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Biology AS/A2 Level at Colchester Royal Grammar School

Course description

General aims of the department

  • To ensure are best placed to tackle their formal exams in Years 11,12 and 13
  • To foster an interest in, and awareness of, the natural world around them
  • To be available to support students through their courses – students are encouraged to contact staff via email if they are not readily available
  • To return work to students within one week (at the latest) to ensure meaningful feedback
  • Offer the Biology Olympiad to interested students in Year 13

In July after the AS exams there is usually a trip to the Preston Montford Field Studies Council (FSC) centre in Shropshire.  The trip introduces students to the A2 ecology work completed in the Autumn Term of Year 13.

Course content

Year 12

Units 1 and 2 are covered by April of the academic year.  Topics will include:

  • Heart and CHD
  • Lungs and lung disease
  • Cell biology
  • Enzymes and biochemistry
  • Immunity
  • DNA and diversity
  • Transport in animals and plants
  • Antibiotics
  • Cell Cycles
  • Species Diversity
Year 13

Units 4 and 5 are covered, again leaving plenty of time for revision in April and May.  Topics will include:

  • Populations
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Studying ecosystems
  • Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Evolution by natural selection
  • Genetics
  • DNA and protein synthesis
  • Gene therapy and genetic engineering
  • Homeostasis
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Nervous system

During both Year 12 and 13 a practical skills unit is undertaken – two pieces of work are completed and the better piece is counted as part of the A level mark.

Entry requirements



Exam for each unit.

Future opportunities

It is a popular subject for potential medics, vets or dentists; although some students do it in order to secure one science A level. It tests a range of skills: numerical, organisational, practical and written so is a worthwhile subject and qualification in its own right.

We do recommend A level Chemistry is taken with Biology – no top 20 University will accept a student to read biological science without both of these sciences at A level.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years