A GCE Biology course developed in partnership with the University of York

Earlier reports

Esher College
Wallington School

Clifton College

Report from a pilot centre: Esher College

Measuring blood pressure and breeding Reebops

Using a sphygmanometerTopic 1 'Lifestyle, health and risk'
Students used the sphygmomanometer to measure each other's blood pressure. The interactive tutorial in explains the principal of how the sphyg. works. The tutorial uses animation and sound to demonstrate how the turbulent sounds, which are produced when the inflated band constricts the arteries, allow a reading of pressure to be taken.

Topic 2 'Genes and health'
Students are breeding Reebops, using cardboard chromosomes labelled with the two parents' alleles. Reebops are constructed using the 'random' combination of chromosomes from each parent. The alleles present are interpreted using a table showing which characteristics they represent e.g. two humps may be dominant and one hump recessive. The activity is to demonstrate variation in offspring as a result of sexual reproduction.

Breeding Reebops





Report from a pilot centre: Wallington School

looking at Daphnia heart
looking at a Daphnia's heart

Work on Topic 1 'Lifestyle, health and risk'
A student commented that she really appreciates some of the medical contexts of the course. This student wants to be a doctor, and feels the course is confirming her interest in medicine. Wallington School made excellent use of the school nurse, who had taken classes through CPR with dummy, and taken them through blood pressure lesson. Teachers found this reassuring, as the nurse was able to deal with a couple of 'unusual' blood pressure readings. All the students we asked about this said they felt confident that they knew how to carry out CPR.

Report from a pilot centre in July 2005: Clifton College

A2 students were wowed by the biochemistry! The animations were a hit, as were the muscle function models.

AS students loved the embryonic development / cell cycle / cell signals stuff. And the issue report – they loved being able to pursue their own interests.

Students have gone on to study medicine, law, biological sciences, physiotherapy, and sports studies.

Linda Woodburn