Subject Leader: Mrs A Donnelly
What specification (syllabus) is being taught?
We regularly see and hear in the media of new discoveries or scientific advances being made in the world. Very often these advances are in the field of Biological Sciences. It may be in medicine, genetics, food production and so on, but there is likely to be a Biologist involved in the research at some stage. Study of Biology offers the learner the opportunity to become more closely involved with this scientific frontier.
It is very important to understand how organisms function: learners are guided to develop their analytical skills, to use their knowledge of anatomy (the way an organism is put together), physiology (the way all of the bits work together), and biochemistry (the chemical reactions inside the cells) to explain observations about animals and plants.
During the course, use is made of both plant and animal tissues. Although we use computer simulations to help clarify some of the topics, they cannot replace ‘hands on’ experience effectively.
The course is relevant and challenging. Principles are studied in interesting contexts. It also emphasises the way scientists work and how science contributes to modern society
Who should take this course?
An A Level in Biology is necessary for anyone wishing to study any of the branches of the Biological Sciences at degree level. It is also very important for anyone hoping for a career in the medical profession (medicine, physiotherapy or ophthalmic etc.), the pharmaceutical industry (pharmacy, pharmacology, forensics etc.) or the environmental sciences. Biology is highly regarded as a qualification in itself though, when students opt to enter directly into industry.
What are the entry requirements?
A minimum two level 6 is required in Combined Science at G.C.S.E. Candidates who studied the separate sciences will need at least a level 6 in Biology and one other science.
A minimum of Level 5 in Mathematics is also required.
What are the key topics and themes? When will
they be taught?
In Year 12, the topics include biological molecules, cells, organisms’ exchange of substances, genetic information and variation.
In Year 13 the topics include energy transfer, organisms responding to their environment, genetics & evolution and control of gene expression.
There are 6 required practicals in Year 12 and a further 6 in Year 13, although we carry out many more practicals throughout the course in order to improve their practical skills.
Learners are required to complete all practical work in a lab book.
How will students be assessed?
When do these assessments take place?
Units for Year 12:
Two written papers which also include questions on the required practicals.
Units for Final A-Level:
Three written papers, which also include questions on the required practicals.
What can students do for revision at home? What materials are provided or available online?
We provide revision material via Google classroom for all students but in addition
the following are useful sites.