Biology Curriculum

Click on the links below to jump to a particular Year Group:

 

 

Year 9

Autumn Term

Students will be looking at the two linked topics of inheritance and evolution.

In the inheritance topic we will look at the causes of variation and practice showing data in both bar charts and histograms. We will then look closely at the role played by the nucleus during inheritance, with practical work to include extracting DNA from fruit. The role of various scientists in the discovery of the structure of DNA will also be examined.

In the evolution topic we will discuss competition and adaptation. We will learn about Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection and look at several examples. Leading from that, students will also look at extinction, conservation, and biodiversity.

Assessment – 35 minute written test 

Spring Term

Students will be learning about the structure of animal, plant and bacterial cells. They will develop their skills in observing cells using the light microscope and using mathematical techniques to determine the magnification of the cells. Students will then start to investigate specialised cells in animals and plants.

Assessment – level assessed task during assessment week on specialised cells. 

Summer Term
Students will be learning about communicable (infectious) diseases. In particular, how these diseases are spread and methods of prevention. We will also be investigating the role of the immune system, vaccinations and antibiotics in fighting pathogens. This work includes a research task in which students will be finding out about specific diseases from their specification.

Assessment – written test in May (to coincide with assessment week).

Back to top

 

Year 10 (exam board: AQA)

Autumn Term
Students will be learning about cell cycle, stem cells and cell transport. We will focus on mitosis and the uses of stem cells as a potential treatment for some medical conditions. Cell transport will include diffusion and osmosis. We will carry out required practical 7 which is linked to osmosis and carry out linked exam practice questions.

Assessment – Cell cycle, stem cells, and cell transport – 30 minute test in November.

Students will be learning about the organisation of living things in topic 2. We will focus on tissues and organs in particular. We will study the digestive and circulatory systems to illustrate the organisation of cells into tissues and organs. We will also carry out research into the effects of lifestyle on these organ systems and how they may lead to a range of non-communicable diseases.

Spring Term

Students will be learning about plant tissues and organs. They will study processes such as transpiration and will carry out practical activities to measure the rate of transpiration.

Assessment – Students will sit a topic 2 test in exam week (January).

Students will be also be learning about bioenergetics (topic 4). This includes photosynthesis and respiration. There will be several opportunities for practical work as students investigate factors that affect both of these processes.

Assessment – bioenergetics written test in May.

Summer Term

Students will begin learning about homeostasis and response (topic 5). In this topic, they will learn about the nervous system including the brain, eye and reflex responses. They will also learn about how we control body temperature, glucose and water concentrations and the role of hormones in the body.

Back to top

 

Year 11 (exam board: AQA)

Autumn Term
Students will complete topic 5 ‘Homeostasis and Response’. They will be learning about how the body maintains glucose and water levels as well as controlling temperature. They will go on to learn about the role of hormones in the reproductive system and how we can use hormones to control fertility. Students will also be learning about plant hormones.

Assessment – Paper 1 mock exam during mock week.

Required practical 8 – Investigate the effect of light or gravity on the growth of seedlings.

Students will begin topic 6 ‘Inheritance, Variation and Evolution’. Students will learn about sexual and asexual reproduction including the process of meiosis in producing gametes. Students will also be learning about DNA and how genes are inherited to determine sex and other characteristics.

Spring Term

Students will complete topic 6 by learning about variation and evolution. They will learn how humans have impacted on evolution through the processes of genetic engineering, selective breeding and cloning. Students will then move on to the final topic 7 ‘Ecology’ which covers ideas of community, biotic and abiotic factors and adaptations. Students will learn about the organisation of ecosystems including how materials are recycled naturally in the environment and how the process of decomposition works.

Assessment – Topic 5 & 6 exam during mock week.

Required practical 9 – measure population size in a habitat & required practical 10 – investigate the effect of temperature on the rate of decay of milk.

Summer Term

Students will complete topic 7 by studying the effect of humans on ecosystems. They will then learn about feeding relationships in ecosystems and sustainable food production.

Once completed students will be revising in preparation for their GCSE exams.

Assessment – Paper 2 mock in May

Back to top

 

Year 12 (exam board: AQA)

Autumn Term
With one of their teachers students will be learning about the structure of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. They will develop their skills in observing cells using the light microscope and using mathematical techniques to determine the size and magnification of the cells. Students will learn the theory behind other techniques such as differential centrifugation and the use of electron microscopes. Students will also develop their understanding of mitosis and the link to cancer. Cell transport will also be covered.

With their other teacher students will be studying biological molecules including carbohydrates, proteins, fats and DNA. They will continue their studies into enzymes and also investigate methods of DNA replication.
Required practicals – 1, 2 & 3

Assessment – Written test during assessment week and required practicals for the practical endorsement.

Back to top

 

Year 13 (exam board: AQA)

Autumn Term
With one teacher students will be studying the carbon and nitrogen cycles. They will then move onto inheritance, looking at genetic crosses and how to calculate allele and genotype frequencies using Hardy-Weinberg. They will complete unit 4 by investigating natural selection and speciation.

With their other teacher students will be learning about respiration and photosynthesis as biochemical pathways and processes this includes the role of ATP.
Students should begin unit 5 in December where they will study protein synthesis and the nervous system.
During lectures students will continue to develop their assessment skills which includes preparation for essay writing (terminal exam) and statistical tests for the ISA.

Assessment – Unit 4 mock in November.

Back to top