the science behind the analysis,
it criticises the lack of uniformity in the way that police forensics teams
collect and interpret DNA evidence, and the lack of awareness that
contamination with DNA could falsify matches.
Even though Caddy’s report backs the science behind the analysis,
it doesn’t back the lack of uniformity in the way that forensics teams collect
and translate DNA evidence, and the fact they are not aware that contamination
with DNA can falsify matches.
Caddy has said that forensic teams do not all collect and
interpret the evidence that they find. There is also the added problem of
forensic teams not realising that contamination with other DNA can lead to the
Caddy’s report might have supported the analysis’ science, but it
criticises the lack of uniformity in the forensics team’s collection and
interpretation of DNA evidence, and that contamination with DNA could falsify
There are also technical problems with the process caused either
by the unexpected appearance in DNA profiles of extra chunks of DNA, or the
disappearance of chunks that should be there. The former is caused by
contamination, the latter because working with such tiny quantities means
sometimes the amplification enzymes miss bits of DNA.
Sometimes through contamination we find that there are DNA
sequences that are not supposed to be in the profile. Alternatively, the
amplification enzymes miss sections of DNA and these sections will not appear
in the profile.
There are technical difficulties with the process when there is
either a sudden appearance of extra chunks of DNA, or the disappearance of bits
that were meant to be there. The first appearance is because of contamination,
the disappearance is because of working with small amounts so the amplification
enzymes miss chunks of DNA.
The technical problems which occur are caused by contamination
where there is the unexpected appearance of extra chunks of DNA, or the
disappearance of chunks which should be there, which is caused by working with
such tiny amounts of DNA that the enzymes don’t work properly.
As to the technique itself, the panel said it was satisfied that
the three organisations offering the service to the police in the UK had each
taken the required steps to ensure reliability and repeatability, even though
the validations hadn’t been independently peer-reviewed and published.
Regarding the technique itself, the
panel were happy that the three organisations offering the service to the UK
police force had made sure that they had ensured reliability and repeatability,
even though this had not been independently published and peer-reviewed.
The panel says of the technique, that it
was satisfied that those organisations offering the service to the police had
each taken the required steps to ensure reliability and repeatability without
independent peer review and publication.
All reliable techniques are usually
written up, submitted for publication and undergo the peer-review process.
However in this case the panel stated that the organisations offering the
technique had done more than enough to make sure that results would be
reproducible and accurate.
TASK 3: Using the article below, write a 100 word summary in your own
words. Remember you can include any key terms used in the article but you
cannot cut and paste any sections into your own writing. Quotes should be kept
to a minimum and included in quote marks. Keep a simple bibliography including
the link to the article and date accessed for future reference.
You will need to read the article and condense the information by
summarising the key points. Keep the document in front of you whilst you write
so you do not have to write from memory. Write in the same style as the article
and use the same key terms that the article uses.
TASK 4: Using this link to ‘https://www.sciencedaily.com/’ choose a news story that you find of interest in the health care news. In your own words summarise the following in 200 words below;
Where did the story come from?
What kind of research was this?
What did the research involve?
How did the researchers interpret the results?
Please bring your work from this and from the earlier tasks to your first Applied Human Biology lesson. We look forward to welcoming you then!