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Biology

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Biology is a fascinating subject concerned with understanding how living organisms function and interact with each other. The course aims to develop and sustain students' interest and enjoyment of Biology, while leading them to understand how their knowledge can be applied to the benefit of society. In addition to classroom lessons, learning takes place through residential field work, visits and guest speakers.

 

COURSE CONTENT

AS UNITS:

Unit 1: Biology and Disease

Biological molecules, pathogens and the immune system, effect of lifestyle on health, enzymes and digestion, cell structure, lung and heart structure and disease This is assessed by a written exam (1 hour 15 minutes) with short and longer answer questions.

 

Unit 2: The Variety of Living Organisms

Genes and DNA, cell division, diversity of cells, adaptations of gas exchange systems, classification of living things, the use of antibiotics and resistance in bacteria, biodiversity. This is assessed by a written exam (1 hour 45 minutes) with short and longer answer questions.

Unit 3: Investigative and Practical Skills

You will be assessed on your practical skills throughout the course by your teachers. You will also carry out an Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) which involves collecting and processing data and the completion of a written exam paper.

 

A2 UNITS:

Unit 4: Populations and Environment

Feeding relationships and energy transfers, populations, food production, nutrient cycles, environmental genetics. This is assessed by a written exam (1 hour 30 minutes) with short and longer answer questions.
 

Unit 5: Control in Cells and in Organisms

Nervous system, homeostasis, muscle structure and function, function of DNA, cloning and gene therapy. This is assessed by a written exam (2 hours 15 minutes) with short and longer answer questions, and also a synoptic essay testing your breadth of knowledge.

 

Unit 6: Investigative and Practical Skills

You will be assessed on your practical skills throughout the course by your teachers. You will also carry out an Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) which involves collecting and processing data and the completion of a written exam paper.

 

CAREER POSSIBILITIES

Biology is a much sought after qualification. It shows employers that you have good thinking, problem solving and analytical skills. It can lead to careers in many diverse areas, including medicine, veterinary science, archaeology, biotechnology and nursing.

 

GCSE GRADE PROFILE

Students studying Biology at this level must have achieved an A* to B grade in Core Science and Additional Science GCSE, or Biology GCSE. In order to cope with the level of written work and mathematical skills, students would also need to achieve a minimum of C grade in English and Mathematics.