Biology - Parents Page

Why include Biology In Home Schooling

Biology helps us understand the big picture. The study of biology connects us to the world we are living in and reminds us of our interconnectedness with all other life forms. It develops awareness of the significance of fauna and flora and distinctive ecosystems. It provides opportunities to learn about the processes of all living things. What learners learn is directly relevant to our species and environment.


Biology is at the heart of many social and economic issues and by studying biology, learners should learn to make more informed decisions about their own health and about significant biological issues such as genetically modified crops, the use of antibiotics, and the eradication of invasive species. Biology helps learners to recognise the importance of agriculture and horticulture to contribute to its future.


Biology is also at the cutting edge of ecological conservation research. By studying biology, learners become much more aware of ecological issues, and better able to debate situations where exploitation of the environment for example, for farming, mining, or energy production purposes which clash with conservation objectives, or where we need to develop more sustainable ways of using our natural resources for example, soil, land, or water.


Things to cover at home are: living organisms, nutrition, digestion and excretion, respiration and gas exchange, health and disease, reproduction, ecosystems and habitats, inheritance and genetics, evolution, humans and the environment, nerves and hormones.

Recording the Learning 

For our learners on the Autistic Spectrum, it is very important to learn how to look after themselves. Once they are living independently they need to know when not to worry and when to contact a doctor, or visit the Walk-in centre and what to treat at home themselves. The hardest conversations are linked to puberty and death where change takes place. Being prepared ahead of time will take the anxiety out of these changes. If you require help and support with these conversations contact please us, we will be happy to help and have some prepared materials drawn together by our experiences of teaching this to autistics.


For our dyslexic learners, writing reams of information - is not helpful. Record their responses and thoughts in an audio/visual method, using your phone, is sufficient evidence.


Mind mapping is a great way to record information. Here are the basics: 

  1. Start in the centre with an image of the topic, using at least 3 colours.

  2. Use images, symbols, codes, and dimensions throughout your mind map.

  3. Select key words and print using upper or lower case letters.

  4. Each word/image is best alone and sitting on its own line.

  5. The lines should be connected, starting from the central image. The lines become thinner as they radiate out from the centre.

  6. Make the lines the same length as the word/image they support.

  7. Use multiple colours throughout the mind map, for visual stimulation and also for encoding or grouping.

  8. Develop your own personal style of mind mapping.

  9. Use emphasis and show associations in your mind map.

  10. Keep the mind map clear by using radial hierarchy or outlines to embrace your branches.

Plant Biology

Following A Set Programme of Learning 

There are some lovely TV programmes that will help. Look out for any programmes presented by Professor Alice Roberts as she is an excellence science communicator. For the older learners basically watch anything with Sir David Attenborough, for the fauna and flora and environment. Steve Backshall does a lot of wildlife, micro climates and environments and human impact upon wildlife on CBBC's for the younger learners. What comes across from all three is just what passion they have for their subject as well as the science.

Once your child is old enough why not join St Johns.

Anyone aged 7-10 years old can join a Badger Sett units which operate throughout England. At Badgers it's all about fun, adventure and learning first aid. Badgers take part in fun activities for different subjects, earning badges and certificates for each one.  Learn first aid, how to be active citizens, do arts and crafts, take part in team games and develop leadership skills, and much more!

Young people aged 10–17 can join the Cadet units, which operate throughout England. These are a great way for teens and young people to take part in volunteer work and learn valuable life skills.

As a Cadet, they take part in a full and interactive programme, working towards your Grand Prior Award and volunteering at events. You can:

learn first aid skills, volunteer within your community by providing first aid cover at public events, such as football matches and music festivals, learn leadership and public speaking skills by teaching first aid to other young people, spend time on weekend residential camps packed with activities, and have the opportunity to compete in international first aid competitions.

Are you interested in joining? Contact St John's regional offices to find your nearest unit today.

Why not join us on our trips in to London to the Royal Institution for their science lectures. 

Including Biology in the Learning Routine

Here, at Orchard Training we try to embed biology into our projects, where it sits naturally and can be enjoyed. For example, in our project on British Waterways we look at the environment and the importance of keeping rivers clean and what wildlife might live in the river. 


You don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment to teach biology.  Each project will list the resources you will need and suggestions of where to visit. They are written with the home-schooler’s budget in mind.

The biggest expense will be visiting places of interest. 

Whilst some don’t charge - others do. The main cost is the travel and ticket price: plan ahead, combine the visit with other activities, take a packed lunch – just like a real educational trip!