Curriculum Intent

In Science, our curriculum intent is:

  • To deliver an engaging and challenging curriculum, which enables students to reach their maximum potential by building upon and developing their scientific knowledge, working scientifically and mathematical skills
  • To make connections between science and Catholicity, and science within local and wider contexts

Course Overview

In the first year, you will learn about biological molecules, cells, how organisms exchange substances with their environment, genetic information, genetic variation and the relationships between organisms.

Throughout the year you will undertake six practical activities to reinforce your learning.

Your second year of study will centre around energy transfers in and between organisms, how organisms respond to changes in their environments, the control of gene expression and further study on genetics including populations, evolution and ecosystems.


35% – Written Exam 1

35% – Written Exam 2

30% Written Exam 3

Exam Board Information

AS and A-level Biology

Reading List


Frank Ryan: Virolution

Lewis Thompson: How We Live and Why We Die, The Secret Lives of Cell

Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene

Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species

Adam Rutherford: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, The Stories in Our Genes

Matt Ridley: Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code

James Watson: DNA, The Secret of Life

Lewis Thomas: The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

Armand Marie Leroi: Mutants: On the Form, Varieties and Errors of the Human Body

David S. Goodsell: The Machinery of Life

Ernst Mayr: This Is Biology: The Science of the Living World

George C. Williams: Plan and Purpose in Nature

Edward O Wilson: The Diversity of Life Richard Leaky: The Origin of Humankind

Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything



An interactive cell biology site – in new tab)

A web site showing illustrations of many processes of biotechnology – in new tab)

Visit the world of electron-microscopy – in new tab)

Explore the genetic code – in new tab)

Details of the history of the best scientific discoveries – in new tab)

The site of the scientific journal – in new tab)

Podcasts, news and interviews with scientists about recent scientific developments – in new tab)

The London Natural History Museum’s website – in new tab)

The website of the British Medical Journal –

Future Steps

An A-Level in Biology will offer access to a wide range higher education options and careers and the academic rigour of science A-levels is highly valued by universities and employers, regardless of the degree or job.

A level Biology can open up a range of careers in specialist degree courses such as; medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, optometry, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical sciences, forensic science, biomedical and biological sciences, environmental health and food sciences.  Having an A level in Biology can also open the door to studying many non-biological related degree courses as well.