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Biology A level at Chatham Grammar School for Girls

Course description

This course aims to build students’ understanding and knowledge of the subject and its significance in a rapidly changing world. Practical, experimental and analytical skills are developed as are the techniques needed to research and report. Assessment is by reports of experiments and research as well as written examinations. Student destinations range from further study to careers in medical, veterinary and animal, scientific and environmental sectors.

Course content

The AQA course has been designed to ensure the subject content is relevant to real world experiences and is interesting for teachers to deliver and students to learn.  There are numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory to reality and equip students with the essential practical skills they need.  

1.      Biological molecules

2.      Cells

3.      Organisms exchange substances with their environment

4.      Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

5.      Energy transfers in and between organisms 

6.      Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments 

7.      Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

8.      The control of gene expression 

Laboratory techniques, including manipulation of equipment, organising practical procedures and handling organisms ethically.  Planning techniques and evaluation of experimental procedures.  

Mathematical skills, team-working, communication ability, research skills and some IT skills will also be developed. 

Entry requirements

All students must obtain five C grade passes at GCSE (a GNVQ qualification will also be considered).  It is expected that students should achieve a B in both Core Science and Additional Science or a B in ‘Separate Science’. N.B. Applied Science and Core Science, on its own, are not considered routes to A level Sciences. 


A Level Paper 1:

  • Any content from topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills.
  • written exam 2 hours, total 91 marks, 35% of A Level.
  • 76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions,
  • 15 marks: extended response questions.

A Level Paper 2:

  • Any content from topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills.
  • written exam 2 hours, total 91 marks, 35% of A Level.
  • 76 marks – a mixture of short and long answer questions 
  • 15 marks – comprehension question. 

A Level Paper 3:

  • Any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills.
  • written exam 2 hours total 78 marks, 30% of A Level.
  • 38 marks – structured questions, including practical techniques,
  • 15 marks – critical analysis of given experimental data,
  • 25 marks – one essay from a choice of two titles.  

Practical skills endorsement – ongoing throughout course and awarded at end of A2 course if achieved.   

Financial information

Biology students must own a lab coat. 

Future opportunities

Exciting career opportunities using A Level Biology include: Medicine, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Biomedicine, Research Scientist, Genetic Counselling, Dentistry, Nursing, Osteopathy, Midwifery, Horticulture, Animal Nursing, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Ecology, Soil Science. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September