A Level Biology

Subject: Biology

Exam Syllabus: OCR A

Course leader: Mrs Bessell

Welcome to the Biology Department at APS!

Welcome to Ashton Park Sixth Form and congratulations on your decision to join us. We hope that you have an enjoyable and successful time here.

Biology is the scientific study of life. We are living things ourselves so biology is about us too. During your AS course, you will get the chance to delve deeper into why things are the way they are. You will need review your knowledge from GCSE in order to move on your understanding at AS.


Explain the Biological significance of water

You should produce an essay, approximately 1000 words long (we will allow 10% either way), explaining the importance of water to living organisms.

The key properties of water are listed below.  You have to look at each one and state how it helps living organisms to survive.   Look at the resources provided to get you started.  Please add a bibliography to your work, including all text books and websites you used to research this.

  • excellent solvent, due to water’s polarity
  • found at liquid state at room temperature, due to the hydrogen bonds
  • high specific heat capacity, meaning takes a lot of energy to change temperature
  • high latent heat of vaporisation, lots of energy required to change to gas
  • latent heat of fusion, ice gets less dense as cools
  • high surface tension
  • water is transparent

You can find some extra help here but don’t forget to reference any sources you use!

Transition Task - Biology - Supp 1_ Property of water card sort

Here are some links to useful tutorials:





Other useful websites:





To discover more about the subject at a higher level:

  • Look at the syllabus and past papers on the OCR website (as above).
  • Buy a revision guide specific to OCR.
  • Make notes on microscopes, cell organelles and cell membranes as these are the topics covered first.

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