Why choose AQA for GCSE Biology
Our philosophy: science for all
We believe that science has something to offer every student. That's why we have a suite of science qualifications for Key Stage 4 ‒ to suit students of all abilities and all aspirations.
You'll see that our GCSE Biology, along with Chemistry and Physics, is a clear straightforward specification, with clear straightforward exams, so all your students can realise their potential.
Our specification has been developed with teachers
We’ve involved over a thousand teachers in developing our specification, exams and resources. So you can be confident that our GCSE Biology is relevant and interesting to teach and to learn. We’ve ensured that:
- the subject content is presented clearly, in a logical teaching order. We’ve also given teaching guidance and signposted opportunities for skills development throughout the specification
- the subject content and required practicals in our GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy are also in our GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics. So you have the flexibility to co-teach or to move your students between courses
- all our science qualifications provide opportunities for progression. Our GCSE Biology includes progression in the subject content and consistency in the exam questions, so that your students have the best preparation for A-level.
Our practicals have been trialled by teachers
There’s no better way to learn about science than through purposeful practical activities as part of day to day teaching and learning. Our ten required practicals:
- are clearly laid out in the specification, so you know exactly what’s required
- are deliberately open, so you can teach in the way that suits you and your students
- have already been trialled in schools.
You’ll find even more support and guidance in our practical handbook, which includes recommendations and advice from teachers in the trial.
Straightforward exams, so students can give straightforward answers
We’ve improved our question papers. You’ll find that our exams:
- use more straightforward language and fewer words so they’re easier to understand
- have fewer contexts so students don’t get confused
- have questions that increase in difficulty so students feel confident
- have been written with our GCSE Maths and A-level science teams, so students have consistency between content and questions.
Over 3,000 students have sat our specimen question papers and they agree that they’re clearer and more straightforward than ever.
We don’t profit from education – you do
We are an educational charity focused on the needs of teachers and students. This means that we spend our income on improving the quality of our specifications, exams, resources and support.
You can find out all about our Science qualifications at aqa.org.uk/science
Support and resources to help you teach
We’ve worked with experienced teachers to provide you with a range of resources that will help you confidently plan, teach and prepare for exams.
Visit aqa.org.uk/8461 to see all our teaching resources. They include:
- additional practice papers to help students prepare for exams
- schemes of work, written by experienced teachers, including a scheme of work specifically for Foundation tier students
- a practical handbook, including recommendations and advice from teachers who’ve trialled our practicals
- AQA-approved textbooks reviewed by experienced senior examiners
- training courses to help you deliver AQA Biology qualifications
- subject expertise courses for all teachers, from newly-qualified teachers who are just getting started to experienced teachers looking for fresh inspiration.
Preparing for exams
Visit aqa.org.uk/8461 for everything you need to prepare for our exams, including:
- past papers, mark schemes and examiners’ reports
- specimen papers and mark schemes for new courses
- Exampro: a searchable bank of past AQA exam questions
- exemplar student answers with examiner commentaries.
Analyse your students' results with Enhanced Results Analysis (ERA)
Find out which questions were the most challenging, how the results compare to previous years and where your students need to improve. ERA, our free online results analysis tool, will help you see where to focus your teaching. Register at aqa.org.uk/era
For information about results, including maintaining standards over time, grade boundaries and our post-results services, visit aqa.org.uk/results
Keep your skills up-to-date with professional development
Wherever you are in your career, there’s always something new to learn. As well as subject-specific training, we offer a range of courses to help boost your skills.
- Improve your teaching skills in areas including differentiation, teaching literacy and meeting Ofsted requirements.
- Prepare for a new role with our leadership and management courses.
You can attend a course at venues around the country, in your school or online – whatever suits your needs and availability. Find out more at coursesandevents.aqa.org.uk
Help and support available
Visit our website for information, guidance, support and resources at aqa.org.uk/8461
If you'd like us to share news and information about this qualification, sign up for emails and updates at aqa.org.uk/keepinformedscience
Alternatively, you can call or email our subject team direct.
T: 01483 477 756
- Specification for first teaching in 2016 (829.4 KB)