This detailed lesson has been planned to cover the 1st part of specification point 6.4.3 of the AQA A-level Biology specification which states that students should be able to describe the detailed structure of the nephron and understand its role in ultrafiltration, selective reabsorption and osmoregulation. The lesson was designed at the same time as the other lessons in this topic on ultrafiltration, selective reabsorption and osmoregulation so that a common theme runs throughout and students can build up their knowledge gradually in order to develop a deep understanding of this organ.
Students will come to recognise the renal cortex and renal medulla as the two regions of the kidney and learn the parts of the nephron which are found in each of these regions. Time is taken to look at the vascular supply of this organ and specifically to explain how the renal artery divides into the afferent arterioles which carry blood towards the glomerulus and the efferent arterioles which carry the blood away. The main task of the lesson challenges the students to relate structure to function. Having been introduced to the names of each of the parts of the nephron, they have to use the details of the structures found at these parts to match the function. For example, they have to make the connection between the microvilli in the PCT as a sign that this part is involved in selective reabsorption.
This lesson has been designed for students studying on the AQA A-level Biology course