Wednesday 13 December 2017

Incinerator and Zika virus make for a 'relevant' exam

LC Biology

Padraig Nash from Monasterevin and Louise Whyte, Newbridge, after sitting their Leaving Cert Biology higher level exam at O’Connell School, Richmond St North, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Padraig Nash from Monasterevin and Louise Whyte, Newbridge, after sitting their Leaving Cert Biology higher level exam at O’Connell School, Richmond St North, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The new Poolbeg incinerator and the Zika virus made for a topical Leaving Certificate higher level biology paper.

Teacher Lily Cronin, a subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), said it was good to see questions about issues to which candidates can relate. "It lets them see that biology is relevant to everyday life," said Ms Cronin.

She said a well-prepared student would do well on the paper, which covered a broad range of material on both theory and skills.

Ms Cronin said while students would have loved question 12 on DNA profiling the b (ii) part, asking them to explain how the son of a haemophiliac father was not a haemophiliac, "might have been a bit of a challenge". She said it didn't follow the usual format for such questions and while the "very good candidates would have no problem, others might struggle".

David Duffy of the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) described the paper as "fair overall - average students would have been fine, but there was also plenty to stretch the more able candidate".

Both teachers regarded the ordinary level paper as "very fair", and Ms Cronin said students would have enjoyed the diagrams and human biology questions.

Irish Independent

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