Senior School

GCSE Biology

GCSE Biology AQA 4401

All pupils study Biology as either a separate science GCSE (B1,B2,B3) or as a third component (along with Physics and Chemistry) for 2 Science GCSE qualifications; Core Science and Additional Science (B1,B2).
The GCSE specification in Biology has been designed as loose and flexible topics to provide a programme of study that starts with simpler and fundamental concepts in S3 (Year 9) and builds on understanding more complex ideas over S4 (Year 10) and finishes in the Easter term of S5 (Year 11) to provide time for revision. Regular tests provide feedback and support and controlled assessments are staggered in S4 and S5 and are supported by the theory learning and understanding.
The topics covered are:
S3 (Year 9)
Cells as units of life; nutrition and the digestive system; the function and use of enzymes; diet and life style choices; the circulatory system; man’s effect on the ecosystem; adaptation and ecology.
S4 (Year 10)
Methods of transport of substances across membranes; photosynthesis; feeding relationships and interdependency; plant transport; pathogens and disease; drug abuse.
S5 (Year 11)
Respiration and exercise; Control and co-ordination; Genetics and inheritance; micro-organisms and their use and application (B3).
A wide range of enjoyable and stimulating resources are used, with specialist laboratories equipped with interactive whiteboards with high quality sound systems. Access is available to the internet and intranet.
Practical skills form a major component of learning and understanding. There is much practical work and it underpins the theory work.

Scheme of Assessment

Biology 4401 (part of triple award)

Examination: 75%; Controlled Assessment: 25%
Four examination components at Foundation or Higher level:
Biology 1: Written paper 25%, 45 minutes
Biology 2: Written paper 25%, 45 minutes
Biology 3: Written paper 25%, 45 minutes
Controlled assessment ISA: 25%, practical investigation and a 45 minute written paper.
Core Science (4462) and Additional Science (4463)
Please refer to Science section of the Senior School curriculum.
Biology contributes to a third of both papers for both GCSE exams and the same controlled assessment scheme for Biology separate science.

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