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Biology

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Why study Biology in the Sixth Form?

The best reason for taking A Level Biology is because you are interested in living things and how they work, or you might be thinking of studying courses like Genetics, Animal or Plant Biology, Medicine, Veterinary Science at university or Environmental Studies.

Biology A-level helps you to build up research, problem solving, organisation and analytical skills.

Topics in A-level Biology

Year 12

Skills of planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation; Cell structure; Biological molecules; Nucleotides and nucleic acids; Enzymes; Biological membranes; Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation. Exchange surfaces; Transport in animals; Transport in plants; Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system; Biodiversity; Classification and evolution.

Year 13

Communication and homeostasis; Excretion as an example of homeostatic control; Neuronal communication; Hormonal communication; Plant and animal responses; Photosynthesis; Respiration; Cellular control; Patterns of inheritance; Manipulating genomes; Cloning and biotechnology; Ecosystems; Populations and sustainability.

Assessment Structure

A Level Biology is now fully linear, so assessment of a student’s knowledge and understanding of the whole course takes place at the end of two years of study.

The AS Level Biology qualification won’t count towards the final grade of an A Level, but will be separate, stand-alone qualifications in its own right. It will examine the topics studied during Year 12 of the course.

Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they’re assessed through the written papers. For A Level only, the Practical Endorsement will also support the development of practical skills.

Other points to note:

  • Mathematical skills will account for 10% of the total marks
  • Multiple choice questions will be included as one of the elements of the assessment
  • AS papers will be longer to meet the requirements of a minimum of 3 hours of assessment
  • A2 papers will be longer to fulfil the requirements for a minimum of 6 hours of assessment

A Level Biology remains a course that is challenging intellectually, up-to date in content and relevant to modern life.

Mrs Susie Barr
Head of Biology

 

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