A Level Biology
Over two years this course is packed with essential core biological topics and practical work. Sections 1– 4 are designed to be covered in the first year and 5-8 are covered in the second year. There are also opportunities for practical skill development throughout the entire course and a 4-day fieldtrip residential takes place in the summer term (Year 12) to cover essential ecological sampling techniques and deliver the ecology theory.
Topics covered in A Level Biology
- Biological molecule – including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, enzymes, DNA structure.
- Cells – including cell structure, viruses, cell division, diffusion, osmosis, immunity.
- Organisms exchange substances with their environment – including gas exchange, digestion and
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms – including DNA, genes and
chromosomes, biodiversity, genetic diversity and taxonomy.
- Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only) – including photosynthesis, respiration,
ecology and nutrient cycles.
- Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only) – including the nervous system and homeostasis.
- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only) – including inheritance. The control of gene expression (A-level only) – including gene technologies.
How is it assessed?
Three 2 hour written exam papers – equating up to 85% of the final grade
These are assessed within the written papers and overall at least 15% of the A Level marks account for this. To answer these questions students will have been taught and acquired competence in the appropriate areas of practical skills required by the exam board. In addition, students will need to be awarded a ‘pass’ by their teacher for practical skills mastery. This is a separate endorsement alongside the A Level. In order to achieve a pass, students will need to have met expectations developed through the explicit acquisition of the technical skills in any practical activity undertaken throughout the course of study. There are 12 practical activities prescribed in the specification, which cover the requirements. All of this will be evidenced and centrally stored in school in folders. All students have to complete the practical work to be awarded the pass.