Biology at Hele's School
You will need to be well motivated and committed to be successful on this course. An interest in biology is essential of course, but aspects of the syllabus require some understanding of chemistry and competency in maths. There is also a fair amount of practical work some of which needs to be completed under exam conditions.
The Cells, Exchange and Transport module is specifically designed to bridge the gap between GCSE's and AS Level and therefore we start with this module for this reason. The other AS module is Molecules, Biodiversity, Food and Health. This is a larger module and both are examined in June. The work in Year 12 builds on GCSE work and generally focuses on the human aspects that are the most popular with students. The OCR A Level also gives a high profile to the applications of the subject. The final module in Year 12 is the coursework component which is similar to the GCSE 'ISA' coursework you are used to. In Year 12 we organise this as a three week block directly before the February holiday. It is important that students realise that recent changes make resitting AS modules very difficult.
Year 13 has a very similar three module structure to the AS course with both exams in the summer. The topics covered include the traditional ones such as photosynthesis and respiration but also communication, ecology and genetics. The papers in A2, however, are more synoptic in nature and rely on the application of the skills you have learnt throughout the course. Coursework is similar to AS i.e. similar to ISA's but takes place throughout the year when appropriate. A lot of thought has been put into making the course relevant and interesting to students. The trips we do every year are a field trip to Wembury beach, a visit to the Electron Microscope Department at Plymouth University and the opportunity to watch an expert horse dissection at Dartmoor Zoo. In addition in the past we have visited Derriford Hospital, Paignton Zoo and the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth.
At least 5 A*-C including English and Maths.
Grade B in the Biology component of GCSE Additional Science/or GCSE Biology.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hele's School directly.