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Biology at Watford Grammar School for Girls

Course description

Awarding Body: WJEC

Biology AS/A2 provides a suitable foundation for the study of Biology or a related area through a range of higher education courses; or direct entry into employment. In addition, Biology provides a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study for candidates who do not progress to further study in this subject.

The AS and A level specifications in Biology aim to encourage students to:

a) develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for the subject, including an interest in further study and careers in the subject.

b) appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

c) develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of How Science Works.

d) develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other.

Biology provides a wide breadth of knowledge which touches on many varied aspects of a range of topics. These range from the internal workings of organisms in physiology and the interdependence of living things in ecology, to social issues including human influence on the environment and the ethical considerations of genetics. The study of biology therefore encourages an appreciation of these issues and their implications as well as providing an insight into the living world.

An understanding of scientific method as the means by which the body of scientific knowledge is increased and an enquiring and critical approach is to be fostered, including an awareness that different perceptions, predictions and interpretations may be applied according to context. The practical work serves to illustrate and to promote an investigatory approach.

The specification provides a framework and includes specific content through which individual courses may address spiritual, moral, ethical, social and cultural issues. Specific relevant subject content includes:

• Human genome project, gene therapy, genetic engineering, genetic fingerprinting.

• Eutrophication, greenhouse effect, global warming.

• Agricultural exploitation, pest control.

• Incidence of disease, disease control.

• Vaccination programmes, antibiotic overuse.

• Evolution and natural selection, loss of biodiversity.

• Cloning.

• Effects of drugs.

Entry requirements

• At least Grade B or above in Science and Additional Science or Grade B or above in Biology and Chemistry. However, we strongly recommend Grade A, especially for those seriously considering a career requiring science such as medicine, veterinary science, physiotherapy, psychology, natural sciences, chemistry, engineering etc.

• A high level of competence in literacy and numeracy is necessary. Therefore, at least a Grade B in English Language and a Grade B in Mathematics is required.

• A genuine desire to know and understand science principles and concepts, to research, carry out practical investigations and consider How Science Works.

Assessment

AS (3 units)

Biology 1 - 20% 1 hour 30 min Written Paper 70 marks (120UM)

Unit title: Basic Biochemistry and cell organization.

Outline of paper structure: Short and longer structured questions, choice of 1 from 2 essays.

Biology 2 - 20% 1 hour 30 min Written Paper 70 marks (120UM)

Unit title: Biodiversity and physiology of Body Systems.

Outline of paper structure: Short and longer structured questions, choice of 1 from 2 essays.

Biology 3 - 10% Internal assessment 44 marks (60UM)

Practical assessment

Experimental work set in centre, completed by candidates over 3 month period.

Marked by board plus low power plan microscope drawing.

A LEVEL (the above plus a further 3 units)

Biology 4 - 20% 1 hour 45 min Written Paper 80 marks (120UM)

Unit title: Metabolism, Microbiology and Homeostasis.

Outline of paper structure:  Short and longer structured questions, choice of 1 from 2 essays.

Small % synoptic marks.

Biology 5 - 20% 1 hour 45 min Written Paper 80 marks (120UM)

Unit title: Environment, Genetics and Evolution.

Outline of paper structure: Short and longer structured questions, choice of 1 from 2 essays.

Small % synoptic marks.

Biology 6 - 10% Internal assessment 50 marks (60UM)

Practical assessment.

Experimental work set in centre, completed by candidates over 3 month period.

Marked by board plus one microscope drawing and calibration.

Assessment units B.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Watford Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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