KS4 Biology

Biology is a rewarding subject both for students who have a keen interest in Science and for those who simply want understand more about living organisms and the world around them. During the GCSE course, many areas of Biology are explored in greater depth and the emphasis is very much on developing an appreciation of how science works and how new understanding and new technologies are affecting our lives.

Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 will follow the Pearson Edexcel GCSE specification. There is no controlled assessment in this course, but there will be considerable emphasis on experimental design and the planning and implementation practical work. This will be assessed through a series of core practicals. Final assessment will take the form of two equally weighted papers, each 1 hour 45 minutes in length.

It is important to be aware that the GCSE course is started in Year 9 and develops many of the ideas first encountered in Years 7 and 8. This means that you need to retain information over a long period of time. A steady effort throughout the whole course is clearly essential.

Year 9:

  • An introduction to life, cell structure and the development of microscope technology
  • Enzyme action and factors affecting enzyme action
  • Cell division and differentiation, including uses of stem cells
  • The nervous system, including structure and function of the eye
  • DNA, genetics and the human genome project

Years 10 and 11:

  • Darwin and the theory of evolution
  • Selective breeding and genetic engineering
  • Health, disease and the development of medicines
  • Plant structures and their functions
  • Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Exchange and transport in animals
  • Ecosystems and material cycles

Full details of the GCSE Biology course are available at www.qualifications.pearson.com