Course Introduction

Biology is a subject about us and our world. In the 6th Form it aims to explain how animals and plants live and grow, and shows how they depend on each other to survive. The course looks at the latest developments in research to improve the quality, health and understanding of our lives. You will enjoy a wide range of learning experiences, including practical work, practice exam questions, comprehensive printed notes and interactive fun activities.

Course Video

What will I Study?

In year 1 – Biology places a great emphasis on knowledge and understanding biological terms: cells and their components, Inheritance, DNA Replication and Protein synthesis, Gene therapy, Biological molecules and plant Biology.

In year 2 – modules lead to a full A level in Biology and the emphasis is on application analysis of the key concepts learnt on the AS course plus concepts of: photosynthesis, respiration, homeostasis, the heart and breathing, the nervous system, exercise, energy transfer, gene cloning techniques, gene expression, the human genome project, Imbalances in brain chemicals, nutrient cycles, populations, selection, speciation, bacteria, virus’ and infectious disease.

How will I be assessed?

The AS course is assessed over two papers, each of 90 minutes in duration, with a combination of short and long answer questions as well as some multiple choice questions. You will be expected to competently carry out at least six core practical procedures throughout the course but these practical skills will be assessed in the written papers – there is no formal practical exam or coursework.

The full A-level course is assessed over three papers, each of two hours in duration, to be sat in the June of year 13. This is a terminally examined qualification and therefore any AS examinations sat during year 12 would not count in the awarding of the final grade. Once again, there is no formal practical exam. You will be expected to be competent in at least twelve practical procedures which will be assessed in the written papers ( six from Y12 and six from Y13).

Where does the course lead?

There are many careers for which biology is either essential or very useful – medicine, nursing, dentistry, physiotherapy, health education, veterinary science, agriculture, pharmacy, pharmacology, biochemistry, PE, psychology, speech therapy, forestry, biotechnology, food science, microbiology, laboratory work, radiography and teaching.

Student views

“Harton is a fun and friendly place that I have found easy to settle into. I have found studying biology both challenging and interesting. There is a big jump from GCSE Level in terms of the expectations and difficulty level. However, the staff at Harton are always available to answer any questions that you may have outside the lessons.”

Subject Specific Requirements:

Likely to be a minimum level 7 in GCSE Biology

Examination board links

A level (EDEXCEL) here.

Key Staff

Miss K Walker :
Deputy Head Teacher - Teaching, Learning

Name: Miss K Walker

Role: Deputy Head Teacher - Teaching, Learning and CPD


Mrs H Pearson :
Subject Leader

Name: Mrs H Pearson

Role: Subject Leader


Mrs S Laidler :

Name: Mrs S Laidler

Role: Teacher