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This Human Biology course is designed for students who wish to extend their knowledge and understanding of the science behind human physiology. It uses class discussion, debates, role plays, worksheets, quizzes and games to help students understand the basic scientific principles behind human biology and to get them thinking about some ideas and topics that they might not have encountered in the science teaching they have received at school.
The class aims to be an interactive and fun introduction to human sciences, and so students are expected to get involved in discussions and to participate fully in class activities. These will be varied in order to engage all types of learner and will include plentiful use of examples and props.
During the two-week course, students learn the basic principles of human biology, including cell biology, homeostasis and genetics; gain an insight into how a medical research study is designed and carried out; and develop a greater understanding of specific areas of human biology, including hormones and diabetes, infectious diseases, the cardiovascular system, cell growth and death, the immune system, DNA and genetic diseases. In this way, students get a solid overview of the subject of Human Biology that may help inform their decision if they are considering studying Biology, Medicine or Human Biology specifically at university.
Furthermore, students get the chance to learn about what is being done at the cutting edge of human biology, such as genetic engineering and cloning; controversial topics that students are encouraged to discuss and debate with their peers. Similarly, in the class on vaccination, students vote on a motion and then debate it with the class, both as a means of testing their knowledge of the subject in ensuring that they debate with the correct facts in hand, and as means of honing discussion skills and rhetorical and persuasive ability. Biology as it pertains to humans can often lead to divisive or controversial topics and it is important that students learn how to discuss these in a mature, respectful and constructive manner, both for the purposes of this course and for their future studies.
The course is assessed by means of a piece of written work and a role-play, thus allowing students to display their strengths regardless of whether those strengths lie more in written or spoken work. The written work will take the form of a practical report on an experiment performed in class and the role-play will be performed in pairs, where one student is a doctor and one student is a newly-diagnosed patient, in order to assess the students’ understanding of their work on diseases and their ability to convey their knowledge in spoken form.
The class will stimulate curiosity in students about their own physiology, and aims to send them back to their schools with a reinforced comprehension of biology, and with a firm desire to know more. Throughout, questions will be encouraged and answered, in order to iron out misconceptions and permit the free play of learning. In classroom discussions, students will become more confident in their own abilities to think, and in the use of argument to further learning. By the end, students should have a greatly improved understanding of human biology from a sub-cellular to a macro-physiological level, and should be well-equipped for a continuation of their studies during the year- perhaps ultimately with the intention of returning to Oxford or Cambridge themselves.
This subject is part of the New Perspectives course at Oxford Royale's Oxford summer school.
The New Perspectives summer course, for students aged 13 to 15, is suitable both for those who are trying to decide what to pursue in further education, and for those who simply want to learn about a variety of interesting subjects - 17+ study options are available!
Students choose two morning classes and one afternoon workshop to provide a diverse and stimulating curriculum that is tailored to their needs, allowing them to pursue areas of interest or try out something new. Students studying New Perspectives in Oxford get the chance to live and learn in a college of the University of Oxford or in our 17th-century manor house, Yarnton Manor.
All students will be expected to be sufficiently confident in English to discuss scientific ideas and participate fully in group discussions and debates.
The New Perspectives programme - our flagship Oxford summer course for 13-15s - allows you to combine different subject options to enable a flexible, tailored programme that best suits your academic needs
To view other options, select your choice of options and apply, please visit the main New Perspectives Programme page
With the New Perspectives Programme, you also get:
What our students have to say
Read how Sara has returned year on year, experiencing different summer courses in Oxford and Cambridge.Read Sara's story
Read how Mifta's experience with us introduced her to lifelong friends from across the world.Read Mifta's story
An aspiring cinematographer, Rebecca joined us at the ISC for our Future Filmmakers Gap Year Programme.Read Rebecca's story
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Oxford Royale Academy is a part of Oxford Programs Limited, a company registered in England as company number 6045196. Registered office: 14 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4EF. The company contracts with institutions including Oxford University for the use of their facilities and also contracts with tutors from those institutions but does not operate under the aegis of Oxford University.