A Level Biology

Head of Biology: Miss K Simcox
We study Biology to understand life; from the effects of the smallest genetic mutation to population changing evolutionary events.
At A Level, we take a context based approach and ideas are introduced within relevant and interesting settings. There are many important links made with clinical sciences throughout the course such as blood donation, CPR, IVF, blood doping, genetic counselling and the effect of ageing on the nervous system. Practical skills are incorporated into the course and examined as a written paper.

Course content
Examination board: SNAB (Salters Nuffield A Level Biology)

SNAB uses real-life contexts to engage students and make learning relevant. Biological principles are introduced as required in each situation, with the whole course carefully designed to develop ideas across contexts, building on ideas to consolidate and extend learning to provide a thorough understanding of the concepts that underpin Biology today. Revisiting ideas in this way allows connections to be made between them, and supports a synoptic approach particularly valuable to a linear qualification and examinations at the end of the two year course.

Topics:
Lifestyle, health and risk (cardiovascular disease)
Genes and Health (Cystic Fibrosis)
Voice of the genome
Biodiversity and natural resources
On the wild side
Immunity, infection and forensics
Run for your life
Grey matter

The course is assessed through three written examinations in the summer of year 13.

Co-curricular
The Biology Department runs a variety of trips for the Sixth Form throughout the year to enhance the students’ experience of studying Biology at A Level:
– Residential field trip to a field studies centre.
– A Level lecture trips to universities in central London.

The department also helps run BioMedSoc, where students engage in discussions and activities designed to broaden their academic reach and inspire them to study these subjects at university.

University and beyond
Studying Biology at A Level provides students with highly desirable analytical and observational skills. This subject will enhance any university application and enable students to access a wide variety of both BSc and BA courses. The majority of our students go on to study one of the many and varied life science based degrees available at university and this A Level course is excellent preparation for the rigours of a more context-led undergraduate approach. We also see students go forward to vocational clinical degrees such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. As a numerate student, those with an A Level in Biology will be sought after by financial institutions and large companies. They will also be well placed for graduate schemes and summer internships.

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