"Recently I won the Mensa Child Genius Competition and I believe that it was possible because of the academic skills and the skills to perform in front of an audience and to keep calm under pressure that I acquired at Hesketh House."

Sharon Daniel, Girls' Division pupil

Read more testimonials


What will I study?

You will study a variety of biological processes including, the molecular biology of the cell, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and human and plant physiology. Through an experimental approach you will develop your understanding through first hand observations of your own work. If you opt to take the full A2 course you will be invited to join our residential fieldwork trip in Aberystwyth at the end of Y12.

The course content is enriched in a number of ways, through special biology seminars given by University professors or other experts in their field, the chance to carry out a novel research project at Manchester University, involvement with the Biological Science Review student committee and through participation in the Open University 'YASS' Scheme which provides opportunities to study biological topics at undergraduate level. Students also have the option to join the Operation Wallacea expedition to Madagascar in 2013.

How will I be assessed?

The specification followed will be AQA GCE Biology.  In each of years 12 and 13 three units will be studied,oneof which will be practical work. These units and the weighting of the marks of each unit are outlined below.


Unit 1 -Biology and Disease(34% AS; 17% A2)           

Unit 2 - Variety of Living Organisms(46% AS; 23% A2)             

Unit 3 - Practical and Investigative skills.* (20% AS; 10% A2)   

*These are developed by practical experiments throughout the AS course and are assessed externally by Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA's).



Unit 4 -Populations and Environment (17% A2)           

Unit 5 - Control in Cells and Organisms(23% A2)

Unit 6 - Practical and Investigative skills.* (10% A2)

*These are developed by practical experiments throughout the AS course and are assessed externally by Externally Marked Practical Assignment (EMPA's).


Desirable requirements

Students that succeed in A Level Biology have usually achieved at least a grade B in their GCSE examination, either from the dual award or separate science syllabuses. In special circumstances, students with a lower grade may take up the course where we feel that the student will adopt a committed approach and has the academic potential to benefit from the course.

Where will it lead?

Many of our students have used their Biology A Level to gain entry to Natural Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Marine Biology, Zoology and Biological Sciences at University. An increasing number of students use it to broaden their science background as they aim for a course in the Humanities, Engineering and Technology.