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Key Stage 5 Overview

Students learn about the core concepts of biology and about the impact of biological research and how it links to everyday life. The units are designed to teach students to apply their knowledge, investigate and solve problems in a range of contexts.We aim to explore how society makes decisions about biology-related issues and how biology contributes to the success of the economy and society.

Our students will develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills. Practical work is at the heart of A-level Biology, and the required practical activities will give our students the opportunity to embed their skills and knowledge while using practical experiences to link theory to reality.

At Thornleigh we follow the AQA specification which can be found by visiting

The A Level Biology qualification is linear. There will be three exam papers at the end of the course worth 35%, 35% and 30%. Each paper is 2 hours long. The types of questions will be short and long answer, questions on practical techniques and data analysis and maths based questions.

The topics we will study are:

Year 12

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

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