Our aim in teaching Biology is to inspire students to pursue their interests in studying the world around them and to be prepared to take an active role as citizens in the many and important scientific debates going on today. Students are encouraged to ask questions and critically evaluate current scientific issues. Over the course of the two years, there are numerous opportunities to use practical work to link theory to reality and enable students to become confident and competent in practical work. There continues to be a lack of female scientists in Britain today, and so we look to promote the achievement of women in Biology.
Key Stage 5 – Year 12/13
What will I Study?
We follow the AQA Biology course and use a wide variety of approaches to deliver subject content – lectures, videos and practicals. Independent study is also hugely important. Students will be expected to give their own presentations on selected areas of the syllabus. There will also be the opportunity to attend external lectures.
The topics studied are:
- Biological molecules
- Organisms exchange substances with their environment
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
- Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only)
- Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only)
- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only)
- The control of gene expression (A-level only)
How will I be assessed?
There are 12 basic practical skills which will be covered over the two years, which will be tested in the examination papers. In addition, students have the opportunity to gain a certificate of Practical Endorsement which is required by some universities and courses.
There are 2 papers, worth 75 marks, which assess content from modules 1- 4, including practical skills.
Paper 1 (2 hours) assesses content from modules 1- 4, including practical skills and is worth 35% of the A-level.
Paper 2 (2 hours) assesses content from modules 5-8, including practical skills and is worth 35% of the A-level.
Paper 3 (2 hours) assesses content from modules 1 – 8, including practical skills and is worth 30% of the A-level
The papers contain a mixture of short and long answer questions and a choice of essay questions.
A-level Biology is a desirable qualification for areas in medicine, pharmacy and various fields of research and paramedical professions such as Physiotherapy, Midwifery and Radiography. In addition it could provide openings in publishing, Scientific Journalism or medical secretarial work.
Girls wishing to pursue degree courses in sciences can choose Biology along with Chemistry and Physics. Girls who study Chemistry will find that it enhances their understanding of many of the concepts covered in the Biology course. The subject is also a popular choice for students who wish to study a science to complement their other subjects.