Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology

Newsletter from the SNAB project team Changes from September 2008
As you are aware, all A-levels have new specifications for teaching from September 2008. This is because they have to conform with new subject criteria produced by QCA. The new Edexcel Biology specification has been developed by Edexcel the awarding body in close consultation with the SNAB team. Edexcel have a great deal of information about their new specification on their website There will be new Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology (SNAB) materials matching the new specification. These materials have also been developed by the SNAB project team, working with teachers using the current materials. The new materials for 2008 will be published by Edexcel themselves. Edexcel’s resources are distributed by Pearson Education. For more information see page 3. (Heinemann, the publishers of the current SNAB material, and Edexcel are both members of the Pearson publishing group.)

December 2007

2008 changes
What are the two routes through the Edexcel specification?
From 2008 Edexcel is only offering one GCE Biology specification. (They are also only offering one GCE Chemistry and one GCE Physics specification.) There are two different routes through the new GCE Biology specification:

• the context-led (SNAB) approach • a concept-led approach.
The concept-led approach contains the same content as the SNAB approach, but begins with a study of the theories and principles of biology, and finishes with an exploration of their practical applications. The two approaches are assessed by the same internal and external assessment. Note that the topic summaries for the context-led SNAB approach start on page 45 of the Edexcel Biology specification. The titles are the same for each, so make sure you are on pages 45-67 for the SNAB version. Each topic is self-contained, so centres may offer a course based entirely on one or other approach, or choose different approaches to different topics as students go through the course.

Are the SNAB contexts the same as before?
AS Topic 4 and A2 Topic 5 have new contexts, because changes to the QCA subject criteria mean that the content has changed. Topic 4 ‘Biodiversity and natural resources’ uses the story of the Brazil nut, agouti rodent, Euglossine bees and orchids, a truly amazing story of adaptation and interdependence. The focus in Topic 5 ‘On the wild side’ is the likely effect of climate change on biodiversity.

stem cells. conservation legislation. independent assortment. tissue formation. climate change. speciation Forensics. heart and circulation. viruses. evolution. drugs and synaptic transmission Evidence for global warming. conflicts between wildlife and humans. enzymes Microorganisms and carbon cycle. ethics of the use of performance-enhancing substances Nervous system and nerve impulse. gas exchange surface properties. genetic diversity Negative feedback and thermoregulation T6 Infection. PCR. mitosis. . the carbon cycle. T5 On the wild side Ecology. genes & health T2 Genes and health Biological molecules. control of cardiac output and ventilation. aerobic and anaerobic respiration. cell differentiation and gene expression. medical technology. athero-sclerosis. analysis of health risk data. Evaluate design of health risk studies Development of theories for replication Protein synthesis detail AS Unit 2 T3 The voice of the genome Fertilisation in flowering plants. the concept of niche. the brain. including presentation and analysis of numerical data. taxonomic groupings. energy transfer. practical work on vitamin C content. enzymes. plant mineral nutrition. membrane structure and function. carbon cycle AS Unit 3 Practical biology & research skills A2 Unit 4 Assessment of practical skills developed in Units 1 and 2. bacteria. Human Genome Project. polygenic inheritance A2 Unit 6 Individual A written report on an individual experimental investigation. making decisions about stem cell use. transport. human influences on the environment. Importance of plant products to humans Importance of water. exercise and T7 Run for your life T8 Grey matter Production of drugs by GMOs. meiosis. homeostasis. infection control Muscle structure and function. zoos. the role of the scientific community in validating new evidence. importance of water. or moved to other topics Electrical activity of the heart and ECGs AS Unit 1 Lifestyle. environment and genotype interactions Plant cell structure. risk perception. transport. or an issue relating to biology in a contemporary setting. genetically engineered plants. immunity and forensics A2 Unit 5 Energy. genetics and genetic screening Cell structure. Infection and the body’s responses to infection. blood clotting. polygenic inheritance Biodiversity. operant conditioning and insightful learning. nervous and hormonal coordination. classical conditioning. photosynthesis. gametes and fertilisation. succession. crossing over. seedbanks and conservation of endangered species Details of transcription factors. adaptation. taxonomy. DNA profiling. polysaccharides. plant fibre structure and function. proteins. and a report of either a visit to a site of biological interest. genes and health T1 Lifestyle.Summary of content of the new Edexcel Biology specification for 2008 Unit Topic Content from the existing SNAB specification includes New content added or moved from other topics Content from existing SNAB not included. learning (only habituation). risk factors in CVD Cystic fibrosis. endemism. critical window for visual development medical imaging. antibiotics. genetic code and protein synthesis Zoos. natural selection and evolution. and drug development Visual perception. detection of light. DNA. use of animals in medical research. and productivity. outcomes of the Human Genome Project T4 Biodiversity and natural resources Transpiration. protein synthesis.

