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Biology: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in GCSE Maths and Grade 6 or above in GCSE Biology or GCSE Combined Science.

 

Hands-on lessons taught by subject specialists

With extremely strong results over the past decade, and an Alps score of 2, our Biology Department brings a passion and commitment that provokes very positive feedback from students.

Our teaching staff are specialists in biology, aiming to inspire all students to enjoy their subject and achieve their best, regardless of ability. High quality marking and feedback support students’ progress.

We have excellent practical resources and technical support, allowing teachers to incorporate practical work into lessons whenever possible–well beyond the ‘required practicals’ of the curriculum.

With 100% pass rate in Biology in 2017, and 78% of students achieving A*, A or B, we consistently support students to achieve excellent outcomes. Our experienced team have the confidence to guide students in both exam preparation and planning their next steps.

 

The course

Core content:

  • Biological molecules.
  • Cells.
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment.
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.
  • Energy transfers in and between organisms.
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments.

Students are assessed for development of skills along the way; with a pass/fail at the end. The A-level exams test these skills, so it also affects the final grade. Students maintain and develop a ‘lab book’ to show evidence of completion of required practicals and associated skills. Students develop independent study skills and there are opportunities for teamwork, research and oral presentations.

 

Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • 3-day residential field trip in Malham, North Yorkshire.
  • Science Week–wide range of speakers, competitions and events.
  • Royal Society science writing book judging panel.
  • Sixth Form Journal Club.
  • STEM Challenge events.
  • Visit to the Big-Bang’ Fair.
  • ‘Student of the half term’–rewards system to recognise and celebrate achievements and progress of all students.
  • High quality textbooks loaned to students to help with independent work.

 

Progression

Our students progress onto a very broad range of science-related courses at universities across the country, including those deemed to be ‘prestigious’. We routinely expect successful applications to study courses at Oxbridge and entry onto courses leading to careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, natural sciences, psychology, nursing and midwifery, biomedical science, physiotherapy and research.

Some will also go onto non-science related courses and careers–such as Law– where their achievements in science A-levels have served to develop key skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Many undergraduate courses see that successful science A-level students will have excellent study skills and the ability to rise to academic challenge beyond school.