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Biology - Parents Page

Why include Biology In Home Schooling

Biology helps us understand the world of all things living. The word means the study of life. Biology helps us understand how all living things are interlinked. 


Here at the Orchard Training Garden Club we spend a lot of time thinking about biology with the plants we grow and particularly our project on forest gardening with its layers of beneficial plants supporting the growth of others, the attraction of pollinators, sustainable ways of crop rotation, and compost making, soil health and the ecosystem of the garden pond.


Linked with Health Education, we learn about how to keep our bodies and minds healthy with the need of sleep, eating healthy and exercise.

Linked with PSHE When old enough about reproduction and how to have healthy relationships and how to stay safe.

In our projects on dogs, horses and pets we learn about what animals need to thrive.

You can then go on to take the GCSE Biology with us if you want or on to a National Vocational Qualification in animal care.

Residential Garden

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.

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!

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