Assessment for students now in AS and A2 Information on the assessment arrangements for the transition period between the 2000 (in SNAB’s case 2005) and 2008 specifications can be found on the Edexcel website at: http://developments. For an evaluation pack (ISBN: 978 1 40587 772 5. but this copy may not be taken into the examination with them. The 6133/02 Practical Work Review paper is sent to centres and should be issued to students one week in advance of when they take the examination. Download a booklet with instructions about this from the Biology (Salters-Nuffield) page of the Edexcel website. Assessment of experimental and investigative skills will take place in the AS Unit 1 and 2 papers. and there are some additions as well. They no longer permit units of assessment to be divided into two components. The pieces of coursework are sent to the senior moderator for comments. Available from March 2008.50). At A2 the use of these skills is assessed in the individual investigation. Edexcel provide a clean copy of the article. Synoptic assessment is now incorporated into the other A2 unit exams. Pre-release material The Unit 6 pre-release article goes up on the Edexcel website by the middle of March – centres should download it from there. allowing you to link a digital version of the Students’ Books straight to the e-Spec (price £100. Each piece of work must be accompanied by the completed marking grid which can be downloaded from the Edexcel website (see the back page). centres should either tell their candidates not to write on this paper. As candidates must have a clean copy for the examination. A pre-release article will still be a feature of the assessment of Unit 5. which is sent along with the exam and in the internal assessment of Unit 3. Candidates may make notes on the copy they download from the website. Edexcel Assessment Manager . centres can send three pieces of marked coursework to the Assessment Manager for GCE Biology. Experimental and investigative skills are developed during the AS course. or else issue their candidates with a clean copy (a photocopy is perfectly acceptable) for use in the examination. call 0800 579 579 or email customer. we have developed a model that retains the underlying philosophy of SNAB.orders@pearson. Discounts available for large centres) Edexcel’s resources are distributed by Pearson Education. uk/gce2008/news/ Information from Damian Riddle.00+vat each) • SNAB Online AS and A2: 2-year student subscriptions (£20 each or £100 for a pack of 10. This copy should be issued in the examination room for candidates to use during their exam. Damian Riddle. the materials include: • AS and A2 Students’ books (price £19. The coursework consultancy service is free of charge. These is made more obvious in the new for more information about the specification and the resources. Edexcel information: the current course Edexcel coursework consultancy service During the year.New resources for 2008 The SNAB materials for the new GCE Biology specification are published by Edexcel themselves. In partnership with Edexcel.edexcel. How is ‘How science works’ incorporated? The current (2005) SNAB specification already included a significant amount of ‘How science works’. Edexcel do not provide a second copy of this paper – this copy is the only one they get. What about 2008 assessment? The new QCA criteria require internal assessment of one whole unit at each of AS and A2. Visit www. Edexcel are aiming to get it up as early as possible in 2008 as Easter is so early. The context-led and concept-led approaches are assessed by the same exams and coursework. There will not be an A2 synoptic paper.edexcel. price £19.50 each) • AS and A2 ActiveBook site licence CD-ROM.

org School and college support Nicola GCE_Biology/ See http://www1. planning your teaching of the AS topics and using activities and electronic resources SNAB A2 teachers’ course Wed-Thur 16-17 April 2008 Sessions on the current A2 topics and the 2008 changes to the A2 course.orders@pearson. There will be sessions on the AS topics.edexcel. PO Box 381 Oxford OX2 8BR. 2008 conversion courses There will be one-day courses for current SNAB centres. For more information and to download a booking form for any of these courses go to the project website www. a Powerpoint presentation about the new York YO10 5DD 01904 432 524 www. Weston Green Assessment Leader: Damian Riddle for queries about assessment and exams Damian. London WC1B 3JS helpline 020 7636 6776 Local contacts see www. Science Education Nuffield Curriculum Centre SNAB Director: Angela Hall Contact: Sarah to familiarise current users with the 2008 tel 01865 888080 fax 01865 314029 orders@heinemann.advancedbiology. Thames Ditton. CM20 2YF. gcebiology@edexcel. Order/Inspection Dept.advancedbiology. Edexcel 2008 launch information There is a powerpoint presentation and video (featuring Nicola Wilberforce) on the Edexcel website.edexcel.advancedbiology. Teachers will review changes to the tel 0800 579 579 fax 0870 850 5255 customer. past exam papers and coursework guide. WC1V 7BH. FREEPOST ANG2041. KT7 0JB NWilberforce@esher. and see the new resources. Biology Department. and links to different parts of the Edexcel website. 0870 240 9800. Esher College.Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology Residential courses at York SNAB AS teachers’ courses Mon-Tue 14-15 April and Thur-Fri 10-11 July For teachers preparing to teach the (2008) AS course for the first 020 7190 5024 Subject leader: John Crew for queries about the specification and support John.snab. Alcuin D Getting in touch with the SNAB project team University of York SNAB Director: Anne Scott Contact: Sandra Wilmott. Surrey. 28 Bedford Square. CPD units and sample lesson. Heinemann University of London Publisher of 2008 materials: Edexcel To be distributed by Pearson Education Schools Marketing Department. Harlow. and for information on the coursework consultancy service visit the Edexcel website www. This will be useful for all those who couldn’t attend one of the Edexcel launch meetings.advancedbiology. Front page sunflower photo by Lucy Hollis Edexcel information For copies of the specification.edexcel. FREEPOST (OF 1771). Resources on this site include a leaflet for 020 7190 4330 Further information Find out the latest on all of this via the SNAB public website Awarding body: Edexcel 190 High Holborn. Once confirmed the spring dates and venues will be sent to centres and posted on the snabonline and advancedbiology. SNAB Project Director Professor Michael Reiss Institute of Publisher of 2005 materials: Heinemann Heinemann tell us that their publications will remain in print (and online) until the last retakes of the current AS and A2 specifications. Edexcel Inset dates For details on all the Edexcel courses and to apply see the Edxcel website www.

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