Biology A Level

close up of a life size human body focusing on the head
Getting Ahead

Biology A Level at Alton Campus

Will you be studying Biology A Level at Alton Campus in September? If so, you’re in the right place!

This Getting Ahead work will help you prep for your course over the summer.

We can’t wait to meet you!

a biological model of the human heart
  1. Make a poster showing the structure of a typical animal cell. You should…
    • a) Draw a diagram of your chosen cell
    • b) Label the following organelles: nucleus, nucleolus, rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi body, ribosomes,  mitochondria, centriole, lysosome, cell membrane and cytoplasm 
    • c) Annotate your poster with the functions of each of the organelles that you have labelled. 
  2. Produce a table that shows the similarities and differences between plant and animal cells. 
  3. Write a definition for both “Eukaryotic cell” and “Prokaryotic cell”.

Use these websites (and others) to help you… 

Watch these TED talks linked to cells: 

Watch The Inner Life of the Cell. Can you recognise the cell organelles you drew in the poster activity?

Use this online scale to see how cells and their organelles compared to some common day items.

Carry out some research into heart structure, function and disease using the links below. Think about what you can do to help you remember what you are learning, e.g. make revision notes, draw diagrams and make mind maps. 

  1. The Heart Part 1 
  2. The Heart Part 2 
  3. Pressure in the Left Heart Part 1 
  4. Healthy Living
  5. What Happens During a Heart Attack? 
  6. Heart Health

Then, complete the quizzes and worksheets on these links:  

Hand in your revision materials and the completed worksheet when you start College. 

AQA Biology: A Level
This is the book that we use at HSDC Alton to accompany the A Level Biology course. You will be able to log on to an online version of the book when you start College. This link will show you the book details in case you also want a paper copy.  You can get a version of the book that contains all of the A Level topics, or you can buy the first and second year topics in two separate books. 

A Level Biology: Essential Maths Skills
10% of A Level Biology involves maths and so you may find this book helpful during the course to boost your maths skills. 

Extension work – gain a MOOC qualification before you start College (optional)

MOOCs (massive open online course) are short, free university courses that you study online. You gain a qualification at the end of each. Head to Future Learn and you can search for a MOOC on any topic you are interested in. We will be studying Viruses and Vaccines in the first year of the course and the links below are just some of the Immunology related courses that are currently taking place that you may be interested in. 

Did you know that the UK has its own smaller version of the Hadron collider called Diamond Light and that scientists there are working to develop our understanding of COVID-19? 

Go on a virtual tour of Diamond Light here and then click here to see what research they are doing on COVID-19. 

You may be interested in developing your biological knowledge of COVID-19 by researching and making notes on the following topics:

  • Structure of the virus
  • History – where did it originate
  • Transmission
  • How the body responds to viral infections
  • What are vaccines made of and how they work
  • How do COVID-19 tests work? 

Some links have been provided but please feel free to research further. Show where you obtained all of your information within the text and list all of your resources in a bibliography at the end. 

*This is a representation of your learning space and may not be the exact room you will be using

College has been the best two years of my education. All my teachers were great and amazing, and I think they were the most helpful they could have been.

Megan Capaldi-Tallon, A Level student

The college is a bright and happy place, everyone is kind and friendly to each other.

Megan Hall, A Level student

The tutors were really supportive and it was all thanks to them that I have achieved what I have. I’ve also made loads of great friends and really enjoyed my time at the college.

Lizaveta Sinkerich, A Level student