A-Level Biology is a hugely popular course at our school.
It appeals not only to students hoping to pursue a Biology-based degree at university, but anyone with an interest in ecology, environment and the workings of the human body.
The course combines a theory-based programme of learning with a range of practical work, complemented by fieldwork trips to enhance girls’ learning experience. Students observe biological material, both microscopic and macroscopic, and plan and conduct investigations.
Topics range from pulmonary and cardiac disease to the evaluating study of genetic modification and stem cell research.
In Year 12, topics covered include the study of biological molecules, such as DNA, the functioning of the immune system, and the importance of genetic diversity in Biology.
In Year 13, we consider how organisms respond to their environment and how gene expression is controlled, including the fascinating topic of gene technology. Three examination papers are taken at the end of Year 13, the third of which is synoptic in nature, and requires students to write an essay.
A-Level Biology leaves students well-placed for further study in Medicine, Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Genetics and Biochemistry, as well as Pharmacy, Dentistry and Veterinary Science. It also promotes wider skills such as analysis, research and self-reliance.
The study of Biology at Merchant Taylors’ prepares students for university applications by actively promoting self-reliance and reflection and offering an abundance of academic enrichment and extension opportunities, including national competitions, such as the Biology Olympiad and the academic, debating challenges of Oxbridge and Harrison Group Scientific Studies.
Many of our students also receive the prestigious Nuffield Bursaries for Biology Study, and scientific research will form the basis for the enrichment EPQ study of some A-Level students.