Topics 1-4 are the same as the AS topics
SECTION 5: BIOENERGETICS Energy transfers in and between organisms- Life depends on continuous transfers of energy.
Pupils learn about the biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration. Energy transfers within ecosystems are investigated and the implications of simplifying food webs and reducing respiratory losses within a human food chain considered. Nutrient cycles, such as the nitrogen and phosphorus cycle are also studied Practical opportunities include investigating factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis; devising experiments to investigate the action of enzymes involved in respiration and looking into the effect of minerals on plant growth.
SECTION 6: PHYSIOLOGY: Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments.
This topic expands on the concepts of coordination and response and homeostasis met at GCSE. Pupils study how electrical impulses are transmitted along neurones and contrast the nervous response to that of hormones. The role of nerves and hormones is illustrated in the regulation of the mammalian heart rate, blood glucose and blood water potential. Practical opportunities include examining skeletal muscle structure under an optical microscope and an investigation into the effect of repeated muscle contraction on the rate of muscle fatigue in humans.
SECTION 7: POPULATION GENETICS The theory of evolution underpins modern biology.
This topic looks at factors affecting population size, how alleles are inherited, using the Hardy-Weinberg principle to predict allele frequencies from one generation to the next and how new species arise from existing ones. Practical opportunities will include investigating the distribution of organisms in various habitats and estimating population sizes
SECTION 8: DNA TECHNOLOGY:
Cells are able to control their metabolic activities by regulating the transcription and translation of their genome. Although cells within an organism carry the same genetic code, they translate only part of it. In multicellular organisms, this control of translation enables cells to have specialised function, forming tissues and organs. Humans are learning how to control the expression of genes by altering the epigenome and how to alter genomes and proteomes of organisms. Pupils will look at the medical and technological applications arising from this. Practical opportunities include producing tissue cultures, investigating the specificity of restriction enzymes and using gel electrophoresis to produce ‘fingerprints’
This course encourages students to:
Develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject further, building on the skills they have acquired in AS and gaining an appreciation of how the different topics link together.
There is no optional section for this course.
Each group is taught by two specialist teachers, 1 teacher will deliver sections 5 and 8, the other will deliver sections 6 and 7.
This qualification is linear. This means that pupils taking biology A Level will take all their exams at the end of the A level course. The first exams will therefore be in May/June 2017.
Paper 1 (35%) Content from topics 1-4 + practical skills 2 hours 91 marks consisting of: 76 marks of short and long answer questions 15 marks’ worth of extended response questions.
Paper 2 (35%) Content from topics 5-8 + practical skills 2 hours 91 marks consisting of: 76 marks of short answer questions 15 marks’ worth of comprehension questions. Paper 3 (30%) Content from topics 1-8 + practical skills 2 hours 78 marks consisting of: 38 marks structure questions 15 marks critical analysis of experimental data 25 marks for an essay (choice of 2)
The methods of teaching at A2 are very similar to those for AS.
In addition there is an A2 residential field trip which takes place following the AS exams in Year 12. The field trip covers a significant proportion of Topic 5 theory.
The methods of teaching at A2 are very similar to those for AS. In addition there is an A2 field trip which takes place following the AS exams in Year 12. The field trip covers a significant proportion of Topic 5 theory.
PRACTICAL ENDORSEMENT. In order to achieve the qualification, students must demonstrate practical competency as defined by the CPAC criteria, students will be judged against these for the awarding of the endorsement.