Biology Curriculum

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

 

 

Year 9

Autumn 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. Written test in December.

Spring 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 in February

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).

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Year 10 (exam board: AQA)

Autumn Term
Students will be learning about the organisation of living things. 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 organs systems and how they may lead to a range of non-communicable diseases.

Assessment – digestive system and enzymes written test (30 minutes) in November (to coincide with assessment week).

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. 

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 – transport systems (plant and animal) written test (30 minutes) in February (to coincide with assessment week).

Summer Term

Students will begin to learn about bioenergetics. 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 June (to coincide with assessment week). 

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Year 11 (exam board: AQA)

Autumn Term
Students will be learning about aerobic and anaerobic respiration and the effect of exercise on the body. We will then move onto inheritance which includes cell division (mitosis and meiosis), stem cell biology and the use of genetic crosses. This includes looking at the genetic diseases of cystic fibrosis and polydactyly in more detail. We will finish Unit 2 by studying fossil evidence, extinction and how new species evolve.

Assessment – Unit 2 mock exam during assessment week.

Spring Term

Students will begin Unit 3. Students will be learning about cell transport, exchange surfaces and how the lungs are adapted for gas exchange. They will also be studying the heart, and how medical advances help us to repair damage to the heart as a result of genetic or lifestyle factors. Students will also be learning about transport systems in plants, including the process of transpiration which they will investigate using practical activities. Students will also learn about homeostasis. This includes how the body regulates glucose and water levels in the blood. As part of this students will also be researching into kidney failure and treatments. There will be the opportunity for dissections of various organs within this section of the course.

Assessment – Unit 1 mock exam during mock week. 

Summer Term

Students will complete Unit 3 by studying aspects of ecology, with a particular focus on the human impact on the environment.

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

Assessment – Unit 3 mock paper in April.

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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.

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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.

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