Sustainable Schools





Your decision to continue Biology at ‘A2’ level is in itself an indication of your commitment to the subject. Your commitment will certainly be tested during this ‘A2’ level course and you will find, as in so many other activities, that the more you are prepared to put into the subject, the more you will enjoy and gain from it. You will soon find that your ‘A2’ level study techniques require far more SELF-DISCIPLINE and ORGANISATION than was the case at ‘AS’ and it is hoped that these introductory notes will help you to settle to an efficient and effective routine which will enhance your appreciation of the subject, enable you to achieve a final grade consistent with your ability, and serve you well in any future studies at University.


One of the secrets of success lies in your ability to organise your work and study effectively on your own. In this respect you will find that your energies fall into the following categories:


                        REVIEW of notes taken in lessons

                        WRITE UPS of practical work

                        READING your text books

                        NOTE MAKING from extra sources (books, web, periodicals)

                        WRITING answers to the set essays (one side A4 max.)

                        REVISING at the end of each topic



If you have completed all written assignments, reading and note making, then you can take the opportunity to review the work again. It is by this sort of consistent and thorough reappraisal that an increasing proportion of knowledge is committed to your long-term memory.

It is common knowledge that you will only remember 10% of what you read or were told 48 hours earlier. It is by effective revision that you will increase the extent of your factual knowledge by committing subject matter to your long-term memory.


Note making:    The objective is NOT to rewrite the textbook. Under appropriate headings and subheadings (underlined), make short phrases and words which will serve as memory joggers. Also helpful are simple flow diagrams, annotated diagrams, memory maps, sketches etc. Remember that BREVITY combined with INFORMATION is the objective.

Don’t let assignments of work accumulate – deal with them as promptly as possible, and inform your teacher if you foresee problems.

In reviewing notes from lessons and books, remember to ask your teacher about anything you have not understood.

Try to train yourself to the suggestions outlined above as soon as possible. It will take a week or so of perseverance to achieve the objective but to do so will prove to be an invaluable discipline for the future.



Notes + reading

(Numbers are pages from ‘Bio.2’ Jones +Gregory)  


1 pp 28-30 Answer questions on population growth and limiting factors – Reindeer on sub-arctic islands.  
2 pp 30-36

Answer questions on succession and competition


3   Stats questions
4 Field Trip Statistical analysis of field work data  

pp.. 36-38; 38-44


pp.. 59-60  

Essay: ‘Discuss the possible conflicts of interest between production and conservation, with reference to N-containing fertilisers, and alternatives to their use.’  
SUMMER essay:
1 pp.76-79 Essay: ‘What are the problems in defining a species?’  
2 pp.. 47-52  

SAQ 4.1,2,3,4

Questions on meiosis  

3 pp.. 53-58  

SAQ 4.6 – 4.19

Questions on genetics  



pp.. 61-64

Questions on natural selection and evolution  

Essay: ‘Distinguish clearly between gene and chromosomal mutations. Explain the significance of these mutations in evolution.’  

pp.. 1-5

Questions on respiration  

Write an essay entitled ‘ATP’  

pp.. 5-12

Questions on respirometers

Essay: ‘Discuss the parts played in aerobic respiration by: a) acetyl coenzyme A  b) oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate  c) the electron transfer chain.’  

pp.. 12-14

Questions on respiration and R.Q

Essay: ‘ a) Compare the structures of chloroplast and mitochondria with the structure of a typical prokaryote cell.

b) Describe the roles of membranes in chloroplast function.’  



Questions on excretion and the kidney  


‘Explain why the removal of water by the kidneys can be considered to be both excretion and osmoregulation.’  
9 pp.. 100-106  

Questions on the control of diabetes

Extension essay 1: ‘Why is homeostasis vital to living organisms?’  


Questions on nervous system  

Extension essay 2: ‘Review the importance of chemicals in the processes of coordination in plants and animals.’  
11 pp.. 17-25   Revision
12   Mock Central Concepts Exam  





See the outline scheme of work for A2


Visit the OCR website to see the full syllabus



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