There are three Science departments, whose aim is to instil a love of science, to help our pupils see the importance and relevance of science in their world, and ultimately, to inspire them to follow a career in the sciences. We have high expectations of all pupils and, wherever possible, we deliver the curriculum using practical and investigative approaches.
From Year 9 onwards, the material in all three Science subjects is GCSE standard and all lessons are taught by specialist teachers. Lessons contain practicals where appropriate, so experimental and analytical skills can be developed.
Biology is a vast and increasingly important subject in today’s world, encompassing many topics at the frontiers of modern science. It is relevant to everyone’s life, addressing aspects such as health and disease, inherited characteristics, food and drink production and our interactions with the natural world. Biology helps learners understand some of the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of life on our planet: from the exciting advances recently made in genetics to the importance of conserving species which have existed over extended periods of time; and from how our bodies work to what the inside of a cell actually looks like.
GCSE Specification: Edexcel
Pupils sit two papers at the end of Year 11, both 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Each paper is worth 100 marks and 50% of the GCSE. Topics 1-5 are examined in Paper 1, whilst topics 1 and 6-9 are examined in Paper 2.
Topic 1: Key Biological Concepts
Pupils will begin by studying animal and plant cells under light microscopes and gain an understanding of the differences in structure. Biological drawing will be incorporated into the study of different kinds of animal cells. Enzymes will be introduced, with pupils running investigations into how different factors affect enzyme function.
Topic 2: Cells and Control
Topic 3: Genetics
The beginning of the topic covers reproduction, meiosis and DNA. Pupils will then move on to learn about the formation of proteins and how this leads to variation at the genetic level. This follows on to inheritance, missing alleles and the effect of mutations.
Topic 4: Natural Selection and Genetic Modification
The first half of the topic focuses on Darwin’s theory of evolution as well as classification. The second half of the topic develops knowledge of genes in agriculture and medicine, fertilisers and biological control.
Topic 5: Health, Disease and the Development of Medicine
Health and disease are covered in detail, from communicable diseases to cardiovascular diseases, pathogens, viruses, plant diseases and the immune system. The topic ends with antibiotics and monoclonal antibodies.
Topic 6: Plant Structures and their Functions
Topic 7: Animal Coordination, Control and Homeostasis
A number of important mechanisms in the body are explored, such as the control of metabolic rate, the menstrual cycle and the hormones that control it. It also covers the regulation of blood glucose, diabetes, thermoregulation, osmoregulation and the kidneys.
Topic 8: Exchange and Transport in Animals
This topic focuses on the circulatory system, including the heart. Knowledge of cellular respiration is developed, as well as factors affecting diffusion.
Topic 9: Ecosystems and Material Cycles
Edexcel Biology GCSE Specification
Specification: OCR A
There is no AS examination; all pupils follow the full two year A Level course. This is made up of six modules which are examined in three papers at the end of the two-year course. Each exam will include 10% higher level Maths skills.
The following modules are studied through the course:
2 hours and 15 minutes written examination
37% of total A Level
Pupils are assessed on content from Modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.
1 hour and 30 minutes written examination
26% of total A Level
12 Core Practical Activities
A Level Biology OCR specification
Headteacher Linda Wybar
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