Sixth Form Biology
Biology A Level - Edexcel
The specification being taught at Trinity School has been developed in collaboration with the Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology project, which leads the field in innovative approaches to teaching and learning in biology of A Level. The content is taught through eight contemporary topics, which have many resources available to aid the understanding of Biology. These include multimedia resources and course texts as well as a very able teaching team!
The course aims to develop the essential knowledge and understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles. The relevance of Biology to everyday life is emphasized throughout the course, for example studying genetic modification and screening, and therefore also provides a useful educational function for students not intending to study a Biology related subject at university, as well as those who do.
- 1. Lifestyle, Health and Risk:
- The circulatory system, importance of diet and other lifestyle factors in maintaining good health and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
- 2. Genes and Health:
- The structure of DNA and cell membranes, social and ethical issues surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of genetic conditions, focusing on Cystic Fibrosis, using genetic screening techniques and the promise of gene therapy.
- 3. The Voice of the Genome:
- The development of multi-cellular organisms from single cell to complex individuals including the use of stem cells and cell differentiation.
- 4. Biodiversity and Natural Resources:
- Studies the biodiversity within habitats and links it with adaptation and natural selection, and how zoos conserve endangered species and maintain their genetic diversity.
- 5. On the wild side:
- The importance of photosynthesis which underpins the majority of ecosystems. Analysing evidence for global warming and its effects.
- 6. Infection, immunity and forensics:
- Look at how forensic pathologists use a wide variety of analytical techniques to identify a body and establish time of death, as well as investigating the evolutionary battles between invading pathogens and their hosts, the role of our immune system and why many people in the world still die of infectious diseases.
- 7. Run for your life:
- The physiological adaptations that enable humans, particularly sports people, and other animals to undertake strenuous exercise and looks at biochemical requirements for respiration and muscle physiology.
- 8. Grey Matter:
- How the nervous system enables us to see and how nerves work. It investigates imbalances in brain chemicals and the effect of ecstasy on the brain, and considers nature verses nurture on brain development.
During the Course you will also complete:
- Core practicals and skills
- A written report on research into a biological topic of interest.
- A written report of an experimental investigation
- AS Unit 1
- Topic 1 and 2; exam (40% AS)
- AS Unit 2
- Topic 3 and 4; exam (40% AS)
- AS Unit 3
- Practical skills and written research coursework (20% AS)
- A2 Unit 4
- Topic 5 and 6; exam (40% A2)
- A2 Unit 5
- Topic 7 and 8; exam (40% A2)
- A2 Unit 6
- Report of an experimental investigation (20% A2)
What can I do with Biology?
There are many occupations where an interest in Biology is either useful or essential. The most obvious example is in the field of medicine where the National Health Service employs immunologists, geneticists, physiologists, microbiologists and biochemists.
Opportunities for biologists also exist in the private sector, particularly in the new biotechnology companies. These include many involved in the 'science of the next century'; genetic engineering.
Finally biologists have also been found to be very good managers and administrators since they are used to handling a large number of variables at once!