Biology

The Biology Department at King Edward VI Aston School aims to enthuse students about biological sciences, a field that has undergone a rapid expansion in recent years. The department believes that practical work is fundamental and a large emphasis is given to giving students an experience across a wide variety of practical techniques, including dissections.

Staff Names and Roles

Mrs J. Dhillon – Subject Leader of Biology
Mr I Mackie – Subject Leader of Year 7 Science, Teacher of Biology
Mrs K Smithson – Teacher of Biology

Mr G Singh – Teacher of Biology

Mr I Inglis – Laboratory technician for Biology

Useful Websites to support your son’s learning

Opportunities outside of lessons

  • Year 9: Forsensic Science
  • Year 10: Biology Quiz
  • Year 12: Field Work
  • Year 12: Aston University Master classes
  • Year 13: Medlink

Course information

BACK

YEAR 8

Summary of the Content/topics to be covered in year 8
Autumn Term
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
Spring Term
  • Inheritance and Selection
  • Digestion
Summer Term
  • Ecology
  • Fit and Healthy
BACK

GCSE YEAR 10-11

Specification and Topics covered at GCSE
Specification and Topics covered at GCSE

Students will follow the AQA GCSE Biology course (8461).

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461

This qualification is linear, meaning that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. The topics that will studied in this course are:

1.Cell biology
2. Organisation
3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics
5. Homoeostasis and response

6. Plants as organisms
7. Ecology

 

How will your son be assessed at GCSE?

External

Practical Assessments

Questions in the written exams will draw on the knowledge and understanding students have gained by carrying out practical activities, especially the required practicals stated by the examination board. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks for the qualification. Many of our questions will also focus on investigative skills and how well students can apply what they know to practical situations often in novel contexts.

Examinations

At the end of the course there will be two written examinations, usually in May / June. The papers will last for 1 hour and 45 minutes each and contribute 50% of the overall final grade.

Paper 1 will assess topics 1-4, with multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions.

Paper 2 will assess topics 5-7, with multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions.

Internal

Students are assessed by their teachers on the quality of their classwork, homework and practical work.

Common Assessments

During the course pupils will have one written assessment per term.

 

How could you support your son to learn during year 10?

You should encourage you son to review his work regularly, this should include the making of revision notes after every topic.

Many Students find the use of an additional revision guide for their subject to be very useful. The most popular ones are published by CGP.

Past examination papers and mark schemes are on the AQA website:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461/assessment-resources

 

 

BACK

A LEVEL YEAR 12 & 13

Specification and Topics covered at A level 

Students will follow the AQA GCSE Biology course.

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402

This qualification is linear, meaning that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. The topics that will be studied in this course are:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/biological-molecules

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/cells

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/organisms-exchange-substances-with-their-environment

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/genetic-information,-variation-and-relationships-between-organisms

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/energy-transfers-in-and-between-organisms-a-level-only

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/organisms-respond-to-changes-in-their-internal-and-external-environments-a-level-only

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/genetics,-populations,-evolution-and-ecosystems-a-level-only

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/subject-content/the-control-of-gene-expression-a-level-only

 

How will your son be assessed at A level?

Internal:

During the course pupils will have one written assessment per term.

Practical Assessments

Practical skills will be assessed in two ways, those that are assessed directly whilst students carry out experiments and those that can be assessed in the written examinations. A-level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Students will have 12 required practicals and a variety of others that are assessed in lessons, over the duration of the course.

External:

Examinations

At the end of the course there will be two written examinations, usually in May / June. Students will sit three papers lasting two hours each. Paper 1 will assess topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills, with a mixture of short, long answer questions and an extended response question. Paper 2 will assess topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills, with a mixture of short, long answer questions and a comprehension question. Paper 3 will assess any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills, with a mixture of structured questions, including practical techniques, critical analysis of given experimental data and one essay from a choice of two titles.

Common Assessment Tasks

During the course pupils will have one written assessment per term.

Practical Assessments

Practical skills will be assessed in two ways, those that are assessed directly whilst students carry out experiments and those that can be assessed in the written examinations. A-level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams. Students will have 12 required practicals and a variety of others that are assessed in lessons, over the duration of the course.

Examinations

At the end of the course there will be two written examinations, usually in May / June. Students will sit three papers lasting two hours each. Paper 1 will assess topics 1-4, including relevant practical skills, with a mixture of short, long answer questions and an extended response question. Paper 2 will assess topics 5-8, including relevant practical skills, with a mixture of short, long answer questions and a comprehension question. Paper 3 will assess any content from topics 1-8, including relevant practical skills, with a mixture of structured questions, including practical techniques, critical analysis of given experimental data and one essay from a choice of two titles.

How could you support your son to learn during year 12 & 13?

Many Students find the use of an additional revision guide for their subject to be very useful. The most popular ones are published by CGP. You should encourage your son to review his notes on a frequent and regular basis, and take time to read around the subject matter.

Past papers and mark schemes are available from the AQA website:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/assessment-resources

 

  • YEAR 8
  • GCSE YEAR 10-11
  • A LEVEL YEAR 12 & 13