Biology plays an important role in the understanding of complex forms of life involving humans, animals and plants. Biology helps individuals understand the interaction between humanity and the world. It also develops interests in the lives of living organisms in an effort to preserve them.
The work that biologists do is vital to us all. The human genome has been sequenced and we know the complete arrangement of the three thousand million bases that make up human DNA. In Kenya 350 people die every day from AIDS and in South East Asia the skies are dark with smoke as the last Bornean rainforests are burned to grow oil palms. Biologists are concerned with all these issues. They work in the fields of cell biology, medicine, food production and ecology.
Biology is a fascinating subject which involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems. The course includes both theoretical and practical lessons, with plenty of opportunity to devise, complete and analyse investigations including dissection techniques. Two of the ecological investigations are undertaken on fieldwork trips.
The skills and some subject content are transferrable to other A- level subjects especially Chemistry, Physical Education and Geography.
What will I learn?
- Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins
- Water and ions
- Cell structure
- Cell division
- Transport across cell membranes
- Cell recognition and the immune system
Organisms exchange substances with their environment:
- Surface area to volume ratio
- Gas exchange
- Digestion and absorption
- Mass transport
Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms:
- DNA, genes and chromosomes
- DNA and protein synthesis
- Genetic diversity and adaptation
- Species and taxonomy
- Biodiversity within a community
Energy transfers in and between organism
- Energy and ecosystems Nutrient cycles
Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environment:
- Stimuli - response
- Nervous coordination
- Skeletal muscles action
Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems:
- Evolution may lead to speciation
- Populations in ecosystems
The control of gene expression:
- Gene mutation
- Gene expression
- Using genome projects
- Gene technologies
How is it assessed?
Year 13: 3 external examinations, 100%
Minimum grade B, B in double award GCSE science
Minimum grade B in biology for triple award GCSE science