Biology at St Peter's Catholic School and Specialist Science College
Biology is a fascinating and popular subject at A-Level which delves into exciting topics from molecular cell level to the study of ecosystems. The course is very rewarding and challenging and as a Specialist Science College, we will develop many skills
essential for a successful career.
AS-Level teaching is based around three main topic:
- Biology and Disease
- The Variety of Living Organisms
- Investigative Skills Assingment
The lessons, 4 hours per week, are held in fully equipped, sixth form Biology laboratories with opportunity for heart and lung dissections early on in the course. Your practical and problem solving skills are developed throughout your lessons and independent study. Biology is taught on a topic basis and each topic is supported with a supervised study booklet, which supplements classwork and promotes independence. Work is set and examined at regular intervals.
At St Peter's Catholic School we follow the AQA AS-Level Biology Specification which includes the following content.
Unit 1 - Biology and Disease
Disease caused by infectious pathogens
The digestive system
Cells on a molecular level
Circulatory system and associated diseases
Repiratory system and associated diseases
Immune defence mechanisms
Unit 2 - The Variety of Living Organisms
Genetic and environmental factors of genetic diversity
DNA and sequence structure
Multicellular system organisation
Adaptations and classification
Unit 3 - Investigative Skills Assignment
Investigating biological problems
Demonstrating competent manipulative skills and analysing raw data
Graph construction and interpretation
Limitations identified and suggesting methods to overcome them
At St Peter's Catholic School we follow the AQA A2-Level Biology Specification which includes the following content.
BIOL4 topics are as follows -
Energy and Ecosystems
Inheritance and Succession
BIOL5 topics are as follows -
Response to Stimuli
Genetic Control of Protein Structure and Function
Control of Gene Expression
BIOL6 practicals and papers will be based on 2 areas of BIOL4 and/or BIOL5
AS-level Biology is a challenging and demanding subject. At the heart of the subject should be a genuine interest in Biology. success at the end of the year
is determined by commitment and perseverance which can only be achieved by keeping up to date with the work at all times.
Throughout the course great emphasis is placed on the development of the necessary study skills. Effective time management and organisational skills are essential ingredients for success. Students are encouraged to seek individual support from their teachers whenever needed.
If you are interested in studying AS Level Biology at St Peter's School you will require:
At least a C grade in GCSE English and Mathematics.
A B grade or above GCSE Biology or an A in Additional GCSE.
The entry requirements are set in order to best prepare students for the challenge of AS Level Biology and ensure a good baseline knowledge.
For A2 study at least a grade B at GCSE Separate Award Biology and minimum grade D at AS Biology are required.
At St Peter's we issue a baseline assessment of GCSE knowledge to understand the needs of each individual student, regardless of their education background. We build on this prior knowledge and adopt techniques which continually assess understanding and
progress throughout each lesson. Regular homework is set and linked to the exam board specification and your teachers will monitor your supervised study work booklets. Your friendly and approachable AS Biology teachers run support workshops after school where
students can attend on an individual needs basis. At the end of each topic there is an exam and grades from the exam will ensure intervention strategies are implemented to ensure all students remain on target. Learning mentors are also available for help and
guidance during supervised study periods.
Exam Board: AQA
Unit 1 - Biology and disease
Examination paper (60 raw marks / 100 UMS)
5 – 7 short answer questions
2 longer questions (a short comprehension and a structured question requiring
1 hour 15 minutes
33.3% of the total AS marks
Examination taken in January
Unit 2 - The variety of living organisms
Examination paper (85 raw marks / 140 UMS)
5 – 7 short answer questions
2 longer questions involving the handling of data and How Science Works
1 hour 45 minutes
46.7% of the total AS marks
Examination taken in June
Unit 3 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in AS Biology
Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)
Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 6 raw marks)
Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 44 raw marks)
20% of total AS marks
Examined in June
Each unit may only be retaken once.
78% externally assessed examinations, 22% internally assessed and externally moderated coursework.
1 hour 30 minutes written examination in January or June - BIOL4 - 33% of A2 mark
2 hour 15 minutes written examination in June - BIOL5 - 45% of A2 mark
2 ISA coursework pieces (assessed practical and exam paper) completed in December and February - highest mark entered - BIO6T - 22% of A2 mark
We support all of our students in their quest to achieve places at their preferred universities, including Oxford and Cambridge applicants, for a wide variety of courses. Former students of AS Biology at St Peter's have succeeded in progression for disciplines
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Peter's Catholic School and Specialist Science College directly.