Exam Board: OCR
Specification Number: A Level H420
Biology has 6 modules:
Modules 1 – 6 and the practical endorsement constitute the full A level.
Module 1 – Development of practical skills.
Module 2 – Foundations in Biology.
Module 3 – Exchange and transport.
Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease.
Module 5 – Communications, homeostasis and energy.
Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems.
Formal theory lessons and student-centred activities are used to explore biological topics. Students are required to carry out review and planning tasks between lessons. This involves reading, note-making, researching of topics or answering examination questions. Practical lessons and student presentations develop skills and enhance the learning of syllabus content.
Internal Assessment: Students take regular end of topic tests to assess their knowledge and progress, and to develop exam technique.
External Assessment: A level students will complete three exam papers in the summer of Year 13. Papers 1 and 2 covering topics from a range of modules and paper 3 ‘Unified biology’ covering content from all 6 modules. A level students will also submit a ‘Practical Endorsement’ result following internal, teacher assessment of a range of practical tasks completed during lessons.
Why Biology at St Albans Girls’ School?:
Students are taught by a team of highly skilled specialist teachers who have vast experience of teaching Biology A level. The department is well resourced and we regularly carry out a range of exciting practical activities. We offer students the chance to participate in the British Biology Olympiad, an annual nationwide competition which gives students the chance to compete in the International Biology Olympiad, should they be successful. We are an extremely supportive department, with weekly support and catch up sessions offered to all students.
Expectations of students:
Students must be prepared to work independently and meet deadlines. They must remain focused in lessons and be well organized. Students need to develop the skills of reading for understanding and writing with precision. Students do not have to study A level Chemistry to do well in A level Biology as appropriate Chemistry concepts are taught within the course.
What websites are recommended?
What equipment is needed?
A scientific calculator, ruler, pen and pencil are essential at all times.
A level Biology is required, or is desirable, for HE courses in many different disciplines. These include: agricultural science, anthropology, biochemistry, biophysics, dentistry, food science, forensic science, genetics, horticulture, medical physics, medicine, midwifery, nature conservation, nursing, ophthalmology, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, radiography, speech therapy and veterinary science.
Students wishing to study biology beyond A level, may require an A level in Chemistry or Physics/Mathematics. For some courses this is advisable, for others it is essential.