STEMSubjects

Biology

pupils in biology class

Introduction

Biology encourages scientific enquiry, curiosity and self-discovery. We provide a range of opportunities for pupils to explore the diversity of the natural world and develop their ability to make informed evaluations about contemporary biological issues.

GCSE Biology

Biology is the study of life. It explores the complexity of living organisms, their structures and functions, and life processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, reproduction and digestion. Biology looks at how characteristics are passed from parents to their offspring and how natural selection operates, creating the great diversity of species in the world today.

Today’s biologists are involved in researching and understanding some of the most controversial advances in human knowledge. These include the cloning of embryos, designer babies and genetically modified food.

Biologists are also involved in finding solutions to worldwide problems such as:

  • global warming;
  • the extinction of species;
  • Ebola and other epidemic diseases; and
  • MRSA and superbugs.

Biology is a fascinating subject that allows us to make a difference to tomorrow’s world by helping us understand the world we live in today. Pupils hoping to study GCSE Biology should have performed well in their Year 10 assessments.

NOTE: Pupils who wish to study Biology at A-Level are advised to study Chemistry to GCSE Level (possible through the Double Award Science pathway)

Specification

This is a CCEA course. The detailed specification can be found in the CCEA Website

This CCEA specification consists of three units:

Unit 1: Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity – This will be covered in Year 11 with an examination at the end of Year 11.

Unit 2: Body Systems, Genetics, Microorganisms and Health -This will be covered in Year 12 with an examination at the end of Year 12

Unit 3 (practical work): Booklet A is a 2 hour long practical examination that will be carried out between Jan-May of Year 12. Booklet B will be an externally assessed examination, consisting of questions about planning or carrying out the prescribed practical tasks. 

Examination Summary

Unit 1: 1 hour 15 min written examination – worth 35% of GCSE

Unit 2: 1 hour 30 min written examination – worth 40% of GCSE

Unit 3: Booklet A – 2 hour practical examination – worth 7.5% of GCSE

Unit 3: Booklet B – 1 hour written examination – worth 17.5% of GCSE

Career Pathways

The study of Biology develops the knowledge, understanding and skills required for a wide range of careers. Some ideas of Biology-related careers include: Biomedical Scientist, Biochemical Engineer, Biology Teacher, Dentist, Ecologist, Medical Doctor, Microbiologist, Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Optometrist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist, Speech and Language Therapist…and many more.

Transferable Skills 

  • Literacy skills
  • Mathematical skills
  • Communication skills
  • ICT skills
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