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Biology A Level at Corfe Hills School

Course description

You will be studying the following subject areas/topics: 

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms – Photosynthesis and respiration, biomass and food webs, nutrient cycles – Nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments – Survival and response, receptors, nervous system, muscle contraction, homeostasis – control of blood glucose and the kidney. 
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems – Inheritance, evolution and speciation.
  • The control of gene expression – Mutations, epigenetics, cancer, genetic engineering, DNA probes and genetic fingerprinting. 

Course content

Students will have nine lessons a cycle which will be split between two teachers.  Assessment is exam based, opportunities to improve practical skills are provided throughout the course. 

There are 6 required practical’s that take place throughout the year which are assessed in the examination papers. 

  1. Chromatographic isolation of leaf pigments.
  2. The Hill reaction – Investigating the rate of dehydrogenase activity in extracts of chloroplasts.
  3.  Investigating the rate of respiration in yeast.
  4.  Woodlice and choice chambers.
  5. Quantitative Benedict’s test with identification of an unknown concentration.
  6.  Investigating species distribution – Quadrats.


Assessment is continuous throughout the year.  You complete a series of assignments which you will receive feedback on.  This is often in the format of an essay which builds on the skills required for paper 3 examination.  As well as assessment tasks based on application of investigative and practical skills.    Formal assessment is by examination with written papers in the summer:

Paper 1: Any AS (Yr 12) content, 2 Hours, 35% of A Level

Paper 2: Any year 13 content, 2 hours, 35% of A level

Paper 3: Any content (yr12 and yr 13 topics), 2 hours, 30% of A level – includes an essay from a choice of 2 titles.  

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Corfe Hills School directly.

Last updated date: 10 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September