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Biology A Level at Birchwood High School

Course description

Why study Biology?
By studying Biology at A level students will learn to understand the living world, to sense the wonder of evolution, to catch the excitement of genetic engineering, to think independently, to challenge widely-held beliefs, to appreciate the delicate ecological balance that sustains life on Earth, and to answer fundamental questions like "what is life?" If students enjoyed Biology at GCSE, and would like to delve into it in more depth, then A level Biology is the course for them.

They will be taught by two different teachers, and teaching will consist of taught sessions, investigations, practical work, discussions, essays, presentations and self-study. We want students to do well and we will help them to learn how to study, as well as to learn Biology.

What will you study on the AQA Biology course?
A level Biology is a linear course and is assessed at the end of the course. There are three examinations that assess eight topics which in-clude more ‘higher demand’ questions. There is no longer coursework in Biology, instead we complete six required practicals in each year which will be assessed in the final written examination. All of these practical activities will lead towards a ‘practical endorsement’.

Where does A level Biology lead?
The A level Biology course enables students to develop a wide range of skills including:
How to collect data and evaluate it.
How to investigate facts and use deduction.
How to put over your point of view effectively.
How to take responsibility for your own learning.
These skills enable students to enter a wide range of courses in different fields. Biology students often go on to study courses such as: Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Radiography, Nursing, Chiropody, Psychology, Forensic Science, Archaeology, Marine Biology, Biological Science, Ecology, Sports Studies, Biochemistry, Zoology and even Teacher training!
Don't worry if you don't yet know what you want to do. A level Biology provides a useful background to a wide variety of further and higher education courses and we certainly don't expect everyone who takes the course to become a professional biologist.

What are the Entry Requirements?
We recommend two Grade B’s in GCSE Double Science or Triple Science including Biology. You will also need self-discipline and motivation to succeed. A Level Biology is not an "easy option"; it requires mathematical skills equivalent to higher tier GCSE mathematics, together with a good working knowledge of Physics and Chemistry. We recommend that students have a ‘B’ grade in Maths and English to cope with the demands of the course. However, the most important requirement is an interest in the subject and a desire to learn more. We will provide the rest.

Special requirements
Biology field work at the end of Year 12 with the possibility of a trip to the Epping Forest Field Centre.

Want to know more?
Come and talk to any of the Biology staff at the open evening or in school time. Or speak to the current A level Biology students. We will be happy to answer any questions you have!

Entry requirements

Two Grade 6’s in GCSE Double Science or Triple Science including Biology.

Assessment

Internal AS Biology mock examinations at the end of Year 12 (two examinations 1 hour 30 minutes each).

A level Biology = 3 examinations (2 hours each) including more ‘higher demand’ questions and essay style
questions.

There is no longer coursework in Biology, instead we complete 6 required practicals in each year which will be assessed in the final written exam. All of these practical activities will lead towards a ‘practical endorsement’.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 May 2018
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