Hello and welcome to the Biology Department here at Reigate College.
My name is Alys Dreux and I’m the course leader for Biology A Level. Biology is a really popular A Level choice and I’m really pleased you’re planning on taking it as one of your A Level options.
To help prepare you for the course and to get you excited about studying it at A Level, I’d like you to complete the tasks and activities below (that are being released in three phases). Many of the initial tasks are exploratory in nature, so give you the opportunity to delve more deeply into a specific topic, if its an area of of particular interest to you.
You’re not required to formally submit your findings, but you’ll have the chance to share what you’ve learnt with teachers and fellow Biologists when you start at the College in September.
The tasks will be released here, in three phases (see table below) and should be completed by Choices Day on 1 September 2021. Please throw yourself into them and above all enjoy them!
Please note, some Course Leaders (for example for Music) may release their tasks earlier, as they may form part of the College’s audition process. If this applies to you, you’ll be notified separately.
New Starters Course Tasks and Activities
To be completed by
Explore your Subject
Explore your Subject
As an A Level Biologist, you’ll study a variety of biological content linked
to the following themes:
Cell & Molecular Biology,
Anatomy & Physiology and
Ecology & Conservation.
To help start preparing you for the course in September, we’d like you
to have a go at the following activities by 1 June.
1. Take a look at the Wildlife Trust’s website
Even when you’re stuck at home, you can still connect with nature via the Wildlife Trust.
Good sections to start with include: Macromolecules, Structure of a Cell, Membranes, DNA and Human Biology.
Your Get Going task for Biology A Level is to complete five GCSE Review packs. These cover important areas that are needed for the first parts of the Biology A Level course.
The review packs have been prepared using BBC GCSE Bitesize so please
use the links provided at the start of the packs to help you.
In a lot of cases you will see two links for each section based on the
exam board (AQA and Edexcel). Don’t worry if you’ve studied a different exam
board (i.e. OCR), the biology information will still be recognisable.
You must use all links to access all the
information you need to complete the pack. You will also need to work
through the whole GCSE Bitesize link in order to get all
the information you need to provide the best possible answers you
can. You can also use your GCSE textbook, class notes and GCSE revision guide
to add in more relevant Biology that you have covered in school.
In some cases, there may be new Biology that you haven’t come
across before. If this is the case,
please still have a go! All the content is of GCSE standard and it will all be
useful in helping you extend your knowledge into the A Level.
Every bit of theory within the review packs will be used once you
start the A Level course.
How to complete them: There are two main possible ways to complete the
1. Print out the packs and complete by hand (this is the preferred
2. If you don’t have access to a printer then please save the packs somewhere safely and write out the questions and answers on file paper.
Search through these websites, and
others, to access different pages and find the information that you need.
DO NOT reference Wikipedia. If you
do read something on a Wikipedia page, access the link that the information has
been gathered from. To do this, click on the hyperlinked number next to the
text, this will take you to the reference. Then click on the reference to go to
the original/primary document or website to use and reference that.
TASK 1: With
the above in mind, please research and write a definition for cardiovascular
disease, to answer the question:
What is Cardiovascular Disease?
TASK 2: We’d
now like you to research the main types of Cardiovascular Disease, and then
write a few sentences to describe each of the following:
Coronary heart disease (CHD), also known as ischaemic heart disease or coronary artery disease, and its symptoms (angina, heart attack and heart failure)
Peripheral vascular disease
Thrombosis and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
TASK 3: There
are many risk factors for CVD. Please research and find as many as you can:
Try to be as specific as possible, for
example, don’t just mention ‘diet’, but the specific components of an
individual’s diet, i.e. saturated fat.
Be specific about whether the factor has to
be high or low to be a risk factor, for example, not just ‘blood pressure’, but
‘high blood pressure’.
Describe how the risk factor contributes to
the person’s risk, for example, high blood pressure can damage the lining of
Categorise each risk factor into ‘modifiable’
(the individual has control over changing it, for example, by eating less
saturated fat) or ‘non-modifiable’ (the individual has no control over it and
cannot change it).
To record your findings, please copy out the table below and list the information under the relevant headings. You should use as many rows as you need!
TASK 4: For the next task, we’d like you to look into drug treatments used in CVD. Please copy and complete the table below by researching how each drug works, and their risks and benefits to the individual.
TASK 5: Finally,
you need to create a reference list, detailing all the websites and pages you’ve
used information from. At this stage, you can just paste in the page URL next
to the appropriate number that you gave the bit of text in your main document.
Your references must appear in square brackets in numerical order, as follows:
hope you enjoy this project and I look forward to seeing what you’ve produced