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Biology

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Key Stage 5 – Year 12/13

What will I Study?
We follow the AQA Biology course and use a wide variety of approaches to deliver subject content – lectures, videos and practicals. Independent study is also hugely important. Pupils will be expected to give their own presentations on selected areas of the syllabus. There will also be the opportunity to attend external lectures.

The topics studied are:
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 (A-level only) 
6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only) 
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only) 
8. The control of gene expression (A-level only) 


How will I be assessed?
There are 12 basic practical skills which will be covered over the two years, which will be tested in the examination papers. In addition, pupils have the opportunity to gain certificate of Practical Endorsement which is required by some universities and courses. 

AS
There are 2 papers, worth 75 marks, which assess content from modules 1- 4, including practical skills.

A-level
Paper 1 (2 hours) assesses content from modules 1- 4, including practical skills and is worth 35% of the A-level.

Paper 2 (2 hours) assesses content from modules 5-8, including practical skills and is worth 35% of the A-level.

Paper 3 (2 hours) assesses content from modules 1 – 8, including practical skills and is worth 30% of the A-level
The papers contain a mixture of short and long answer questions and a choice of essay questions.

Future opportunities
A-level Biology is a desirable qualification for areas in medicine, pharmacy and various fields of research and paramedical professions such as Physiotherapy, Midwifery and Radiography. In addition it could provide openings in publishing, Scientific Journalism or medical secretarial work. 

Combinations
Girls wishing to pursue degree courses in sciences can choose Biology along with Chemistry and Physics. Girls who study Chemistry will find that it enhances their understanding of many of the concepts covered in the Biology course. The subject is also a popular choice for pupils who wish to study a science to complement their other subjects.


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