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Biology AQA A Level (Linear) at Poynton High School

Course description

The department is committed to helping students acquire a solid understanding of the subject in addition to the skills needed to analyse and communicate biological facts.

This is a very popular subject where students achieve extremely high grades at all key stages.

A level Biology is an enjoyable and stimulating course relevant to everyday life. The department follows the AQA course course which follows on from GCSE and aims to develop knowledge and understanding of biological concepts with an emphasis on the application of knowledge. The course is delivered using a variety of teaching and learning styles to involve and cater for all students. This includes interactive lessons, practical lessons and assessments and student presentations.

The Biology A Level course helps students develop an understanding of scientific methods and alongside the scientific theory, which is assessed at the end of both Year 12 and Year 13, there are 12 key assessed practical activities which enable the students to gain a practical endorsement with their A level qualification. At the end of year 12 students have the opportunity to attend a 2 day residential field course where they can experience a practical application of the theory covered in class.

Course content

There are 8 topics which cover the full A level specification.
 
Y12 topics (required for both AS and A level)
 
1. Biological molecules
2. Cells
3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
 
Y13 topics (required for A level)
 
5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8. The control of gene expression
 
Topics 1-4 of are taught for both the AS and full A level qualification though the level of questioning is higher for the full A level qualification. There is no coursework examination for these qualifications though key practical activities will be embedded within lessons throughout the course. Structured questions will appear in the all the examinations testing practical skills. 10% of all examination questions will test student mathematical skills
 
Learning Method:
 
The subject content will be taught in topics and will involve note taking, problem solving and practical activities. How Science Works practical skills will be linked in to all the topics throughout the course. Practical work and mathematical skills relevant to unit 6 and 7 will be taught on the field trip in July.

Entry requirements

  • 5 grade Cs or above at GCSE level including a BB or above in Core and Additional Science or a B in GCSE Biology and one other science subject. (Higher level examination papers must have been taken in this subject.)

Assessment

AS
 
Paper 1: Questions from topics 1-4 (see below) in a 1hour 30minute examination. There are 65 marks available, 55 from structured questions and 10 from comprehension style questions. (50% of AS level)
 
Paper 2: Questions from topics 1-4 in a 1hour 30minute examination. There are 65 marks available, 55 from structured questions and 10 from extended response questions. (50% of AS level)
 
A Level
 
Paper 1: Questions from topics 1-4 in a 2hr examination. There are 91 marks available, 76 from structured questions and 15 from extended response questions. (35% of A Level)
 
Paper 2: Questions from topics 5-8 in a 2hr examination. There are 91 marks available, 76 from structured questions and 15 of these from comprehension style questions. (35% of A Level)
 
Paper 3: Questions from topics 1-8 in a 2hr examination. There are 78 marks available, 38 of these from structured questions, 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data and 25 marks from one essay selected from a choice of two titles. (30% of A Level)

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Poynton High School directly.

Last updated date: 15 September 2016

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