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Biology, Chemistry & Physics

Mission statement 

To develop a greater understanding of how the world around us works

Biology

Exam Board: AQA

Biology involves the study of a wide range of exciting topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and from microorganisms to mammoths. Biology is a dynamic subject never far from the headlines. 

In the first year you will study 4 main topics:

  • Biological molecules;
  • Cells;
  • Organisms exchanging substances with their environment;
  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms. 

In addition, there are numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory to reality, and equip you with the essential practical skills you need.

Y12 is assessed by two internal written papers

Year 13 helps you build on that firm foundation and you will study:
• Energy transfers in and between organisms;
• Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments;
• Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems;
• The control of gene expression. 

At A-level you will assessed by 3 written papers, each of 2 hours.
Practical assessments have been divided into those that can be assessed in written exams and those that can only be directly assessed whilst students are carrying out experiments. A-level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of your competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exam.  

The students (Yr 12 and 13) are assessed through end of topic tests which occur every three/four weeks.  Year 13 are expected to write essays on a regular basis which also enables synoptic knowledge to be evaluated.

Modules are sequenced so that the fundamentals of the subject can be learnt (Year 12). The application of the fundamentals is then taught (Year 13), modules build on prior knowledge.

Useful textbooks, revision guides and websites

The use of the AQA textbook, kerboodle and ‘Biological Review’ is emphasised.  The use of the AQA revision guide, Seneca and physicandmaths.com for past papers is encouraged to develop knowledge and application.

Chemistry

A-Level Chemistry 

Exam board: OCR
Course: OCR level 3 Advanced GCE in Chemistry A.

The scheme of work can be found on TEAMS.

This is a linear two year course with 3 exams covering 6 modules (module content and examinations are outlined in the table below). 

Assessment overview

Periodic table, elements and physical Chemistry  (01)

100 marks: 15 marks of multiple choice. 85 marks for short and extended answer questions.

2hr 15 minutes

Written paper

Content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5

37% of A level

Synthesis and analytical techniques (02)

100 marks: 15 marks multiple choice. 85 marks for short and extended answer questions.

2hr 15 minutes

Written paper

Content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6

37% of A level

Unified Chemistry (03)

70 marks: All marks are for short and extended answer questions.

1hr 30 minutes

Written paper

All modules 1-6

26% of A level

Practical endorsement in Chemistry (04)

Non exam assessment

Reported separately

 

Content overview

Module 1- Development of practical skills in Chemistry.

Module 2-Foundations in Chemistry

Module 3-Periodic table and energy

Module 4-Core organic Chemistry

Module 5-Physical Chemistry and transition elements

Module 6-Organic Chemistry and analysis

Pupils complete formative assessments at the end of each module. At the end of year Y12 pupils will sit end of year exams. The three summative exams are at the end of Y13.

The content is divided between two teachers, one will teach Physical Chemistry the other Organic Chemistry.

The sequencing of modules builds upon the knowledge from previously taught concepts.

Useful resources

Textbook: A level Chemistry for OCR A (Rob Richie, Dave Gent), ISBN 978-0-19-835197-9.

Revision guide: Oxford Revise: A Level Chemistry for OCR A Revision and Exam Practice. ISBN-13 ‏978-1382008662

 

Physics

Exam Board: AQA

This is a linear two-year course with 3 exams covering 10 modules and practical skills (as detailed below).  

Assessment overview

A level Paper 1

85 marks     2 hours 

Question types: 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Questions assessing students’ use of mathematical skills will make up 40% of the exam papers.

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and Radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and Materials
  • Electricity
  • Further Mechanics - Periodic Motion

34% of A level

A level Paper 2

85 marks      2 hours

Question types: 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Questions assessing students’ use of mathematical skills will make up 40% of the exam papers.

  •  Assumed knowledge from paper 1 topics
  • Thermal Physics
  • Fields and their Consequences
  • Nuclear Physics

34% of A level

A level Paper 3

80 marks         2 hours

  • Section A – Practical skills and data analysis (Compulsory)
  • 45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.
  • 35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.

32% of A level

  • There are 16 core practicals that cover all of the 12 techniques required for the practical competency measure.
  • Knowledge of all core practicals can be tested within exam papers.
  • Core practicals form part of the practical competency assessment.

Reported separately

 

Content Overview

Section 1 - Particles and Radiation

Section 2 – Waves and Optics

Section 3 – Mechanics and Materials

Section 4 - Electricity

Section 5 – Practical Skills in Physics

Section 6 – Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics

Section 7 - Fields

Section 8 – Nuclear Physics

Section 9 - Astrophysics

Pupils complete formative assessments at the end of each module. At the end of year Y12 pupils will sit end of year exams. The three summative exams are at the end of Y13.

The sequencing of modules builds upon the knowledge from previously taught concepts, and usually takes an order of how they are grouped in examinations.

Resources

Textbook: AQA Physics A-Level (Jim Breithaupt), ISBN 978-0-19-835187-0

Revision guide: Oxford Revise: AQA A Level Physics Revision and Exam Practice. ISBN-‏978-1-382-00860-0