WJEC Level 1/Level 2 GCSE in Biology
What will I learn?
The GCSE Biology course consists of three theory units plus a controlled practical investigation.
- Biology 1: “Adaptation, Evolution and Body Maintenance”
- Biology 2: “Cells and Metabolism, Digestion and Respiration, Biodiversity”
- Biology 3: “Transport in Plants and Animals, Homeostasis, Microorganisms and Disease”
- Biology Controlled Assessment: Investigation
Each unit carries an equal weighting of 25%.
How will I learn?
- Notes taken in lessons.
- In-class tests and assessments.
- Regular practical work and investigations.
- Using the on-line Moodle site.
What skills will I need?
Essential Skills Wales evidence can be accumulated naturally from the Biology contexts in the GCSE specifications. These are:
- Application of Number
- Information & Communication Technology
- Problem Solving
- Working with Others
- Improving Own Learning and Performance
The skills needed for GCSE Biology are Thinking, Communication, ICT and Number Skills. These are all developed in GCSE Biology, as described in the “Skills Framework for 3 to 19 Year-olds in Wales” document that can be accessed by clicking on the following link: Skills Framework in Wales .
In general, the following skills will be used commonly on the course:
- Thinking – challenging tasks that require students to apply ideas; encouraging students to think, question and talk together in groups to develop a deeper understanding of conceptually difficult ideas.
- Communication – investigation write-ups and presentation of information in scientific reports; extended writing activities and QWC (Quality of Written Communication) questions.
- ICT – modelling using Focus on Science Investigations; Moodle work; Internet research.
- Number – calculations, measuring, recording, tabulating, graphing, reporting, presenting, concluding and evaluating.
How will I be assessed?
Biology units 1, 2 and 3 are assessed by external examinations held in January and June. Units may be re-taken once only (with the better result counting) before aggregation for the GCSE award, but at least 40% of the assessment must be taken at the end of the course. In practice this means that Unit 3 and the Biology Controlled Assessment will be sat once at the end of the course.
GCSE Biology is assessed are by tiered external examinations (B1, B2, B3) and by an untiered internally assessed controlled assessment investigation. Additionally, there will be in-class end-of-unit tests and homework tasks. These internal tasks will be used for student target setting and for measuring attainment against such targets. They will also be used to indicate the tier of examination entry for the student – Higher (grades A* - D) or Foundation (grades C - G).
What happens after the course?
- Students could follow A level Biology at Ysgol Friars if they attain a “B” grade or higher at GCSE Biology.
- Students could follow Level 3 courses at a College of Further Education.
What job opportunities are there?
Advanced level qualifications in Biology are highly desirable, and in most cases essential for students considering careers in the medical sciences. Biologists are employed in:
- Health Care (doctors, nurses, radiographers, opticians, dieticians, physiotherapists, pharmacists)
- Marine and Freshwater Biology
- Horticultural and Forestry Industry
- Laboratory work
- Work with Animals
- Information Science
- Teaching and Lecturing