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To help your teen select appropriate courses and course sequences, refer to the High School Graduation Requirements.


High School


What your teen is learning

Biology 20

Your teen will explore human body systems—digestive, respiratory, circulatory, excretory, immune and motor—and examine how to maintain a steady, healthy body state. They’ll learn how energy from the sun is transformed into usable energy for cells so that cells can perform daily functions. Your teen will also analyze factors that influence species diversity, describe mechanisms that lead to population changes over time and examine the cycling of matter and the flow of energy in ecosystems by interpreting food webs and ecological pyramids. For more about Biology 20, refer to the program of studies.

Biology 30

From molecular biology to community ecology, Biology 30 builds on a variety of biological concepts. Your teen will examine how genetic information in DNA is inherited and expressed, and they’ll analyze the value and impacts of new biotechnologies and treatments such as genetic engineering and hormone therapy. They’ll study the nervous system and describe how the brain, eye and ear function to sense and respond to the environment. They’ll explain how the endocrine system and its hormones regulate and maintain an internal balance, and they’ll investigate the male and female reproductive systems, including the major processes in human fetal development. Your teen will gain a deeper understanding of ecology by exploring how communities change over time, and they’ll apply mathematical models to explain population growth. For more about Biology 30, refer to the program of studies.

How your teen is assessed

Learning is assessed using a variety of tools and strategies within the classroom. Ask the teacher what methods they are using. The different assessment methods tell you, your teen and your teen’s teacher about your teen’s strengths, the areas in which they might grow and how well they are doing throughout a course. At the end of the course, your teen will be assessed and their achievement will be reported so that you know if they have achieved the expected learning outcomes for the course.

At the end of the 30-level course, your teen will write a provincial diploma examination. There are three main purposes for the diploma examination:

  • to certify the level of individual student achievement in the course
  • to ensure that province-wide standards of achievement are maintained
  • to report individual and group results.

Your teen’s final mark in the 30-level course is determined by taking 70% of the school-awarded mark and adding it to 30% of the diploma examination mark. Your teen must achieve a final mark of 50% or higher to obtain credits for the course. General and course-specific diploma examination information is available to help you and your teen.

Resources to help your teen

A variety of digital and print resources, developed by publishers, Alberta Education or Alberta teachers, are available to help students learn. Teachers may select, and bring into the classroom, numerous innovative and creative resources to create rich learning experiences for your teen. Visit to learn more about the resources your teen may encounter.

Relevant Resources:

Course Sequence

1 Students who have achieved a final mark of 50% or greater in any one of Biology 20, Chemistry 20, Physics 20 or Science 20 may enrol in Science 30.

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