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Achievement objective LW 8-1

Students will:

  • understand the relationship between organisms and the environment.


  • In a novel context, recognises and identifies an organism’s response to a stimulus.
  • Analyses the mechanism involved in a range of responses to the environment (internal or external).
  • Relates an observed response to an adaptive advantage for the organism(s) involved.
  • Distinguishes between stimulus, mechanism, and resultant adaptive advantage of a response in plants or animals.
  • Explains intra-specific interactions in terms of their effect on individuals and the group/population/species.
  • Classifies and explains a range of inter-specific relationships in terms of the ecological niche of the organisms involved.
  • Explains how a homeostatic system may adjust in response to changes in an organism’s environment.
  • Analyses the various components that make up a homeostatic system.
  • Predicts the result of breakdown of a homeostatic system.

Possible context elaborations

  • Social interactions in a baboon troop in a zoo.
  • Migration of godwits.
  • Historical experiments into phototropism: interpret and critique in the light of modern findings.
  • Homing in New Zealand limpet species.
  • Why is the pohutukawa called the New Zealand Christmas tree?
  • Territorial behaviour in human gangs.
  • How does dehydration affect the performance of athletes?
  • Effect of IAA on mustard seed root growth.
  • Can holding my hand in ice-cold water affect my blood pressure?
  • How has texting affected human communications?
  • Hypothermia and hyperthermia: What goes wrong?
  • How do mud crabs tolerate salinity changes in their habitat?

Assessment for qualifications

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the  NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more:

Aligned level 1 achievement standards were registered for use in 2011 and level 2 for use in 2012; level 3 will be registered for use in 2013.

  • 91601 Biology 3.1 Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with guidance; Internal, 4 credits
  • 91602 Biology 3.2 Integrate biological knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue; Internal, 3 credits
  • 91603 Biology 3.3 Demonstrate understanding of the responses of plants and animals to their external environment; External, 5 credits
  • 91604 Biology 3.4 Demonstrate understanding of how an animal maintains a stable internal environment; Internal, 3 credits
  • 91605 Biology 3.5 Demonstrate understanding of evolutionary processes leading to speciation; External, 4 credits
  • 91606 Biology 3.6 Demonstrate understanding of trends in human evolution; External, 4 credits
  • 91607 Biology 3.7 Demonstrate understanding of human manipulations of genetic transfer and its biological implications; Internal, 3 credits

Last updated September 15, 2020