Biology at Colmers School and Sixth Form College
General subject information
Biology is a demanding but incredibly rewarding subject when studied at A level. There are also many opportunities to perfect practical skills. You will be taught by well-qualified teachers with a passion for the subject.
You will study the following topics over two years (AS covers the first four units) :-
Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Energy transfers in and between organisms
Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
The control of gene expression
Is this for you?
“Science is beautiful…” Stephen Hawking.
Biology is much more than simply the study of living things. It explains how things work and interact and the effects of disrupting the natural balance of our world. Want to know why you get up in the morning? Why half of photosynthesis happens in the dark? Why birds do their chirpy little tunes? If you have an enquiring, curious mind and thrive on discovery then Biology is the course for you.
At least a grade B in both Core and Additional Science or at least a B in Biology if you have studied triple Science
At least a grade 5 in Maths at GCSE
There are cases where candidates who do not meet these grades would be considered. Choice of other A Level subjects as well as component scores for each module could allow you to be considered for our course even if you do not meet the initial entry requirements above. Please speak to Mrs Fletcher, Mr James or Mr Charlett for more information. We are interested in pupils with a passion for Biology and do not seek to discourage based on a discrepancy in grades attained.
AS Level is assessed by two papers at the end of Year 12.
A Level is assessed by three papers at the end of Y13.
There is no coursework. Practical skills are assessed according the the common practical assessment criteria (CPAC) and practical endorsement will be awarded following the completion of 12 required practicals. This will appear as a 'pass' or 'fail' on the candidates results sheet. AS candidates are not subject to practical endorsement but do have to complete the first six required practicals. The required practicals will appear in the examinations to give context to questions so that candidates can apply their knowledge of Biological principles and procedures.
Biology is one of the more versatile A Level subjects and can open many doors to many degree subjects and careers. Biologists are sought after in a wide range of health care professions and in management, as well as the law and journalism. Research Science is another career where Biologists are sought after, especially in the cutting edge fields of Stem Cell research, microbiology and the fight against antibiotic resistance.
What do other students study with this subject?
Chemistry, Physics, Maths are the more traditional partner subjects. BTEC Sport would also compliment Biology. We recommend choosing Biology and at least one from Chemistry and Physics, however this is a recommendation and not a condition of offer. Other subjects that require similar skills to Biology include Geography and Psychology.
We have carried out field trips to collect ecological data.
We have carried out practicals in a whole day setting to further understand the scientific process.
Links with NHS laboratories for work experience placements.
Reading / Research
www.societyofbiology.org – This influential organisation’s website is a very useful starting point for all things Biological
http://bigpictureeducation.com/issues - subscribe to a free magazine filled with the latest in Science research, aimed at KS4 and 5 students.
‘What is a rainbow, really?’ by Richard Dawkins published 2011 Transworld – a myth busting book for Scientifically minded teenagers, and adults alike.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Colmers School and Sixth Form College directly.