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Biology A Level (Block A or Block D) at Walton High School

Course description

Over two years this course is packed with essential core biological topics and practical work.

Sections 1– 4 are designed to be covered in the first year of the A-level and are also the AS subject content. There are also opportunities for practical skill development throughout the course. 

Course content

  1. Biological molecule – including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, enzymes, DNA structure.
  2. Cells – including cell structure, viruses, cell division, diffusion, osmosis, immunity.
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment – including gas exchange, digestion and absorption.
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms – including DNA, genes and chromosomes, biodiversity, genetic diversity and taxonomy.
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only) – including photosynthesis, respiration, ecology and nutrient cycles.
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only) – including the nervous system and homeostasis.
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only) – including inheritance.
  8. The control of gene expression (A-level only) – including gene technologies.

Entry requirements

This new Biology course builds on concepts and skills that will have been developed in the GCSE Core, Additional and Further Science, as well as Human Health and Physiology.  Students wishing to apply for this Biology course need to have achieved a minimum of two grade Bs from any combination of these 4 examinations.

In addition the commitment, attitude and effort that the student brings to the course will have a major impact on their success.

Assessment

AS Level

1 Core Biology

Topics 1-4 and practical skills

  • 65 marks: short answer questions
  • 10 marks: comprehension question

1 hr 30 mins; 50% of AS

2 Core Biology

Topics 1-4 and practical skills

  • 65 marks short answer questions
  • 10 marks extended response questions

1 hr 30 mins; 50% of AS

A Level

1 Core Biology

Topics 1-4 and practical skills 

  • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks: extended response questions

2 hrs; 35% of A Level

2 Core Biology

Topics 5-8 and practical skills

  • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions
  • 15 marks: comprehension question

2 hrs 35% of A level

3 Core Biology

Topics 1-8 and practical skills 

  • 38 marks: structured questions including practical techniques
  • 15 marks: critical analysis of given experimantal data
  • 25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles

30% of A level

Sitting of Assessment Units

June 2018 - AS  Units 1 and 2

June 2018 - A Level Units 1, 2 and 3 (AS exams do not carry forward)

 

Practical Skills

These are assessed within the written papers, overall at least 15% of the A Level marks account for this. There is no longer coursework (ISA) module. To answer these questions students will have been taught and acquired competence in the appropriate areas of practical skills required by the exam board.

In addition students will need to be awarded a ‘pass’ by their teacher for practical skills mastery. This is a separate endorsement alongside the A Level.  In order to achieve a pass, students will need to have met expectations developed through the explicit acquisition of the technical skills in any practical activity undertaken throughout the course of study. There are 12 practical activities prescribed in the specification which cover the requirements. All of this will be evidenced and centrally stored in school.

Further information

Please select one subject per option block (A, B, C, D and E - listed in Course Title) to ensure there is no clash on your timetable.

By and large most students will follow 3 academic A Levels plus will have the opportunity to add to this with the Extended Project and our Enrichment Programme.

A few students may be able to follow a 4th A Level with advice from our Sixth Form Management team.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 05 January 2017
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