Biology

If you are looking to break into the world of Science, A Level Biology is an ideal start. Our Biology course is taught by two tutors who both have over 10 years of experience in delivering A Level Biology. The course covers a wide range of topics including, anatomy and physiology, genetics, conservation, ecology and biochemistry. A Level Biology is a linear qualification which means that assessment will take place at the end of the course.

Our Biology department is keen to develop your knowledge and skills both in and outside of the classroom environment. Within the classroom we teach traditional topics using the most up to date technology in terms of animations and virtual reality to visualise concepts that were previously difficult to represent in a text book format.

During Year 12 you will have the opportunity to see biology in action with a visit to Twycross Zoo, where both evolution and conservation issues are covered by experts in the field. There is also a further opportunity to experience a ‘hands on’ approach to Biology when we attend a field course in Year 13. Here you will be able to cover the ecological content of the specification.

Through the context-led approach of this course you will gain experience of problem solving, ICT and data handling. This is delivered through core practical investigations which allow the planning and evaluating of experiments. During these practical investigations, students will be required to provide accurate observations and then assess the validity and reliability of data.

A Level Biology is a requirement for University courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science and other medically related degrees. A Level Biology also provides a useful background to a wide variety of higher education courses including Nursing, Physiotherapy, Forensic Science, Sports Studies, Marine Biology and Teacher Training.

Assessment

A Level Biology is a linear qualification which means that assessment will take place at the end of the course.

This A Level will be 100% externally assessed; there are no coursework elements. Students will be required to complete a number of core practicals throughout the course that cover specific skills and techniques. These will be assessed in two ways:

Investigative skills, and knowledge and understanding of core practicals will be tested in the A Level exams and contribute to students’ overall grades. Teacher assessment of students’ skills, techniques and competency when completing practical work will count towards the Practical Endorsement at A Level. This is separate to the A Level grade and, if awarded, will be reported as a ‘Pass’ on A Level certificates.

There will be 3 exam papers, each worth 33.3% of the A Level; each paper will be 2 hours in length. Exam questions will test students’ knowledge and understanding of the relevant specification topics and experimental methods based on the core practicals in the specification. Paper 3 will also include questions based on a pre-release article. The exam papers will have multiple choice, short and long answer questions (up to 9 marks), and calculations. Questions assessing students’ use of mathematical skills will make up 10% of the exam papers.