The Howard School | Sixth Form Prospectus

Science A-Level Biology

Subject Biology

Exam Board OCR Specification Numbers H420

Teachers Responsible

Mr Holness

Introduction Biology is the Science of any living organism or system. It ranges from the very small molecular elements, fundamental to life, such as DNA to the very large ecosystems. Students will gain an appreciation of the mechanisms and systems that keep us alive and how to manipulate them for our own purposes.

Aims of the Course

Biology is a highly academic course involving much theoretical work combined with a significant proportion of practical investigation. It shall develop the students’ understanding of the following topics whilst developing a number of transferrable skills that are highly sought after:

Module 1: Development of Practical Skills in Biology Module 2: Foundations in Biology Module 3: Exchange and Transport Module 4: Biodiversity, Evolution & Disease Module 5: Communication, Homeostasis & Energy Module 6: Genetics, Evolution & Ecosystems

How You Are Assessed

The course is entirely assessed through terminal exams taken at the end of Year 13. The A-Level course is assessed through three exams; Paper 1 & 2 are both 2 hours 15 minutes and Paper 3 is 1 hour 30 minutes.

Paper 1: Biological Processes (modules 1, 2, 3 & 5) - 37% Paper 2: Biological Diversity (modules 1, 2, 4 & 6) - 37% Paper 3: Unified Biology (modules 1-6) - 26%

In addition, those studying A2 will be required to complete 12 practical investigations that will be recorded in the student’s log book and reported as a Pass/Fail additional Practical Endorsement on their exam certificate. Biology not only allows students to access a wide range of biological sciences from ecology to microbiology to medicine, but also supports other sciences and paths opened by those. In addition, the Biology A-Level is highly sought after by many employers and universities due to the range of transferable skills such as citing academic texts. Students go into such industries as law and accounting.

Links to Future Careers

Entry Requirement GCSE Grade 4 in Mathematics and Grade 4 in English (preferable) Minimum of a 5 grade in GCSE Biology or 5-5 grade in GCSE Combined Science


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