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Advances in Biology often make headlines as they affect our lives in a myriad of ways.
What is Biology?

 We want to help develop an interest in and an enthusiasm for Biology. GCSE Biology students are given the opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for progression to further learning. In addition to developing an understanding of scientific concepts, the course is designed to develop students’ ability to apply ideas and evaluate information.

GCSE courses have changed. Starting from 2017, the new GCSE results are scored from 1 – 9, with a level 5 being a good pass and level 7 equivalent to an A grade.

We will be following the OCR Gateway qualification. The content is divided into six teaching topics. These are:

TopicIdeas covered
B1: Cell level systemsCell structures; what happens in cells (and what do cells need); respiration; photosynthesis
B2: Scaling upSupplying the cell; the challenges of size
B3: Organism level systems The nervous system; the endocrine system; maintaining internal environments
B4: Community level systemsEcosystems
B5: Genes, inheritance and selectionInheritance; natural selection and evolution
B6: Global challengesMonitoring and maintaining the environment; feeding the human race; monitoring and maintaining health

There is also a practical activity skills topic, B7 (students complete 8 key practicals); and
the skills will be assessed in both exams.


What will I study?

The GCSE Biology course is divided into seven chapters that cover genes and inheritance (B1), human health (B2), life on earth (B3), the processes of life (B4), growth and development (B5) and brain and mind (B6). The final chapter (B7) explores these topics in greater depth.

Why should I study Biology?

Biology is relevant to everyone who wants to know more about how their bodyworks and how all life on earth is inter-related. It develops skills of data analysis and evaluation as well as practical and investigative skills.

How is it assessed?
PaperModules WeightingLength
1B1-B3, B7Section A – multiple choice questions (15 marks)
Section B – structured questions including extended response (75 marks)
50%1h 45 min
2B4-B6, B7 (with assumed knowledge of Topics B1-B3)Section A – multiple choice questions (15 marks)
Section B – structured questions including extended response (75 marks)
50%1h 45 min
What do I need?

To succeed in this course, students should have a genuine interest in learning about the processes that underlie life, especially with regards to human biology. Due to the accelerated nature of this course, regular revision and good organizational skills are important to develop a thorough understanding and to achieve good exam results.

Notes/Reading List

CGP New Grade 9-1 GCSE Biology: OCR Gateway Revision Guide with Online Edition (2016), ISBN: 978-1782945666

CGP New Grade 9-1 GCSE Biology: OCR Gateway Exam Practice Workbook (2016), ISBN: 978-1782945154


“Studying Biology at DLD is a new and wonderful experience. Great teachers with amazing teaching styles that make learning Biology interesting.”   Huong Trang To – Current DLD Student

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