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Biology

Our Curriculum Aims:   

Biology is an exciting dynamic subject that aims to understand the very basis of life itself. It ranges from the interactions that occur at the molecular level within and between cells to the interactions within and between whole ecosystems. It is constantly evolving and is a subject that is relevant to every single person.  

David Attenborough said 

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living” 

In our Biology curriculum we aim  

  • To enable students to have a good understanding of the biological principles that will enable them to make sense of the Biology they encounter in their lives.  

  • To develop scientific curiosity and enable students to understand the importance of science to society. 

  • To encourage independent learning so students have the skills to be lifelong learners. 

  • To encourage our students to become questioning thinkers so they are able to consider data presented to them in a critical manner.  

  • To enable the students to develop their core scientific analytical skills as well as scientific literacy. 

  • To develop the practical skills necessary to carry out valid investigations.  

  • To prepare students with a solid foundation of the knowledge and skills required to enter a wide range of technical and scientific professions. 

 We are planning a range of new extracurricular activities for 2021-2022 including Journal club, CREST awards and the opportunity to take part in the Biology challenge and intermediate Biology Olympiad.  

Students are taught in one of our five dedicated Biology labs by experienced teachers whose specialisms range from Biochemistry to Ecology.  

In year 13 Students take part in a field trip to Rhyd-Y Creuau field studies centre in Wales. 

Key Stage Three Curriculum Overview 

Year 9 

 

Name of topic 

Key Content of the Topic  

Assessment points 

HT 1 

Photosynthesis and Plant Growth 

Respiration 

Investigation of the requirements of Photosynthesis and Respiration. Development of Practical skills and competencies needed to pass the GCSE practical skills assessment.  

Tests at the end of photosynthesis topic and end of respiration topic.  

HT 2 

Start of the GCSE AQA specification  
4.1 Cells 
4.1.1.1 -4.1.1.5 
1-4.1.3.2 4.1.3.3

Animal and plant cells 
Microscopy  
Eukaryotes and prokaryotes  
Cell specialisation and differentiation 

Tests at the end of the topic 

HT 3 

AQA specification  
4.1.3 

Transport in cells 
Diffusion  
Osmosis  
Active transport 

Tests at the end of the topic 

HT 4 

AQA specification 4.2 Organisation within biological systems 4.2.1  

Principles of organisation within biological systems  

Test at the end of topic 

HT 5 

AQA specification  
4.2.3.1,  4.2.3.2 

Plant tissues  
Plant organ systems 

Trial Exam 

HT 6 

AQA specification  
4.7.1.4, 4.7.1.1 

Adaptations  
Communities 

Test at the end of topic 

 

GCSE Course Followed: Biology 

Specification: AQA (Syllabus code 8461)  

Why Choose GCSE  

GCSE Biology offers a broad base of Biological areas to ensure students are informed about key issues in Biology and the implications for humans and other organisms. It provides students with the greatest range of biological areas for further study at university and beyond. It provides access to a wide range of vocational careers in many different fields such as agriculture, forestry, medicine, conservation and biotechnology.  Biology also develops critical thinking, organisational skills, analytical skills and practical skills too.  

All students will study:   

  • Cell Biology 
  • Organisation 
  • Infection and Response 
  • Bioenergetics 
  • Homeostasis and Response 
  • Inheritance, Variation and Evolution 
  • Ecology 

Key Stage Four Curriculum Overview 

Year 10 

 

Name of topic 

Key Content of the Topic  

Assessment points 

HT 1 

Ecology  

4.7.1.2,  4.7.1.3,  4.7.2.1, 4.7.4.2, 
4.7.4.3 

Organisation in animals 4.2.2, 4.2.2.2, 4.2.2.3 

 

Abiotic and Biotic factors,  
Food webs and trophic levels 
Pyramids of Biomass 
Transfer of Biomass 

Animal tissues organs and organ systems exemplified by the Circulatory system.  

