A level Science at Burgess Hill Girls


Biology represents every aspect of life; how do living things work, what makes them similar or unique and how can biological developments influence life now and in the future. At A level, Biology delves deeper and more extensively into the human body, the life of plants, biological processes and the interaction of living things and the environment. It traces the path of Biology through its evolutionary history while bringing students’ knowledge right up to date with the most recent advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering. The course challenges students, with an emphasis on application of ideas and an ability to link concepts.

There is a significant mathematical requirement alongside the need to retain a breadth and depth of facts and ideas while making links between topics throughout the course. The specification offers a broad biological education with a consolidation of knowledge as the course progresses. There is a core of practical work with a number of required investigative tasks forming the award of the Practical Endorsement.

As an A level student of Biology, students should expect to be involved in discovering many interesting new ideas and concepts through lessons and practical work but also to
pursue their own particular interests through independent review and study. There will also be opportunities to get involved in debates and discussions generated from the emotive topics that will be encountered on the course.

There are cross-curricular links with many complementary subjects, including Mathematics, the other sciences, Psychology, Geography and PE. Biology is also able to develop many transferable skills such as logical reasoning, practical investigation and data analysis. Biology continues to be seen favourably by universities for entry to all types of higher education courses. Past students have gone on to study degree courses as diverse as medicine, veterinary sciences and physiotherapy to history, art and music. Careers in biological fields are ever-expanding with the continued progression of biotechnology and genetics, as well as an increase in environmental assessment and its implications for industry.

Biology holds interest for all of us due to its relevance and importance in the world around us. Study of the subject at A level will stretch students academically, expand their understanding and pose as many questions as it will answer.




Chemistry is everywhere in the world around us, from the food we eat, the water we drink, clothing, medicines and much more. It is sometimes referred to as the central science as it finds connections between other scientific subjects. A level Chemistry gives students an exciting insight into the contemporary world of chemistry. It covers the key concepts of chemistry with practical skills integrated throughout the course. It can give students a full and clear comprehension of these processes, and the means to consider employment or further study that builds on that understanding to consider and develop new ways to use chemistry. The combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the subject hugely rewarding.

Chemistry is an excellent foundation for a large number of university degrees. It is essential for studying veterinary science, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry but also relevant for the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology, analytical chemistry, engineering, teaching and other health care subjects. Chemistry can also complement a number of arts subjects.

Beyond those seeking to succeed in Chemistry specifically and the sciences generally, the skills learned in Chemistry A level are highly regarded by law and accountancy firms as

well as the financial services industry. Chemistry requires the application of practical skills such as planning, making risk assessments, manipulating apparatus, deriving conclusions from results and evaluating their accuracy, precision and reliability. Chemistry also involves using the mathematical skills of rearranging equations and using logarithms and exponentials. Through completing regular practicals and manipulating data, these skills are all developed throughout the two-year course.


Six teaching modules:

1. Development of practical skills in chemistry

2. Foundations in chemistry

3. Periodic table and energy

4. Core organic chemistry

5. Physical chemistry and transition elements

6. Organic chemistry and analysis

OCR A level chemistry
(Course code H432)

• 37% of A level

• 37% of A level

• 26% of A level

• Practical endrosement


A level Chemistry at Burgess Hill Girls


Physics helps us to understand fully the very nature of the world around us, from the smallest scale deep inside the atom to the largest conceivable distance, stretching across the entire universe. It can allow us to comprehend how the universe came to be, how it operates, and how it might one day end. Physics is a very creative subject that calls for imagination and inventiveness. Einstein developed a reputation for asking awkward questions, and this attribute helped him to become a world-changing physicist.

The study of physics is about making predictions, testing them through observations and measurements and devising theories and laws to make more predictions. Physics students learn the skills of making observations and measurements, and how to use mathematical skills to make sense of experiments. Physicists also learn to communicate knowledge and understanding of the subject effectively, showing a grasp of the subject through effective written and spoken responses.

The A level course contains nine main topics: particles; radiation; materials; waves; mechanics; electricity; thermal physics; fields and nuclear physics.

Students start by learning about measurements and the potential for error. They also gain an awareness of the on-going development of new ideas in the subject through the application of in-depth knowledge.

Particle physics introduces students to the fundamental properties and nature of matter, radiation and quantum phenomena. Materials are studied in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength whilst wave characteristics are studied through the work on refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference as well as progressive and stationary waves. The thermal properties of a material and the properties and nature of a gas are studied in detail. nuclear nhysics studies the nucleus of an atom and how energy can be obtained from it.

In astrophysics, we study how the principles of physics apply to astronomical objects. Fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the universe. Students gain deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distances from Earth and discover the ways in which information from these objects can be gathered. The underlying physical principles of the devices used are covered and some indication is given of the new information gained by the use of radio astronomy. The discovery of exoplanets is an example of the way in which new information is gained by astronomers.

Although there is no coursework, practical skills are assessed throughout the course by the subject teacher.


PAPER1: Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion)

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

PAPER 2: Sections 6.2 (Thermal Physics), 7 and 8 Assumed knowledge from sections 1 to 6.1

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

PAPER 3: Section A Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.
35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.

AQA A level Physics, Specification A
(Course code: 7408)

2 hours
• 85 marks
• 34% of A level

2 hours
• 85 marks
• 34% of A level

PAPER 3: WRITTEN EXAM                                                                                                                             2 hours
• 80 marks
• 32% of A level