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KS4 Science-Biology

Course Outline – GCSE Biology

Students in year 10 and 11 follow the AQA GCSE specification. This specification allows students to talk about, read and write about Biology and apply what they have learnt to the world around us. It encourages students to develop their knowledge and understanding of Biology by working scientifically, which increases the employability of students. Working scientifically is the sum of all the activities that scientists do in everyday life. These opportunities are woven in through the specification the students will follow and assessed within the final assessments. The wide variety of topics explored within the specification lends themselves to group work, independent work and self-study.

Topics to be covered:

Cell Biology, Organisation, Infection & Response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis & Response, Inheritance, Variation & Evolution and Ecology.

How the course is assessed

Students will sit a baseline assessment in Science using the GL Assessment package, to assess what level they are initially working at. Each topic within the scheme of work will be assessed using an end of chapter assessment and progress for each half term will be measured and tracked against the baseline data gathered. Termly reports will be provided, detailing your child’s effort and progress within the subject and any areas of improvement needed for your child to reach their full potential.

Students will sit two Biology exam papers at the end of the course in the summer examination period. They will sit either the foundation paper (grade 1-5) or the higher paper (grade 4-9) depending on their achievement throughout the year and the evidence of their scientific knowledge and understanding. The questions will include multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Students are expected to be aware of several required practical tasks throughout the course which will be assessed in the written exams. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks for the qualification.

It is a linear qualification and in order for students to achieve the qualification they must sit both assessments in at the end of the course.

Students will sit two mocks throughout the year. The first mock (Paper 1) will be sat in December and the second (Paper 2) in March.

How parents/carers can help
  • Encourage and support your child in completing any independent home learning tasks that have been set. Use the online resources to support you and your child in this.
  • Encourage your child to use the online resources to support them in reinforcing their learning and revising for chapter assessments and mock examinations.
  • Support your child in completing past exam papers that can be found on the AQA website and will be set by the class teacher.
  • Test your child’s knowledge and understanding by encouraging them to inform you of their learning, targets and lesson objectives for the week.
Links to online resources: