Biology

A Level

A Level Biology is a great choice of subject if you are wishing to pursue a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, pharmacy, optometry, medical research, nursing, zoology, microbiology or genetics, as well as a wide range of science careers. Biology is also a great choice if you have an interest in the subject and wish to study it alongside a set of complementary or contrasting subjects.

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ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

A Level Biology requires you to achieve the minimum entry requirements for your chosen pathway plus a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Biology and Maths + 1 grade 6 or higher in another Science. If you are studying Combined Science, grade 6-6 or higher and grade 6 in Maths.

EXAM BOARD

AQA

COURSE STRUCTURE

You will be taught in one of our three specialist laboratories that are equipped to the highest standards. You will also have access to a computer area adjacent to the laboratories. You will receive printed module notes, past paper booklets and a wide range of handout materials. The department makes wide ranging use of interactive online resources to facilitate independent learning. Practical skills are an essential part of the course and our newly built, well equipped laboratories supported by our experienced teachers and skilled technicians, ensure opportunities are available to enhance your learning.

YEAR 1
BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES
Biochemistry: Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins and DNA.

CELLS
Cell structure, Cell Division Processes, the Immune System.

ORGANISMS EXCHANGE SUBSTANCES WITH THEIR ENVIRONMENT
Gas Exchange in a Variety of Organisms, the Circulatory System, Digestion

GENETIC INFORMATION, VARIATION AND RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ORGANISMS
Genes, Protein Synthesis, Taxonomy and Diversity.

YEAR 2
ENERGY TRANSFERS IN AND BETWEEN ORGANISMS
Photosynthesis, Respiration, Ecosystems and Nutrient Cycles.

ORGANISMS RESPOND TO CHANGES IN THEIR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENTS
Nerves, Muscles and Homeostasis

GENETICS, POPULATIONS, EVOLUTION AND ECOSYSTEMS
Inheritance, Populations and Evolution

THE CONTROL OF GENE EXPRESSION
Mutations, Gene Technology and Control of Gene Expression

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed through three 120-minute exams covering topics 1-8 plus the associated practical skills from the 12 required practical activities in the course. The third exam covers data analysis and extended writing, featuring a choice of two essays. Your teacher will continuously monitor your progress throughout the year via a number of standardised assessments, activities in class, peer assessment, homework, independent study tasks and two larger mock exams. You will be given a standardised assessment on average once every four weeks. These results will be recorded on the departmental tracker and used as a basis for discussion during student review interviews and at consultation evenings.

TRIPS AND ENRICHMENT

As part of your studies, the department organises regular talks and webinars from visiting speakers to highlight different careers in the biological sciences. This provides you with an opportunity to discuss the work of professionals working in biology and healthcare, including pharmacists, physician associates, biomedical scientists and more. Additionally, academics from the University of Hull deliver seminars to discuss their areas of expertise and research. This will provide you with an opportunity to widen your knowledge of the subject on areas such as the biological ‘clock’ that controls sleep cycles and disorders of the heart muscle.

The department has close links with Hull York Medical School and attends lectures and widening participation events at the university and the hospital.

The department offers lunchtime exam clinics and holiday intensive revision days as well as lots of additional help in-between lessons and by email.

If you are interested in a career in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science, you can also join our Pre-Medical Programme. These courses are particularly competitive and over the past three years we have supported 24 students to gain places onto these courses at university. In addition to the careers and UCAS advice in college, we offer an established programme to support students considering applying for these subjects. Staff in the Science Department work closely with colleagues in Careers and UCAS to ensure students are well advised about their applications and receive the guidance needed to make a competitive application. Whether this is extra individual subject support to secure top grades, help locating work experience, information on how to apply to university or preparation for interview, Wyke Sixth Form College will be there at each stage of your medical career journey.

PREPARATION FOR THE COURSE?

The start of the A Level course is always challenging, but you will find these tasks aid the transition from GCSE.

To complete these tasks you can download these notes.

Read Eukaryotic Cells 

  • Draw up a large table of the 14 organelles. For each organelle give its
    name, a simple diagram, and describe its structure
  • Describe its main function in as few words as possible within the table.

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