This course covers the principles of Biology and topics covered include: Cell Level Systems (cell structures, what happens in cells, respiration, photosynthesis); Scaling Up (supplying the cell, the challenges of size); Organism Level Systems (coordination and control, maintaining internal environments); Community Level Systems (ecosystems); Genes Inheritance, Selection and Global challenges (monitoring and maintaining the environment; feeding the human race; monitoring and maintaining health). Practical work is also heavily involved and enhances the theoretical ideas covered.
How is the course structured and graded?
Content is split into six teaching topics and a practical skills topic that consists of a minimum of eight practical activities. Students will sit two exams at the end of the two year course; each exam with a duration of 1 hour 45 minutes, and a weighting of 50%. The practicals carried out during the course will account for 15% of the questions asked in the examinations. GCSE qualifications are now graded on the scale: 9–1, where 9 is the highest.
“It’s great that I can just study Biology. I always struggled with Chemistry and Physics. I love all the practical work too.” Student
Will this course be suitable for me?
If you are working at around Level 6 or above in Year 9 this may be the course for you. All assessment is by means of exams which are taken at the end of the two year course. Your teachers will recommend which Science course is suitable for you, taking into account your work in Year 9 and how likely you are to succeed on this course.
What could this course lead to?
Attaining a grade 5 or above will allow you to progress to further study at Sixth Form at Level 3 (BTEC Science). Attainment of a 5 at GCSE in Science is often a prerequisite for going to college or Sixth Form.
OCR GCSE in Biology A (Gateway Science)
Accepted for Sixth Form entry