'It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change'. Charles Darwin.
What do we study?
Scared Heart follows the OCR Biology A Level specification. It is divided into six modules. The first of which is ‘development of practical skills in biology’. These are practical skills are developed throughout the course and assessed in the final course exams.
‘Foundations in biology ’is the study of cellular structure, biochemistry and function. An understanding of this is fundamental to the study of biology. ‘Exchange and transport’ considers the structure and function of gas exchange and transport systems in a range of animals and in terrestrial plants. ‘Biodiversity, evolution & disease’ explores how organisms are classified and the ways in which biodiversity can be measured. In addition, students develop an understanding of the variety of pathogenic organisms and the way in which plants and animals have evolved defences to deal with disease.
In Year 13 students will study ‘Communication, homeostasis & energy’ which includes how plants and animals respond to stimuli, the biochemical pathways of photosynthesis and respiration, with an emphasis on the formation and use of ATP as the source of energy for biochemical processes. Finally, ‘Genetics, evolution & ecosystems’ covers the role of genes in regulating and controlling cell function and development, including heredity and the mechanisms of evolution and speciation.
In addition to the biological content and practical skills, students will also be required to use and, in some cases, recall mathematical formulae and equations and carry out statistical analyses of data.
Beyond the Classroom
The Biology Department has entered Year 12 students for the Intermediate Biology Olympiad which led to students achieving students gold, silver, and bronze awards. Students have also achieved gold and silver medals in the British Biology Olympiad. This challenges and stimulates students with an interest in biology to expand and extend their talents. It enables them to demonstrate their knowledge and to be suitably rewarded with publicly recognised certificates and medals. Open to Year 13 students, students have been awarded gold and silver medals in recognition of their biological knowledge.
We will be introducing the The Prince Philip Award and Marsh Prize this academic year. This is open to students under 19 years old to write an account of practical work involving some aspect of animal biology.
We organise a five-day residential field-trip to Iceland in Year 12 to study rocky shore ecology as part of the practical skills module. This is the highlight of the course and students have enjoyed the hands-on experience they get and the chance to explore the land of active volcanoes, cascading waterfalls, erupting geysers, breath-taking glaciers and geothermal features that is Iceland.
Biology in Action lectures for A Level students - interactive and engaging sessions delivered by renowned scientists and communicators to inspire and motivate our students.
Where it Might Lead
In recent years, our students progressed onto degree courses in Medicine, Biomedical sciences, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Zoology, Dentistry and Chemical Engineering.