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Sir Graham Balfour School Biology A Level OCR (Block C) at The Stafford Partnership

Course description

OCR Biology A is split into six modules: Modules 1 to 4 constitute the stand-alone AS Level qualification; Modules 1 to 6, combined with the Practical Endorsement, constitute the full A Level.

 

Course content

Due to new Government legislation there have been radical changes to these, and all, AS and A2 exams.

In Biology we have not, as yet, decided on the exam board that we will go with in September 2015, and so the information given here is for the OCR Biology A course. In terms of content it is very similar to the other possibility : AQA Biology. The decision will be made once there has been a thorough review of the content and assessment methods of each course.

 

The modules can be summarised as:

Module 1: Development of practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations and (for A Level only) within the Practical Endorsement.

Module 2: Foundations in biology – covering concepts required throughout the remaining modules.

Modules 3 and 4: AS topics - Echange and Transport; Biodiversity. evolution and disease

Modules 5 and 6: A Level topics - Communications, homeostats and energy; Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

Entry requirements

The standard entry criteria to study in the sixth form is an 9-4 or A*-C in at least seven different subjects, including mathematics which would usually be at grade 4 or above (equivalent to grade C in previous years).

 

To study science subjects at A-level (biology, chemistry, physics or psychology), you will be required to achieve at least a 6 grade in additional science or have achieved  6 or above in the individual subject area if taken as a separate science.

Assessment

Assessment for AS and A2 is quite different as shown below:

 

AS Biology A

Assessment Overview

Paper

Marks

Duration

Weighting

Paper 1

Breadth in biology

70

1 hour 30 minutes

50%

 

Section A

Multiple Choice

20

 

Section B

Structured questions covering theory and practical skills

50

Paper 2

Depth in biology

70

1 hour 30 minutes

50%

 

Structured questions and extended response questions, covering theory and practical skills

70

 

 

A Level Biology A

ASSESSMENT OVERVIEW

Paper

Marks

Duration

Weighting

Paper 1

 

Biological processes

100

2 hr 15 min

37%

Section A

Multiple choice

15

Section B

Structured questions and extended response questions covering theory and practical skills

85

Paper 2

 

Biological diversity

100

2 hr 15 min

37%

Section A

Multiple choice

15

Section B

 

Structured questions and extended response questions covering theory and practical skills

85

Paper 3

 

Unified biology

70

1 hr 30 min

26%

Structured questions and extended response questions covering theory and practical skills

70

Non-exam assessment

 

Practical endorsement for biology

Pass/Fail

 

 

Teacher–assessed component common to Biology A and Biology B (Advancing Biology). Candidates complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence. Performance reported separately from the A Level grade. Moderation details still to be confirmed by Ofqual

0

Non-exam assessment

Reported separately

 

 

The exams at AS are different to those at A2 and the AS does not count towards the A2 qualification; those wishing to do the AS and continue towards A2 will have to do 5 separate exams over the 2 years.

Please note the Non-Exam Practical Endorsement: further notes are in the syllabus on-line (as shown in the table) but essentially there is no coursework assessment,it is certificated separately and is not part of the AS/ A level qualification; however, the course that we will run regardless of board will have a significant practical component as we believe that understanding comes through experimentation.

Financial information

Nil

Future opportunities

You could take this course with other advanced level courses, which overlap with Biology such as Chemistry, Applied Science, Physics, Geography, Geology or more general subjects that may not relate to the sciences, to prepare for higher education.With further training, you could go into a job related to Biology or one of the other sciences such as a Doctor, Nurse, Scientist or Marine Biologist.The course will also help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.You could take this course to complement other advanced level courses that may overlap with Biology or to prepare for the A2 part of an Advanced GCE in Biology, which could lead onto higher education in science related subjects or more general higher education courses.With further training, you could go into a job related to Biology such as a Doctor, Nurse, Science Technician or Marine Biologist.You could also go straight into a job as the AS GCE is a recognised qualification that will help you to develop the basic skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of industries are looking for.

Further information

The spirit of any Biology course that we run will always be about contribution and enquiry and all are expected to participate fully in the lesson. Any course will be well supported through the use of relevant texts, VLE resources and questions from past papers. The course is taught by extremely experienced and knowledgeable staff.

 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Stafford Partnership directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2017
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