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Langley Grammar School

Langley Grammar School


Key Stage 3

Please refer to the Science (Years 7&8) subject page for details of the biology topics taught at Key Stage 3



Students studying the subject at GCSE follow the OCR Gateway Biology A (J247) specification. During the course the following topics are covered.

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11

B1.1 Cell structures

  • Plant and animal cells
  • Bacterial cells
  • Light microscopy
  • Electron microscopy


B1.2 What happens in cells

  • DNA
  • Transcription and translation
  • Enzymes
  • Enzyme Reactions


B1.3 Respiration

  • Carbohydrates, proteins and lipids
  • Aerobic respiration
  • Anaerobic respiration


B1.4 Photosynthesis

  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthesis experiments
  • Factors affecting photosynthesis
  • Interaction of limiting factors


B2.1 Supplying the cell

  • Diffusion
  • Osmosis
  • Active transport
  • Mitosis
  • Cell differentiation
  • Stem cells


B2.2 The challenges of size

  • Exchange and transport
  • Circulatory system
  • Heart and blood
  • Plant transport systems
  • Transpiration stream
  • Factors affecting transpiration


B3.1 The nervous system

  • Nervous system
  • Reflexes
  • The eye
  • The brain
  • Nervous system damage


B3.2 The endocrine system

  • Hormones
  • Negative feedback
  • The menstrual cycle
  • Controlling reproduction
  • Using hormones to treat infertility
  • Plant hormones
  • Uses of plant hormones


B3.3 Maintaining internal environments

  • Controlling body temperature
  • Controlling blood sugar
  • Maintaining water balance
  • Inside the kidney
  • Responding to osmotic challenges


B4.1 Ecosystems

  • Ecosystems
  • Abiotic and biotic factors
  • Competition and interdependence
  • Pyramids of biomass
  • Efficiency of biomass transfer
  • Nutrient cycling
  • The carbon cycle
  • Decomposers


B5.1 Inheritance

  • Variation
  • Sexual and asexual reproduction
  • Meiosis
  • Dominant and recessive genes
  • Genetic crosses
  • Mutations
  • The history of genetics

B5.2 Natural selection and evolution

  • Natural selection
  • Evidence for evolution
  • The theory of evolution
  • Classification systems


B6.1 Monitoring and maintaining the environment

  • Sampling techniques
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Increasing biodiversity
  • Maintaining biodiversity
  • Monitoring biodiversity


B6.2 Feeding the human race

  • Food security
  • Feeding the world
  • Selective breeding
  • Genetic engineering
  • Producing a genetically engineered organism
  • Use of biotechnology in farming


B6.3 Monitoring and maintaining health/Non communicable diseases

  • Health and disease
  • Spread of communicable diseases
  • Preventing the spread of communicable diseases
  • Human infections
  • Plant diseases
  • Plant defences
  • Identification of plant disease
  • Blood and body defence mechanism
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Vaccinations
  • Prevention and treatment of disease
  • Aseptic technique
  • New medicines
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Treating cardiovascular disease
  • Modern advances in medicine

For more detailed information on the course content and assessment please refer to the examination board website:


A Level

Students studying the subject at A Level follow the OCR Biology A (H420) specification. During the course the following topics are covered.

Year 12 Year 13

Module 1 - Development of practical skills

  • Planning, implementing, analysing and evaluating practical procedures over the full A level course.


    Module 2 – Foundations in Biology

  • Cell structure
  • Biological molecules
  • Nucleotides and nucleic acids
  • Enzymes
  • Biological membranes
  • Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation


    Module 3 – Exchange and transport

  • Exchange surfaces
  • Transport in animals
  • Transport in plants


    Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease

  • Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system
  • Biodiversity
  • Classification and evolution

Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy

  • Communication and homeostasis
  • Excretion as an example of homeostatic control
  • Neuronal communication
  • Hormonal communication
  • Plant and animal responses
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration


    Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

  • Cellular control
  • Patterns of inheritance
  • Manipulating genomes
  • Cloning and biotechnology
  • Ecosystems
  • Populations and sustainability


For more detailed information on the course content and assessment please refer to the examination board website:


Additional resources

Students may find the following links and/or resources useful to further their studies of this subject:

BBC Bitesize KS3 Science


Our Youtube channel:

And a link to our LGS biocast: