Cell cycle: mitosis and meiosis

For A level Biology, students are required to have a considerably greater knowledge and understanding of the cell cycle and cell division than at Key Stage 4. There is a substantial increase in the level of detail that students are expected to know and there is a much greater requirement on technical vocabulary.

Students need to be able to explain in detail the events taking place at the various stages of both mitosis and meiosis. The control mechanisms of the cell cycle needs to be understood.

Students often forget that interphase is a period of considerable activity, and that this is when the replication of DNA takes place, before the nucleus and cell divide.

Students need to be able to recognise the stages of mitosis and meiosis diagrammatically and in images/photographs from microscopes. They need to be able to draw and label the stages as seen under the microscope

The significance of both mitosis and meiosis needs to be understood by A level biologists.

Practical microscopy skills need to be developed for this topic so that students are able to prepare stained slides that will allow them to view and identify the various stages of the cell cycle in tissues.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or other recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance.