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Biology

Head Of Department : Mrs Alison Stangroom

 

Members of Staff:

Ms Beauty Chiponda
Mrs Barbara Dean
Mr Frank Mugoni

IGCSE

Students begin their two-year IGCSE Biology course in Form 3 (Year 10), with teaching shared between several members of staff. Students are scheduled 5 lessons a cycle in one of the three well-equipped laboratories; lessons include as much practical work as possible. Students are introduced to microscope work and basic skills of use of equipment for measuring and recording data, analysis, and interpretation. They are given an understanding of scientific method and how it may be limited or improved.

The CAIE Biology syllabus is designed to give flexibility both to teachers and candidates; it emphasises understanding and application of scientific concepts and principles rather than recall of factual material, whilst still giving a thorough introduction to the study of the subject. Our departmental aim is to make students more aware of how living things work and our responsibility for the environment.

Classes are tested regularly and take internal examinations at mid-year and year end. The papers are set according to the style and standard of the final IGCSE papers. There are three CAIE examinations at the end of the two years:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Alternate to Practical
  • Structured Questions

A-Level

The syllabus’ subject content is divided into an AS, done in Lower 6 (Year 12), and A2 done in Upper 6 (Year 13). There are two classes at each level, taught by qualified A-Level teachers.

The department offers well-equipped laboratories, with all students having access to their own electric light microscopes. There is an emphasis on practical work particularly in AS Level.
Course Aims

Aims that are assessed include knowledge with understanding. Students should also be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in relation to factors such as

  • Scientific phenomena, facts, laws, definitions, concepts, theories
  • Scientific vocabulary, terminology, conventions (including symbols, quantities and units)
  • Scientific instruments and apparatus used in biology, including techniques of operation and aspects of safety
  • Scientific quantities and their determination
  • Scientific and technological applications with their social, economic and environmental implications

Students must be able to handle information and solve problems using oral, written, symbolic, graphical and numerical forms of presentation, while also experimenting with their newly-acquired skills and investigations.

AS Candidates

Students begin the AS course as soon as they return from Service Projects and Lower 6 selection. A good grounding in Chemistry and Mathematics are recommended as well as an A grade at IGCSE.

The AS introduces cellular ultra-structure, biochemistry and enzymes, transport at a cellular level, cell and nuclear division, genetic control, mass transport in plants and humans, infectious diseases and immunity, gas exchange and diseases of the gas exchange system with an emphasis on the effects of smoking.
There are three AS examinations done at the end of the year:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Advanced Practical
  • Written Structured Questions Paper.

A2 Candidates

The A2 course begins when the Lower 6 (Year 12) students have finished their examinations in November. It includes a Core and an Applications of Biology section, which is studied, in its entirety, by all A2 candidates.

Topics in the core include photosynthesis, respiration, regulation, inherited change, and selection and evolution. The applications build on these topics to introduce students to topical fields of biology such as biodiversity and conservation, gene technology, biotechnology. Students do some of their own research on the internet.

There are two A2 examinations:

  • Written Structured Questions
  • Written Practical Planning, Analysis and Evaluation.