KS5 Biology

Curriculum Information Note:

All curriculum information is currently under review. We will update our website shortly with changes.


Course Title: AQA Biology

Grading: A*-E

Course Overview:

Year 12

  • 1 – Biological Molecules and More Biological Molecules

This section introduces Biological molecules that are common amongst living organisms. In later sections students build on this knowledge. Students will learn the importance of Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins, Nucleic acids and of course the most common component of cells – Water!

  • 2 – Cell Structure and Division, Cell Membranes and Cells and the Immune System

‘All life on Earth exists as cells’. So students will learn about the basic features that all cells have in common, the way different types of cell reproduce, how they control the movement of substances in and out, how cells communicate between themselves, how they recognise ‘self’ or ‘foreign’ cells, and how they are important in disease.

  • 3 – Exchange Systems and Transports Systems

In this section, students will learn the importance of size and surface area, how gas exchange surfaces are adapted, the effects of lung disease, how amazing haemoglobin is, the structure of the heart and circulatory system, cardiovascular disease and not forgetting plants – how do substances move around plants?

  • 4 – DNA, RNA and Protein Synthesis, Diversity and Selection and Classification

Every living organisms uses the same genetic code. Students will learn about this genetic code and what makes different organisms different to one another. Students will build upon this to study how to measure the differences between organisms.

Year 13

  • 5 – Photosynthesis and Respiration, Energy Transfer and Nutrient Cycles

‘Life depends on continuous transfers of energy’ and students will study the flow of energy from the Sun, through plants and other photosynthetic organisms along food chains. Students will calculate the efficiency of energy transfer.

  • 6 – Stimuli and Responses, Nervous Coordination and Homeostasis

In this section, students will study the importance of the nervous system in detecting and responding to stimuli. They will also study another form of communication involving hormones. Students will learn how both communication systems are involved in maintaining a stable internal environment.

  • 7 – Genetics, Populations and Evolution, and Populations in Ecosystems

Students will learn how the ‘theory of Evolution underpins modern Biology’. This includes a common ancestry, a ‘universal’ genetic code, genetic drift and natural selection, populations, and Ecosystems.

  • 8 – Mutations and Gene Expression, Genome Projects and Gene Technologies

This section builds upon section 4. Students will learn how the metabolic activities within the cell are regulated by its’ genes, how humans are learning to control the expression of genes, and the use of DNA technology to diagnose and treat human diseases.

How is it Assessed?

Students in Biology are assessed against three objectives:

  • AO 1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures.
  • AO 2 Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures in a theoretical context, in a practical context, when handling qualitative data and when handling quantitative data.
  • AO 3 Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to make judgements and reach conclusions and develop and refine practical design and procedures.

The final external examinations will all be taken at the end of Y13 and will consist of three papers which are each 2 hours in length. They will include a mixture of short, long and extended response style questions.

There is also an ongoing assessment of practical skills which need to be mastered to be awarded the practical endorsement on the final qualification. There are twelve compulsory practicals which the students have to complete during the two years as part of this.

Examination Board: AQA

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Lightcliffe Academy

Stoney Lane
Halifax, HX3 8TL

Tel: 01422 201 028
Fax: 01422 204 615

Registered Office:

Abbey Multi Academy Trust
c/o Chapter House
Abbey Grange Church of England Academy
Butcher Hill
LS16 5EA
Registered Company Number: 07705552