Private Biology tutoring in London and online

Whether it's 11+, Common Entrance, GCSE, A Level or something else — we can help you ace Biology!

We offer Biology tutoring at a wide variety of levels, from young learners (7+, 11+, 13+, etc.) to older learners (GCSE, IGCSE, A Level, IB, Pre-U, etc.) and even to adult learners (those doing undergraduates or Masters courses, or learning just for fun).

Our qualified Biology tutors have been hand-picked by teaching experts (our longest-standing, most successful tutors, some of whom are PGCE qualified teachers) in our thorough selection process.

What is Biology?

by Adeline

 

Biology is the “science of life and of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution and encompassing numerous fields such as botany, zoology, mycology, and microbiology.” 


The word 'biology' comes from the Greek bios (“life”), and logos (“the study of”), thus meaning "the science of life and living things" — which means Biology is all around us!

Biology at GCSE Level

 

At GCSE level, Biology is often studied in combination with the other sciences, in modules called “Combined Science”. However, it is sometimes possible to study it on its own — AQA or Edexcel offer Biology as a single science for instance.

Whether it be for Biology as a single subject or for Combined Science, there are key ideas that exist across all exam boards.

“The GCSE specification in biology should enable students to:

> develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology

> develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of biology through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them

> develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments

> develop their ability to evaluate claims based on biology through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Biology should be studied in ways that help students to develop curiosity about the natural world,

insight into how science works, and appreciation of its relevance to their everyday lives. The scope and nature of such study should be broad, coherent, practical and satisfying, and thereby encourage students to be inspired, motivated and challenged by the subject and its achievements.” (Source: AQA, but there are similar guidelines for all exam boards).

The key ideas specific to the Biology content include:

> “life processes depend on molecules whose structure is related to their function

> the fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures, including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively

 

> living organisms may form populations of single species, communities of many species and ecosystems, interacting with each other, with the environment and with humans in many different ways

 

> living organisms are interdependent and show adaptations to their environment

 

> life on Earth is dependent on photosynthesis in which green plants and algae trap light from the Sun to fix carbon dioxide and combine it with hydrogen from water to make organic compounds and oxygen

 

> organic compounds are used as fuels in cellular respiration to allow the other chemical reactions necessary for life

 

> the chemicals in ecosystems are continually cycling through the natural world

 

> the characteristics of a living organism are influenced by its genome and its interaction with the environment

 

> evolution occurs by a process of natural selection and accounts both for biodiversity and how organisms are all related to varying degrees.” (Source: Department for Education, The national curriculum in England)

Students will learn about cell biology; transport systems; health, disease and the development of medicines; coordination and control; photosynthesis; ecosystems; evolution, inheritance and variation.

The different exam boards organise the subjects slightly differently: let's look at the different choices.

A Whistle-Stop Tour of Biology GCSE Exam Boards

GCSE Biology is available from OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, Eduqas and a few other providers. The new 9-1 Biology GCSE was examined for the first time in Summer 2018 (9-1 simply means that the highest grade is 9 and the lowest grade is 1, as opposed to the previous system of A*–E).

Whilst there is quite a lot of overlap between different Biology GCSE exam boards, there are also some subtle differences, and each has its own aims and objectives. Our summary below provides a brief cross-comparison, although for a more comprehensive overview we recommend checking the syllabi on the exam boards' websites.

 

The Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9–1) in Biology comprises two externally-examined papers. Their key concern is addressing that different students have individual needs, so they offer quite a bit of choice and variety in their course. The practical elements of the course are designed to bring science to life. The main topic areas consist of:

  • key concepts in Biology

  • cells and control

  • genetics

  • natural selection and genetic modification

  • health and disease

  • plant structures and their functions

  • animal co-ordination, control and homeostasis

  • exchange and transport in animals

  • ecosystems and material cycles


The AQA GCSE Biology specification includes practical topics as well as evaluative ones. The syllabus tries to seek out connections with the living world and therefore to have a high degree of relevance to its students. It looks at how Science can explain the world we live in, and how humans interact with it. AQA's Biology GCSE course is varied and exciting. Topics include:

  • cell biology

  • organisation

  • infection and response

  • bioenergetics

  • homeostasis and response

  • inheritance, variation and evolution

  • ecology

  • key ideas in Biology


OCR GCSE in Biology A (J247) has the core principle of increasing students' biological knowledge whilst enriching their scientific thinking. Like the AQA course, there is quite a bit of focus on understanding the natural world, and there are plenty of opportunities for practical learning. Within OCR's GCSE Biology course, students will look at biological topics including:

 

  • cell level systems

  • scaling up

  • organism level systems

  • community level systems

  • genes, inheritance and selection

  • global challenges

  • practical skills

Biology at A Level

 

At A level, you will keep looking at these themes but explore them in more depth. See for instance the AQA syllabus:

  • Biological molecules

  • Cells

  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment

  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms

  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

  • The control of gene expression

 

or the one offered by OCR:

  • Development of practical skills in biology

  • Foundations in biology

  • Exchange and transport

  • Biodiversity, evolution and disease

  • Communication, homeostasis and energy

  • Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

 

Quiz

If you have been enjoying Biology at school, you might want to study it at university and — who knows — maybe become a specialist in one of these subfields of biology. Let’s see if you can tell what these actually refer to!

The answers to the questions below are printed in white text, next to the questions. Simply highlight the white space immediately after the question to reveal the answer!

> Question 1: Mycology — the study of fungi

> Question 2: Histology – the study of tissues, a microscopic branch of anatomy

> Question 3: Phycology – scientific study of algae

> Question 4: Ichthyology – the study of fish

We offer five varied Biology tuition rates to suit all budgets, with prices depending on the tutors' qualifications and their total number of hours of private tuition or classroom teaching experience. 

 

Bored by Bacteria? Dazed by DNA? Puzzled by Photosynthesis? Let us find you a Biology tutor to inspire you and get you back on track! Contact us today.

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