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Biology

Curriculum Intent

The Science subjects are intrinsically linked and we have therefore adopted a holistic approach in devising a curriculum that supports the whole school aims to provide a broad and balanced education for all students.  They provide an excellent opportunity to develop lifelong skills that help students get ready for a rapidly changing world.   

 

Through the study of the Sciences we enable students to develop: 

  • A deep and rich knowledge of the Science subjects 
  • A sense of wonder and fascination at the beauty, complexity and make-up of the world around them
  • A recognition that problems can be solved, and mysteries explained through an innovative and practical approach
  • The skills and understanding required to use the scientific method to hypothesise and answer questions
  • Sufficient knowledge and understanding of the way in which the world around them works to open doors into further study, should they choose to do so 
  • An understanding of how to evaluate scientific claims by applying knowledge and thinking critically
  • Scientific Literacy that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, in areas of Science and beyond

 

Key Stage 3 

Our KS3 course is based on the AQA 5-year programme of study.  The course has been designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills required to access the Science GCSEs.  Students study the following biology topics in Year 7 and 8.

Year 7
 
Year 8
 

Organisms

8.1 Movement
8.2 Cells

Ecosystems

9.1 Inter-dependence
9.2 Plant reproduction

Genes

10.1 Variation
10.2 Human reproduction

Organisms

8.3 Breathing
8.4 Digestion

Ecosystems

9.3 Respiration
9.4 Photosynthesis

Genes

10.3 Evolution
10.4 Inheritance

Key Stage 3 assessment

  • Termly assessments on the topics that have been studied

  • These assessments are comprised of a range of short and longer answer questions, focusin on both concepts and investigative skills

  • Students also complete progress tasks each term - these are extended writing tasks, with each one focusing on a different concept and skill area

Key Stage 4 

AQA GCSE Biology 8461

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11

1. Cell Biology

1.1 Cell structure
1.2 Cell division
1.3 Transport in cells

2. Organisation

2.1 Principles of organisation
2.2 Animal tissues, organs and organ systems
2.3 Plant tissues, organs and systems

7. Ecology (part 1)

7.1 Adaptations, interdependence and competition

3. Bioenergetics

3.1 Photosynthesis
3.2 Respiration

4. Infection and response

4.1 Communicable diseases
4.2 Monoclonal antibodies
4.3 Plant disease

7. Ecology (part 2)

7.1 Adaptations, interdependence and competition

 

6. Inheritance, variation and evolution

6.1 Reproduction
6.2 Variation and evolution
6.3 The development of understanding of genetics and evolution
6.4 Classification of living organisms

3. Bioenergetics

3.1 Photosynthesis
3.2 Respiration





 

 

Key Stage 4 assessment

  • Students undertake a formal test at the end of each topic
  • These are comprised of a wide range of past GCSE questions -they include short, content led questions, and many longer answer questions, where students are given an opportunity to show a deeper understanding of the skills and concepts studied
  • Some questions at GCSE are set in unfamiliar contexts.
  • There is also a practical assessment component which involves the completion of a series of assessed practical tasks during the course and keeping a record of progress in their exercise book. 

 

Key Stage 5

AQA A-level Biology 7402

Year 12 Year 13
  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their envrionment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

     
  1. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  2. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  3. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  4. The control of gene expression

 

Key Stage 5 assessment

  • Students undertake a formal test at the end of the first half term in Year 12, a UCAS prediction exam at the end of Year 12 and mock examinations in January and March of Year 13
  • They also sit a test at the end of each topic - these are comprised of a wide range of past A-level questions.  They include a small number of short, content led questions, and many longer answer questions, where students are given an opportunity to show a deeper understanding of the skills and concepts studied
  • Questions at A-level are frequently set in unfamiliar contexts

 

Curriculum enrichment outside of the classroom

We offer a wide range of extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities to students, including:

  • KS3 STEM Club
  • Zoo visit
  • Field work days
  • Go4Set programme
  • British Science Week Celebrations and Lectures
  • MedSoc – run in collaboration with Medic Mentors
  • ChemSoc
  • PhysSoc
  • STEM Careers events
  • STEM Work Placements, in collaboration with Science Oxford
  • RSB Challenge

 

A level Biology:  Please see the Sixth Form section of our website: sixth-form-subject-information