1 Summary of changes (certificate to new GCSE) This resource outlines the main changes that have been made to the assessment and subject content from our legacy Level 1/2 Certificate in Biology (8401) to the new GCSE Biology specification (8461). Our new specifications have been developed in line with the regulatory requirements provided by the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofqual. 4.1 Cell biology Cell structure Eukaryotes and prokaryotes 1.1c Cell structure the terms eukaryotic and prokaryotic Animal and plant cells Cell specialisation 1.1a, b Cell structure 4.2e Respiration 1.1e Cell structure examples of specialised cell types Cell differentiation 1.3j Cell division formation of different cell types acquiring sub-cellular structures Microscopy comparison of light and electron microscopes Culturing microorganisms (biology ) 5l, m Defending ourselves against infectious disease
2 N/A 1.1d Cell structure This content is no longer Cell division Chromosomes 1.3a, c Cell division Mitosis and the cell cycle 1.3d, e Cell division more information on cell division Stem cells 1.3k, l, m Cell division definition of a stem cell use in treatment of diabetes the use of stem cells from plants the risks of using stem cells. N/A 1.3n Cell division This content is no longer Transport in cells
3 Diffusion 1.2a, b, c, h, i, j The movement of substances into and out of cells Osmosis 1.2d, e The movement of substances into and out of cells understanding and calculating surface area:volume ratios factors affecting rate of diffusion. The terms isotonic, hypotonic, hypertonic, turgor and plasmolysis are no longer required Active transport 4.2 Organisation 1.2f, g The movement of substances into and out of cells linking structure of root hair cell to function explaining difference between diffusion, osmosis and active transport reference to active transport of sugar in the gut Principles of organisation Organisational hierarchy 2.1a, b, c, d Organisation cells as basic building blocks Animal tissues, organs and organ systems The human digestive system 2.2c Animal tissues, organs and organ systems 3.2a, b, c Enzymes 4.4a, b, c, d, f Digestion lock and key model use of products of digestion.
4 Substantially reworded The heart and blood vessels 4.3b, c, d, h, i, j, k Circulation Blood 4.3a, l, m, n, o, p Circulation Knowledge of haemoglobin and oxyhaemoglobin not required Coronary heart disease: a noncommunicable disease 4.3e, f, g Circulation statins Health issues The effect of lifestyle on some noncommunicable diseases Cancer N/A 2.2a, b Animal tissues, organs and systems 3.2d, e, f, g Enzymes 4.1d Breathing 4.3q, r, s, t Circulation 4.4e Digestion This content is no longer Plant tissues, organs and systems
5 Plant tissues and organ 2.3a, b Plant tissues, organs and systems knowledge of meristem tissue Plant organ system 6.2a, b, c, d, e, f Exchange and transport terms transpiration and translocation basic structure of xylem and phloem factors affecting rate of transpiration. 4.3 Infection and response Communicable diseases Communicable (infectious) diseases 5a, b Defending ourselves against infectious disease methods for reducing spread of disease Viral diseases Bacterial diseases Fungal diseases Protist diseases Human defence systems 5c, d Defending ourselves against infectious disease detail on the non-specific defence systems against pathogens: skin, nose, trachea, bronchi and stomach term: phagocytosis.
6 Vaccination 5d,e Defending ourselves against infectious disease Substantially reworded MMR vaccine removed Antibiotics and painkillers Discovery and development of drugs N/A 5f, g, h, i Defending ourselves against infectious disease 5n Defending ourselves against infectious disease difficulty of developing antiviral drugs. This content is no longer Monoclonal antibodies (biology ) Producing monoclonal antibodies Higher Tier Uses of monoclonal antibodies N/A Higher Tier This content is no longer Plant disease (biology ) Detection and identification of plant diseases
7 Plant defence responses N/A This content is no longer 4.4 Bioenergetics Photosynthesis Photosynthetic reaction 6.1a, b Photosynthesis the term endothermic Rate of photosynthesis Uses of glucose from photosynthesis 6.1c Photosynthesis 6.1d, e Photosynthesis amount of chlorophyll as limiting factor in photosynthesis inverse proportion and the inverse square law. Most content is Higher Tier. amino acids N/A 6.1f Photosynthesis This content is no longer specification Respiration
8 Aerobic and anaerobic respiration Response to exercise 4.2a, b, c, d, f, i, j, k, m Respiration 4.2g, h, j, l Respiration Metabolism 3.1a, b, c Carbohydrates, lipids and proteins the term exothermic why organisms need energy symbol and word equations for anaerobic respiration in yeast economic importance of yeast. Symbol equations are Higher Tier extra information on changes due to exercise lactic acid converted back to glucose in liver.. definition of metabolism linking of processes. Substantially reworded 4.5 Homeostasis and response Homeostasis Importance of homeostasis N/A 4.5g The nervous system 4.6.1b, d, e Principles of homeostasis 4.6.1a, c Principles of homeostasis definition of homeostasis restoration of optimum levels. Ion content no longer required This content is no longer
