Biology

A Level

Biology is a great choice of subject for people who want 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. An A Level in Biology, is also a great choice for anyone with an interest in the subject, who wishes to study it alongside a set of complementary or contrasting subjects.

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EXAM BOARD

AQA

THE BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

The department uses three specialist laboratories that are equipped to the highest standards. In addition, there is an open access computer area adjacent to the laboratories.All students 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 learning.

COURSE DETAILS

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

A Level content is 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.

DEPARTMENTAL ENRICHMENT

The department offers lunchtime exam clinics and holiday intensive revision days as well as lots of additional help in-between lessons and by email. 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 also participates in the cross-college trip to New York, which allows students the chance to visit the Central Park Zoo, the Natural History Museum and an opportunity to complete a freshwater ecology study in the Hudson River.

PRE-MEDICAL PROGRAMME

At Wyke we recognise that applications for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science 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.

WHAT DOES THIS COURSE LEAD TO?

A Level Biology can open up a world of opportunities in both university choices and career options. If you are considering applying to university to study biology, zoology, ecology, animal science, marine biology, life sciences, medicine, environmental science, forensic science or any other subject related to the natural world, then A Level Biology is essential, with many other courses preferring Biology at A Level. Possible career choices that require A Level Biology include: biological testing, biotechnology, independent research, food industry jobs, nutrition, medicine, doctor, nurse, veterinarian, zoologist, zookeeper, animal care, veterinary nurse, scientist, amongst a huge range of others. In fact, having an A Level in Biology will put you in great stead for a huge range of careers, as it is a great qualification to have.

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREPARE ME 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 do these tasks you need to 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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