 

Test at end of topic 

 

Test at end of topic 

HT 2 

Noncommunicable diseases 
4.2.2.4, 4.2.2.5,4.2.2.6, 4.2.2.7 

 

Infection and response  4.3.1.1, 4.3.1.2, 4.3.1.3, 4.3.1.4, 4.3.1.5,  

Health issues, the effect of lifestyle on non communicable diseases and cancer

 

Communicable diseases in plants and animals 

Test at end of topic 

 

Test at end of topic 

HT 3 

Infection and response 
4.1.1.6 
4.3.1.6 
4.3.1.7, 4.3.1.8 
4.3.1.9 
4.3.2.1, 4.3.2.2 
4.3.3.1 
4.3.3.2 

 

Culturing Microorganisms 
Human defence systems  
Vaccination, antibiotics and painkillers  
The discovery and development of drug 
Production and uses of monoclonal antibodies  
Detection and identification of plant disease 
Plant defence responses.  

 

Test at end of topic 

 

HT 4 

Bioenergetics 
4.4.1.1, 4.4.1.2 
4.4.1.3  

 

Bioenergetics 
4.4.2.1, 4.4.2.2, 4.4.2.3 

Photosynthesis  

 

Respiration, Metabolism and response to exercise 

Test at end of topic 

 

Test at end of topic 

HT 5 

Cell division 
4.1.2.1, 4.1.2.2, 
4.1.2.3 

Chromosomes, Cell division and Stem cells 

Trial Exam 

HT 6 

Homeostasis and response 4.5.2.1, 4.5.2.2 4.5.2.3, 4.5.3.1, 4.5.3.2, 4.5.3.3 

 

Nervous system  
The brain  
The Eye 
Homeostasis 
Control of body temperature 
Human endocrine system 
Control of blood glucose  
Maintaining water balance and nitrogen balance in the body 

Test at end of topic 

Year 11 

 

Name of topic 

Key Content of the Topic  

Assessment points 

HT 1 

Homeostasis and response 
4.5.3.4
4.5.3.5 
4.5.3.6 
4.5.3.7 
4.5.4.1 
4.5.4.2 

 

Hormones in human reproduction 
Contraception 
The use of hormones to treat infertility 
Negative feedback 
Plant hormones coordination and control 
Use of plant hormones 

Test at end of topic 

HT 2 

Inheritance Variation and Evolution  

4.6.1.1 

4.6.1.2 

4.6.1.3 

 

4.6.1.4 

4.6.1.5 

4.6.1.6 

4.6.1.7 

 

 

 

Sexual and asexual reproduction 

Meiosis 

Advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction  

DNA and the genome 

DNA structure 

Genetic inheritance 

Inherited disorders 

Test at end of topic 

HT 3 

Inheritance, Variation and Evolution  
4.6.1.8 
4.6.2.1 
4.6.2.2 
4.6.2.3 
4.6.2.5 
4.6.3.1 
4.6.3.2 
4.6.3.3 
4.6.3.4 
4.6.3.5 
4.6.3.6 
4.6.3.7 
4.6.4 

Sex determination 
Variation Evolution 
Selective Breeding 
Genetic engineering 
Theory of evolution 
Speciation 
The understanding of genetics 
Evidence for  evolution 
Fossils  
Extinction 
Resistant Bacteria 
Classification of living organisms 

Test at end of topic 

HT 4 

Ecology (continued) 
4.7.2.2 
4.7.2.3 
4.7.3.1 
4.7.3.2 
4.7.3.3 
4.7.3.4 
4.7.3.5 
4.7.5.1 
4.7.5.2 
4.7.5.3 
4.7.5.4 

Biodiversity  
Waste management 
Land use 
Deforestation 
Global warming 
Impact of environmental change 
Maintaining Biodiversity 
Factors affecting food security 
Farming techniques 
Sustainable Fisheries 
Role of Biotechnology 

Test at end of topic 

HT 5 

 

Revision and exam technique practice 

 

HT 6 

NA 

 

GCSE exams 

Recommended Revision Guides for GCSE 

Pupils have access to the online textbook through Kerboodle. There are revision materials available on Office 365. Revision guides are available from bookstores such as W.H.Smith and Waterstones. As long as it is AQA Biology GCSE specific and it is in a style that appeals to your son, then it will be suitable. Particularly recommended is the Oxford University Press Revise: AQA GCSE Biology Revision and Practice 

Oxford Revise: AQA GCSE Biology Revision and Exam Practice 

Support available for GCSE Students 

Drop in sessions are available if students need to seek advice or support.  Students should ask their biology teachers about these sessions.