Courses Followed

 Key Stage 3 (Years 7 & 8)

Students study all three sciences by 1 or 2 teachers. In biology they will look at cells, drugs, variation, reproduction, health and disease, and ecological interactions including the environment. Support study text books are also available online to help you.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 & 11)

GCSE AQA Biology 8461 gives students the chance to gain a good understanding of human biology, organisms, evolution and the environment. 

The specification integrates the principles of 'How Science Works' throughout the content. All examinations are linear, with 100-mark papers following topics 1-4 and 5-7 (see below). In total students will sit 2 papers each 1 hour 45 minutes in length. The course starts in Year 9 and students will sit the linear exams come the Summer of Year 11. No coursework is needed, but students are expected to have experience and notes of core practical’s outlined in the specification.

It is suitable for students with a determination to question and improve their scientific literacy and understanding, whether they intend further study in Science or not. It can open the doors to future careers in Medicine and the Life Sciences.

GCSE Biology offers students:
  • a firm foundation to go on to study A-level Biology
  • a good background to specialise in other sciences
  • the opportunity to gain a good understanding across a broad range of rich and relevant topics:
  1. Cell biology
  2. Organisation – Digestion and Circulatory Systems
  3. Infection and response
  4. Bioenergetics – Photosynthesis and Respiration
  5. Homeostasis and response
  6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
  7. Ecology
  8. Key ideas – assessed across all 2 papers.

 Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)

A Level Biology

For GCE we use OCR Biology A(H420) schemes of work which are centred around 6 modules. These 6 modules give a breadth and depth to Biology that enable students to take up a range of post 16 options from straight Biology to blended options such as bioenginnering.

Year 12/AS Level:

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in biology

  • 1.1 Practical skills assessed in a written examination
  • 1.2 Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

Module 2 – Foundations in biology

  • 2.1.1 Cell structure
  • 2.1.2 Biological molecules
  • 2.1.3 Nucleotides and nucleic acids
  • 2.1.4 Enzymes
  • 2.1.5 Biological membranes
  • 2.1.6 Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation

Module 3 – Exchange and transport

  • 3.1.1 Exchange surfaces
  • 3.1.2 Transport in animals
  • 3.1.3 Transport in plants

Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease

  • 4.1.1 Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system
  • 4.2.1 Biodiversity
  • 4.2.2 Classification and evolution

Year 13/A2 Award:

Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy

  • 5.1.1 Communication and homeostasis
  • 5.1.2 Excretion as an example of homeostatic control
  • 5.1.3 Neuronal communication
  • 5.1.4 Hormonal communication
  • 5.1.5 Plant and animal responses
  • 5.2.1 Photosynthesis
  • 5.2.2 Respiration

Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

  • 6.1.1 Cellular control
  • 6.1.2 Patterns of inheritance
  • 6.1.3 Manipulating genomes
  • 6.2.1 Cloning and biotechnology
  • 6.3.1 Ecosystems
  • 6.3.2 Populations and sustainability

Examinations are again linear with additional reporting on whether a student has made successful completion of Module 1 against 12 practical’s that must be completed to a Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) standard. Students either Pass or Fail this part of the course. Students and Parents should be aware that Universities may make UCAS offers with this as a stipulation of acceptance. Students will then sit 3 exam papers in the Summer of Year 13:

  • Biological processes – 100 marks – 2 hour 15 minutes – Modules 1,2,3 & 5. (37% total A-Level)
  • Biological diversity – 100 marks – 2 hour 15 minutes – Modules 1,2,4 & 6. (37% total A-Level)
  • Unified Biology – 70 marks – 1 hour 30 minutes – Modules 1-6. (26% total A-Level)