9 4.5.2 The human nervous system Structure and function The brain (biology ) The eye (biology ) Control of body temperature (biology ) 4.5a, b, e, f, g The nervous system 4.6.1d Principles of homeostasis 4.5c, d, e The nervous system 4.6.3a, b, c, d, e Temperature control Detail of the stimuli specific receptors detect is not included. terms vasodilation and vasoconstriction Hormonal coordination in humans Human endocrine system Control of blood glucose concentration 4.6.1d Principles of homeostasis 4.6.4a, b, c, d, e Control of blood glucose structure of hormones speed of action compared with nervous system pituitary gland position of glands in body. Substantially reworded conversion of excess glucose to glycogen comparison of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
10 Maintaining water and nitrogen balance in the body Hormones in human reproduction 4.6.2a, b, c, d, e, f, g Control of water and ion content of the body no control of loss by lungs or skin effect of too much loss on efficiency Contraception The use of hormones to treat infertility Higher Tier Negative feedback Higher Tier Plant hormones (biology ) Control and coordination Use of plant hormones 6.3a, b, c Plant responses 6.3d Plant responses gibberellins ethene. more detail on uses of auxins, gibberellins and ethene Higher Tier
11 4.6 Inheritance, variation and evolution Reproduction Sexual and asexual reproduction Meiosis Advantages and disadvantages of sexual and asexual reproduction (biology ) DNA and the genome DNA structure (biology ) 1.3e, g Cell division 7.1h Genetic variation 1.3f, g, h, i Cell division 7.1b Genetic variation 7.1c, i, j, k Genetic variation 7.1i, j, k, l Genetic variation knowledge of animal and plant gametes mitosis in asexual reproduction. numbers of chromosomes in mitosis and meiosis gametes are genetically different from each other. the term genome the importance of understanding the human genome. bases in DNA complementary strands protein synthesis in ribosomes folding of protein structure mutations non-coding DNA. Most content is Higher Tier
12 Genetic inheritance Inherited disorders 1.3b Cell division 7.1e, f, g Genetic variation 7.2a, b, c, f, g Genetic disorders examples of single-gene characteristics most characteristics result of multiple gene interaction. Terms genotype and phenotype no longer Higher Tier Sex determination 7.1d Genetic variation N/A 6.4a, b Sexual reproduction in plants 7.2d, e Genetic disorders This content is no longer present in new Variation and evolution Variation 7.1a Genetic variation the term variation mutations Evolution 9.1a, e Natural selection 9.2f Speciation Selective breeding Genetic engineering 7.3b, c, d Genetic manipulation genetic engineering of plants and fungi more detail on method.
13 Cloning (biology ) 7.3a Genetic manipulation more detail on tissue culture plant cuttings The development of understanding of genetics and evolution Theory of evolution (biology ) Speciation (biology ) 9.1a, b, c Natural selection more details on theory of natural selection On the Origin of Species f Speciation the work of Alfred Russel Wallace The understanding of genetics (biology ) Evidence for evolution 7.1g Genetic variation detail on Mendel s experiments 20 th century discoveries Fossils 9.2a, b, c, d Speciation Extinction 9.2e Speciation Resistant bacteria 5i, j, k Defending ourselves against infectious disease more detail on how to reduce the rate of antibiotic resistance.
14 N/A 9.1d Natural selection This content is no longer Classification of living organisms Classification 4.7 Ecology Adaptations, interdependence and competition Communities 8.1a, b, c Adaptation 8.2a Environmental change and distribution of organisms Abiotic factors 8.2b, c Environmental change and distribution of organisms Biotic factors 8.2b Environmental change and distribution of organisms definition of ecosystem interdependence within communities stable communities. New additional abiotic factors: wind intensity and direction, soil ph. detail on biotic factors Adaptations 8.1d, e, f Adaptation example of extremophiles N/A 8.1g Adaptation 8.2d, e Environmental change and distribution of organisms This content is no longer
15 4.7.2 Organisation of an ecosystem Levels of organisation How materials are cycled 8.2f Environmental change and distribution of organisms 11a, b, c, d, e Decay and the carbon cycle understanding of the relationships between producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers and tertiary consumers predator prey cycles. Substantially reworded knowledge of the water cycle Decomposition (biology ) 11b Decay and the carbon cycle Impact of environmental change (biology ) Higher Tier Biodiversity and the effect of human interaction on ecosystems Biodiversity Waste management 8.3a, b Humans and their effect on the environment Knowledge of eutrophication is not required Land use 8.3c, g Humans and their effect on the environment the term biodiversity
16 Deforestation 8.3d, e, f Humans and their effect on the environment Global warming Maintaining biodiversity 8.3h Humans and their effect on the environment loss of habitat N/A 8.3i Humans and their effect on the environment This content is no longer Trophic levels in an ecosystem (biology ) Trophic levels Pyramids of biomass Transfer of biomass 10a Energy and biomass in food chains 10c Energy and biomass in food chains 10b, d Energy and biomass in food chains detail of each trophic level detail of constructing pyramids of biomass efficiency of transfer of incident energy and biomass between trophic levels reasons for loss of biomass Food production (biology ) Factors affecting food security
17 Farming techniques Sustainable fisheries Role of biotechnology 10e Energy and biomass in food chains 10f Energy and biomass in food chains factory farming