GCSE Biology: Photosynthesis: Part 1

5th April 2017

New GCSE Biology syllabus

The key facts for GCSE Photosynthesis


It is vital that you understand the key elements of the process of photosynthesis. Across all examination boards, AQA, WJEC, Edexcel and more, this process, which takes place in plants, forms a large part of the syllabus. We are here to help you understand what photosynthesis is about, so take a look at the following facts which are simply broken down.


Photosynthesis is:

  • The process by which breakdown carbohydrates using energy taken from a light source

  • Light energy is absorbed by chlorophyll

  • Chlorophyll is found in chloroplasts which are located in the leaf of the plant

  • The conversion of carbon dioxide and water into glucose and oxygen

  • Broken down into the following equation: 6CO2 + 6H20 → C6H1206 + 602

  • Oxygen is released as a by-product of photosynthesis and the glucose produced is used for respiration

  • An endothermic reaction


Leaves are adapted to carry out photosynthesis:

  • They have a large surface area so that maximum light can be taken

  • Leaves are thin so that the gases can diffuse more easily

  • They have a thin waxy cuticle which protects the leaf but does not cause an obstacle to light getting in


Photosynthesis occurs in every plant and we rely on this process to produce the oxygen that we breath around us every day. To learn more about photosynthesis check out our Photosynthesis songs - part 1 and part 2 - to get all the key facts!


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