Issues that are biologically based continually crop up in everyday life. We study examples such as cystic fibrosis and place their contexts within the science of Biology. Our course is about turning A Level students into mature and effective biologists. We present the key concepts underpinning Biology today combined with a structured approach to learning the wider skills needed by the modern biologist. Students benefit from learning Biology in the context of real life situations which emphasizes the need for independent work and background reading.
Topics are based on a storyline or contemporary issue, such as risk and cardiovascular disease, with biological principles introduced when required to aid understanding of the context. In this way, information is presented in manageable chunks and grafted onto existing knowledge, leading to better understanding.
Employing a wide range of teaching and learning styles, activities introduce content, skills and experimental techniques. Biology students will undertake regular hands-on practical work, and as a minimum, must undertake 12 core practical activities. Students will develop their practical skills during the course and will need to demonstrate competence in various techniques in order to gain Science Practical Endorsement.
There are 3 written papers and no coursework. All papers may include: multiple-choice; short open; open-response; calculations and extended writing questions. All papers will also include questions that target mathematics at Level 2 as well as questions that target the conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods.
Paper 1 (33.3% weighting)
• Topic 1: Lifestyle, Health and Risk
• Topic 2: Genes and Health
• Topic 3: Voice of the Genome
• Topic 4: Biodiversity and Natural Resources
• Topic 5: On the Wild Side
• Topic 6: Immunity, Infection and Forensics.
Paper 2 (33.3% weighting)
• Topics 1- 4
• Topic 7: Run for your Life
• Topic 8: Grey Matter
Paper 3 (33.3% weighting)
• Topics 1-8
• Synoptic questions that may draw across different topics
• Question based on a pre-release scientific article
At least a Grade 7 in each of the Science GCSEs if taking Trilogy Science, or at least a Grade 7 in Biology GCSE and GCSE Chemistry. In addition, at least a Grade 7 in Mathematics is required.
This course is suitable preparation for study at university and can lead to a number of courses on offer such as Veterinary Science, Medicine, Environmental Science and Biochemistry to name but a few.