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The Biology department at Sheffield Girls’ is thriving with typically more than 50 Sixth Form students embarking on the A-level Biology course each year. Our specialist, experienced teachers are dedicated to supporting each individual with her learning to help her not only achieve the best results possible, but to thoroughly enjoy the course.

During A-level Biology, girls are encouraged to dig deeper into the subject, pursue their interests and develop independent learning. We believe that when a student takes ownership of her learning and develops a real interest in the subject, she will achieve better results and more thoroughly enjoy her A-level course.

A-level Biology Specification

A-level Biology schemes of work are developed around the AS/A2 specifications to ensure students are fully prepared for A-level exams.

The AQA A-level Biology specification follows a linear format, where a total of eight core topics are taught across two years, all of which will be examined at the end of the second year.

The topics will also involve a number of practical skills which are assessed throughout the course during lessons and on a three day residential course at the end of the first year.

AS Topics

There are four topics studied in Year 12:

Biological molecules
Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

A2 Topics

There are a further four topics in Year 13:

Energy transfers in and between organisms
Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
The control of gene expression

Practical work is an integral part of the course and students attend a residential field course at the end of Year 12.

Higher Level Biology

Many girls studying A-level Biology take up places in Higher Education to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, biomedical science and other science-related courses. Many students who wish to pursue one of these courses choose Biology alongside another or multiple sciences - although a few will have studied Biology as their only A-level science.


Each year, some students achieve full marks in AS/A2 modules and in the last ten years we have had students with GCSE or A-level marks within the top five in the country. We are also successful in preparing our students for Oxbridge and for the Advanced Extension Award.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities take place at every key stage and many girls choose to participate in them to further their knowledge, expand skills or simply because they enjoy it! Past activities have included:

National competitions, e.g. Biology Challenge
Inter-house competitions with a biological theme during Science Week in March
Visiting lecturers for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5
Local university visits for Years 12 and 13

We have links with the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield. This is extremely beneficial to our A Level Biology students as it enables them to meet young women who have pursued Biology as science role models and find out about cutting-edge research findings. In the past, we have had interesting talks on topics such as cystic fibrosis by PhD students and a pathology event.

If you’re interested in studying A-level Biology at a Sheffield Sixth Form, then find out about more at our next open day.

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