Science - Biology


Biology is the study of living organisms. From microscopic cells and bacteria, to entire ecosystems. It has strong links to Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Geography, and helps us explain the world around us, and how organisms interact with each other and the physical world in which they live. The Biology curriculum is broad and fascinating, reflecting the nature of the subject. Biology helps to develop students’ critical thinking skills, broadens and deepens their understanding of their natural world, and maintains their curiosity in the miracle that is life on earth.

Key Stage 5

Year 12 Biology starts by looking at the fundamentals of all life on Earth: Molecules and Cells. This includes how our cells are adapted to perform specific roles, such as the immune system. It then moves on to look at genetics and why we have such great diversity in the Biological world, as well as looking at transport systems such as the heart, lungs and plants.

Year 13 focuses on the bioenergetics of life, namely photosynthesis and respiration, as well as how we maintain a stable internal environment through the use of various organs and hormones. There is more on genetics and inheritance, before finishing with genetic technology and looking towards the future applications of Biology in the real world.

The course is supported by 12 required practicals that reinforce theoretical knowledge and allow students to improve these skills that may be required for future courses and careers.


AS is assessed by 2 mock exams at the end of the year.

A2 content is assessed by 3 exams:

Paper 1 is 2 hours long and assesses year 12 content only.

Paper 2 is 2 hours long and assesses year 13 content only.

Paper 3 is 2 hours long and assesses content from both years, linking topics together and includes an essay question (25 marks).

Examination Boards

GCSE, AS and A2 content is all from the AQA exam board.

Resources to Support Learning

Your teacher will issue you with homework booklets for each topic at the start of the year, each containing practice questions.

Text books are available to purchase through the school, including help with Maths and bridging the gap between GCSE and A-level.

There are also a range of apps that can be downloaded to aid with revision. Please speak to your teachers for advice on these.

All past paper questions have also been uploaded to a school drive for exam practice.

Careers Links

There are obvious links to careers such as medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, midwifery, nursing, biological sciences, natural sciences, astrobiology and ecology.

Many Biology related careers are becoming more prominent in society with the raising awareness of conservation and the problems we have with growing populations and waste production.

Subject Staff

Mr Dowson

Mrs Hutchinson

Mrs Gair

Mr Hillman

Miss Leishman (Maternity leave for 2019/20 academic year)