AQA GCSE Biology 8461 (Foundation or Higher)
Our KS4 Biology curriculum provides students with the substantive and disciplinary knowledge they need to become competent scientists. Students develop their disciplinary ‘working scientifically’ knowledge such as data analysis, identifying key variables and evaluating a practical, as well as developing their substantive knowledge and understanding of more complex themes that build upon the topics studied in Year 9. Students complete 10 Biology required practicals, which provide students with opportunities to focus on different elements of the disciplinary knowledge that are so important in supporting their substantive knowledge.
As well as this key scientific knowledge, students will continue to develop their maths skills, metacognitive skills, literacy skills and practical skills. We place a clear emphasis on the importance of ‘reading like a scientist’, and as such, students are guided to use a variety of strategies to help them become confident readers e.g. PQRST, skimming and scanning.
Links to careers and A level content is explicitly made in the majority of Science topics studied at GCSE, as well as students completing a ‘careers in Science’ series of lessons, allowing students to develop their understanding and knowledge of the wider world of science and preparing them to be able to start thinking about choosing Science subjects at A level.
Edexcel Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) 9BNO
Our KS5 Science curriculum is designed around students’ specific interests for future pathways. A level qualifications in Science open up opportunities to study related subjects in higher education. Depending on the specialist area our students are interested in, our biology, chemistry and physics curricula allow students to build upon the knowledge and skills they have developed through KS3 and 4 to help them make informed choices about their futures.
The level of scientific knowledge and understanding increases and students are required to link information in logical manner, developing an appreciation for the interaction of different disciplines in Science. More focus is placed on the scientific process and in each of the 3 subjects, students carry out a number of required practicals which allow students to develop their investigative skills and disciplinary knowledge.
Assessments take place on a regular basis, which provide an opportunity for students and teachers to determine progress made, identify gaps in knowledge and address misconceptions. The topics follow an ever-increasing level of complexity and allow scaffolding of information to take place, with the earlier topics leading on from GCSE to the A2 content increasing in complexity and demand and preparing students for their future pathways. Students are supported throughout the course for their unique futures, including guidance on writing their UCAS personal statements, visits from BR alumni to discuss university study and working in scientific careers and extracurricular visits.
Biology is a fascinating subject giving an insight into the living world around us. The Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) course offers students an opportunity to experience the interrelated nature of Biology, linking a variety of topics and showing how genetics and the environment can work together to influence organisms.
The Biology course consists of eight topics studied over two years. The content covered include the Circulatory System, Genes, Ecology, Forensics and Respiration. Students will be expected to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills they develop during the course. In addition, they will be expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skill. Students also complete 18 required practicals throughout the course, which allow students to develop their competence in a range of practical skills e.g. planning a method, controlling key variables, competent use of equipment and data analysis.