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The Jubilee Academy

The Jubilee Academy

Biology

Qualification details

The GCSE in Biology requires students to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding of working scientifically. Working scientifically will be assessed through examination and the completion of the eight core practicals.  GCSE study in the sciences provides the foundation for understanding the material world. Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. All students should learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to the sciences and that are both inter-linked and of universal application.

The Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9–1) in Biology consists of two externally-examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier. Students must complete all assessments in the same tier

 

Unit title and description

Assessment and duration

Weighting

Paper 1

  • Topic 1 - Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2 - Cells and control
  • Topic 3 - Genetics
  • Topic 4 - Natural selection and genetic modification
  • Topic 5 - Health, disease and the development of medicine

Written examination

1 hour 45 minutes

100 Marks

50%

Assessment Overview

A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Paper 1

  • Topic 1 - Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 6 - Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7 - Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
  • Topic 8 - Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9 - Ecosystems and material cycles

Written examination

1 hour 45 minutes

100 Marks

50%

Assessment Overview

A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

 

Practical work

The content includes eight mandatory core practicals, indicated as an entire specification point in italics. Students must carry out all eight of the mandatory core practicals listed below.

Core practical

1.6 Investigate biological specimens using microscopes, including magnification calculations and labelled scientific drawings from observations

1.10 Investigate the effect of pH on enzyme activity

1.13B Investigate the use of chemical reagents to identify starch, reducing sugars, proteins and fats 1.16 Investigate osmosis in potatoes

5.18B Investigate the effects of antiseptics, antibiotics or plant extracts on microbial cultures.

6.5 Investigate the effect of light intensity on the rate of photosynthesis

8.11 Investigate the rate of respiration in living organisms

9.5 Investigate the relationship between organisms and their environment using field-work techniques, including quadrats and belt transects.