Back to Subjects

GCSE

The course covers a wide range of topics including cells, disease, human biology, plant biology, evolution, ecology, DNA, genetics and inheritance. The teaching includes a variety of practical work, such as extracting DNA, enzyme experiments and studying animal and plant habitats, to enhance learning and help pupils develop their investigative and experimental skills.

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/biology/specifications/AQA-8461-SP-2016.PDF

The Exam Board is Biology AQA 8461 (linear) and there are two written examination papers of 1 hr 45 minutes made up of multiple choice, structured, closed short answers and open response questions

Why study GCSE Biology ?

We are one of the largest departments at the Grammar School with six fully equipped labs and nine highly dedicated teachers. We pride ourselves on our examination support giving the best possible chance of success. A comprehensive textbook is provided together with extensive support material. We also offer a wide range of Enrichment Activities including lunch time clubs and national competitions as well as a schedule of visiting speakers to extend pupils’ appreciation of the application of Biology outside of school.

Subject Enrichment

  • Weekly drop in help surgery
  • Examination technique training sessions (Year 11)
  • Targeted support sessions (Year 11)
  • Beast Club, Bee keeping Club, Pond Club, Forensic Science Club
  • National and regional individual and team competitions
  • Extensive program of visiting speakers: practising scientists from various Biology fields (Year 11)

A Level

The specification provides full detail of the eight topics studied:

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  8. Control of gene expression

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402

The Exam Board is Biology AQA: 7402 (linear) and there are three two hour written papers taken at the end of Year 13.

There is no separate practical assessment; practical competency is continually assessed during regular class practical work and questions assessing practical skills will be included on the written papers.

Why study A Level Biology at the Grammar School?

We are one of the largest departments at the Grammar School with six fully equipped labs and nine highly dedicated teachers. We pride ourselves on our examination support giving the best possible chance of success. A comprehensive textbook is provided together with extensive support material. Biologists attend a residential Field Course in the summer months to enhance their learning; this field course is compulsory and costs approximately £250. We also offer a wide range of Enrichment Activities including lunch time clubs, trips and regional essay competitions as well as a schedule of visiting speakers to extend pupils’ appreciation of the application of Biology outside of school.

Complimentary subjects are: Chemistry, Geography, PE, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology.

A Level Biology provides applicants to Higher Education with a multiplicity of degree choices in both biological and non-biological areas. Pupils from the Grammar School have applied successfully for a wide range of Biological degrees including Microbiology, Zoology, Plant Science, Applied Genetics, Neurobiology, Biochemistry and Marine Biology. While the department has a major tradition of preparing candidates for the medical professions, with support sessions and events such as interview evenings, many pupils have used Biology to complement quite different subjects. Many have successfully gained places at Oxbridge for disciplines as diverse as Mathematics, Law and Geography utilising their Biology A Level.

Subject Enrichment

  • Weekly drop in help surgery
  • Examination technique training sessions (Year 13)
  • Targeted support sessions (Year 13)
  • Senior dissection club, Beast Club, Bee keeping Club, Pond Club, Animal Husbandry
  • Leadership roles in Junior Dissection Club, Biology Masterclasses, coordinating Biology Week events and Bio Bake Off
  • Extensive program of visiting speakers: practising scientists from various Biology fields
  • National and regional essay competitions and Olympiads
  • Medic Society to support students applying for medical school together with extensive support during the application process such as interview evenings.
  • Weekly enrichment sessions for Oxbridge applicants.