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This topic builds on students’ knowledge and understanding of the functioning of the circulatory system and the importance of lifestyle choices to health. The role of diet and other lifestyle factors in maintenance of good health is considered with particular reference to the heart and circulation and to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The structures and functions of some carbohydrates and lipids are also detailed within this context. Ideas about correlation, causation and the concept of risks to health are covered.
Students should be encouraged to carry out a range of practical experiments related to this topic in order to develop their practical skills. In addition to the core practicals detailed below, possible experiments include heart dissection to relate heart structure to function, investigation of the structure blood vessels by measuring the elastic recoil of arteries and veins and by examining slides of blood vessels, measurement of blood pressure, and investigation of the hydrolysis of disaccharides.
Opportunities for developing mathematical skills within this topic include calculating probabilities, plotting two variables from experimental data, calculating % change, substituting numerical values into algebraic equations using appropriate units for physical quantities, constructing and interpreting frequency tables and diagrams, bar charts and histograms, translating information between graphical, numerical and algebraic forms and using scatter diagrams to identify a correlation between two variables.