“Turn on the TV any night of the week and you will find a wealth of inspiring documentaries bringing the natural world to your sitting room. We study this amazing world day in, day out; with us, you will learn fascinating facts about it that we so often take for granted. - Life! But not as you know it” - Mrs R Bentley, Head of Biology
We have chosen the AQA Specification as our course due to its broad coverage of core material and appropriate preparation for university studies with biological content. The A Level Biology specification is divided into eight teaching modules and each module is subdivided into key topics. We integrate key practical skills within theoretical topics and the methods, accuracy and analysis of these practicals is assessed in written papers at the end of the course.
There is also a non-exam based practical endorsement section that replaces the traditional coursework element. Students wishing to take biology at A Level require a grade 7 Separate Science Biology or Higher Tier Combined Science and a grade 7 in mathematics.
What you will study in Year 12
- Biological molecules
- Organisms exchange substances with their environment
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
What you will study in Year 13
- 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
These qualifications are linear, which means that students will sit all the A Level exams at the end of their A Level course.
Expectations for independent study
Students are required to actively participate and become engaged with biology by reading around the topics taught, watching the media for science related stories and documentaries, and by researching and extending their subject knowledge online.
Co-curricular opportunities and trips
Biology Society allows students to explore areas of the subject beyond the specification they are passionate about. This includes debating and presentations and practical skills such as dissection and practising suturing.
We also celebrate Biology Week and the Biology Society plays a key role in organising and running these events, led by the Biology Prefects.
Students are encouraged to enter national and international competitions including most recently a competition held by The National Heart and Lung Institute together with the British Heart Foundation’s Centre of Research Excellence at Imperial College London.
Trips and visiting speakers
We aim to run as many trips as possible throughout the year and have many visiting speakers into the school. We also invite Medical Mavericks into school to work with the A Level biologists during Biology Week.
In 2019 (Pre the effects of COVID)
What students say
“I have loved studying Biology at New Hall! The teachers are friendly and very knowledgeable about all aspects of the specification. There were also many opportunities to expand our knowledge beyond the specification. I believe Biology is an important and now mainstream subject so that we can understand our natural world and our impact on our environment. Studying biology at New Hall has cemented my desire to follow a career in this area of science.” – Charlotte, Year 13
“I chose to study Biology A Level because it is one of my favourite subjects and paves a clear pathway for me to study medicine at university. Biology is an amazing subject with many different practical elements within the course which are very interesting and engaging. The Biology teachers are excellent and the support given by the Biology department is unparalleled.” – Poppy, Year 13
“Choosing to study biology was an extremely straightforward decision for me due to the relevance of the A Level course in many other subjects. The transferable skills such as analysis and exam technique gained from the biology course has enabled me to find other concepts easier to understand and helped me to engage more in other fields of study. The practical nature of the course, coupled with the dedicated and inspiring teaching, ensures a creative and enjoyable environment to learn in. The teachers never fail in providing me with as much support and resources as possible to help me with every aspect of biology. Biology is the cornerstone of a vast array of subjects, and it is preparing me well for life after Sixth Form.” – Samuel, Year 13
“I chose to study biology as I really enjoy the subject and the variety of content that we can learn. Studying Biology has truly cemented my desire to study medicine at university. The teachers are exceptional, providing us with everything and more in all that we need to succeed by supporting us all every step of the way.” – Grace, Year 13
“Biology is the subject that most resonates with my future career path. That being said, Biology as a subject is the stem of many careers and quite literally the stem of life itself. I have found AS biology here at New Hall an absolute delight from the topics learnt with AQA to the very helpful members of staff that make up the Biology team. There has never been a better time to learn more about biology in our current climate so I hope you too will take a chance on Biology A Level – I’m sure you will enjoy it!” Lexie, Year 13