Biology (GCSE)

Biology (GCSE)

Introduction

The IGCSE Biology course follows the Edexcel syllabus.  The syllabus covers a series of topics that are interesting and up to date with current advances in Science, designed to ensure a good preparation, both for those continuing to further study and for those wishing to work in a Biology-related field. The course is divided into 5 blocks, which are taught over the 2 years.  The blocks are:

  1. The nature and variety of living organisms :  characteristics and classification of living organisms
  2. Structures and functions in living organisms :  Level of organisation, Cell structure, Biological molecules, Movement of substances into and out of cells, Nutrition, Respiration, Gas exchange, Transport, Excretion, Co-ordination and response 
  3. Reproduction in plants and animals.  Inheritance 
  4. Ecology and the environment: The organism in the environment, Feeding relationships, Cycles within ecosystems,  Human influences on the environment,  
  5. Use of biological resources: Food production, Micro-organisms, Fish farming, Selective breeding, Genetic modification (genetic engineering), Cloning

All these topics include a number of practicals in the specification content.  The skills developed will be assessed through questions in written examinations – improving students’ analytical and logic skills by applying understanding of scientific concepts and principles to a range of situations and include the need for mathematical skills to complement students’ biology skills by covering a range of mathematical areas.  Some of the practicals are:

Investigate enzyme activity can be affected by changes in pH, investigate diffusion and osmosis using living and non-living systems, investigate photosynthesis, investigate the energy content in a food sample, investigate the evolution of carbon dioxide and heat from respiring seeds or other suitable living organisms, investigate the effect of light on net gas exchange from a leaf, investigate breathing in humans, including the release of carbon dioxide and the effect of exercise, investigate the role of environmental factors in determining the rate of transpiration, investigate the conditions needed for seed germination, investigate the population size of an organism in two different areas using quadrats, investigate the distribution of organisms in their habitats and measure biodiversity using quadrats, investigate the role of anaerobic respiration by yeast in different conditions.

Teaching

The IGCSE Biology course is taught by specialised teachers.  The lessons taught through a mixture of theory and practical work.   This encourages enjoyment of the subject and teaches our students many skills such as problem solving, communication and analysis.

The Edexcel International GCSE in Biology comprises two externally-assessed papers:

Biology Paper 1:

Availability: January and June 

Content summary Assesses core content that is not in bold and does not have a ‘B’ reference. Questions may come from any topic area across the specification. 

Assessment 

  • The paper is assessed through a 2-hour written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. 
  • The total number of marks is 110.
  • A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.
  • A calculator may be used in the examinations

Biology Paper 2:

Availability: January and June 

Content summary Assesses all the content, including content that is in bold and has a ‘B’ reference. Questions may come from any topic area across the specification. Bold statements cover some sub-topics in greater depth. 

Assessment 

  • The paper is assessed through a 1-hour and 15-minute written examination paper set and marked by Pearson. 
  • The total number of marks is 70.
  • A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short-answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions. 
  • A calculator may be used in the examinations.

Why study Biology at XIC?

Our students’ skills are broadly developed by including a number of experiments in the specification content. The skills developed will be assessed through questions in written examinations – improving students’ analytical and logic skills by applying understanding of scientific concepts and principles to a range of situations. 

Our students need transferable skills as higher-education institutions and employers have consistently flagged the need for students to develop a range of transferable skills to enable them to respond with confidence to the demands of undergraduate study and the world of work, such as,  cognitive skills, critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, reasoning, continuous learning, intellectual interest and curiosity, work ethic, responsibility, perseverance, self-monitoring/self-evaluation/self-reinforcement, Teamwork and collaboration, Assertive communication, problem solving .

Our students can then progress from this qualification to:

  • International Advanced Subsidiary in Biology 
  • International Advanced Level in Biology 
  • GCE Advanced Subsidiary in Biology 
  • GCE Advanced Level, for example in Biology 
  • Level 3 vocational qualifications in science, for example BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science 
  • other comparable, Level 3 qualifications, such as the International Baccalaureate 
  • employment, for example in a science-based industry where an apprenticeship may be available.

View More Subjects

Enquire to ENROL NOW!