Gumley House School FCJ

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A Level Biology

Study Biology at A Level

 Introduction to the course by the Head of Biology:

Hear from the Students:

Expected Entry Criteria:  Grade 6 in GCSE Combined (Trilogy) Science

Why study this course?
Biology encompasses learning about living organisms and life processes from a molecular level to individual organisms and the whole communities of species. There are thousands of careers and higher education options available to students with an A Level in Biology, including medicine, dentistry, biomedical and forensic science, ecology, science journalism, nursing, nutrition, physiotherapy, environmental science, food technology, marketing, clinical data management, teaching and finance.

What will I learn?

This course starts by introducing the fundamental basis of life on earth. Through microscopy and cell theory you will learn about the ultrastructure of cells and the details about how new cells are generated for growth, repair and reproduction. Issues such as the risk factors of cancer, the effects of heart disease, possible treatments for HIV and conserving
biodiversity are covered. The theory of evolution is revisited and discussed in depth as well as the future of genetic engineering and genome projects.

How will I be taught?

You will learn through teacher-led explanations, videos, carrying out practical investigations, making models, researching and creating presentations, doing role plays, taking part in discussions/debates, quizzes, group work and by the completion of individual activities. There will be a minimum of 12 core practical investigations which will allow you to develop your skills in order to pass the non-examined practical skills module. The residential field trip is run by professionals who
cover the practical aspects of the module about the environment. Students will have the opportunity to explore woodland and marine ecology and use their statistical techniques in real life situations

You’ll enjoy this course if…

You are academically minded with a good understanding of Biology and Chemistry and are interested in how living things function and what happens when things go wrong. You will need to be self-motivated, independent and have an active
approach to learning new concepts in lessons rather than being a passive learner who wants to take notes.

Course Description

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


Paper 1:  Any content from topics 1– 4, including relevant practical skills. 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions. 15 marks: extended response questions. External written examination, 35% of A level

Paper 2
: Any content from topics 5–8, including relevant practical skills. 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions. 15 marks: comprehension question. External written examination, 35% of A level

Paper 3
: Any content from topics 1–8, including relevant practical skills. 38 marks: structured questions, including practical techniques. 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data. 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles. External written examination, 30% of A level

Core practical skills: Non-examination assessment and reported separately.

For more information, contact Mr C Petrakis