The heart and blood vessels


Students should know the structure and functioning of the human heart and lungs, including how lungs are adapted for gaseous exchange.

The heart is an organ that pumps blood around the body in a double circulatory system. The right ventricle pumps blood to the lungs where gas exchange takes place. The left ventricle pumps blood around the rest of the body.

Knowledge of the blood vessels associated with the heart is limited to the aorta, vena cava, pulmonary artery, pulmonary vein and coronary arteries. Knowledge of the names of the heart valves is not required.

Knowledge of the lungs is restricted to the trachea, bronchi, alveoli and the capillary network surrounding the alveoli.

The natural resting heart rate is controlled by a group of cells located in the right atrium that act as a pacemaker. Artificial pacemakers are electrical devices used to correct irregularities in the heart rate.

The body contains three different types of blood vessel: • arteries

• veins

• capillaries.

Students should be able to explain how the structure of these vessels relates to their functions.

Students should be able to use simple compound measures such as rate and carry out rate calculations for blood flow.

Recognise and use expressions in decimal form,

Use ratios, fractions and percentages