Biology

Biology is the science of the 21st Century. Modern Society requires a sound understanding of the potential of and the opportunities offered by advances in biology. In the department pupils learn to explore and evaluate scientific developments. The department strives to encourage every pupil; specialists and non-specialists alike, to engage in the processes of discovery and learning. Traditional and "cutting edge" topics are covered in a manner that is accessible to all. Practical work forms the spine of our teaching schemes and our aim is to help pupils become skilled practitioners capable of developing and investigating scientific problems and hypotheses. Debate and discussion is encouraged at all stages and levels.

Lower School

Year 6

Biology is taught as part of the general science programme. Topics include food chains and habitats.

Year 7

Biology is taught as part of the general science programme. Topics include, microscopy and cells.

Year 8

Pupils have two periods a week. The scheme of work includes the biochemistry of nutrition, microorganisms, classification and reproduction. The course is focused on one practical per week.

Year 9

Pupils have two periods per week usually this will consist of a double period practical.  Topics include; The movement of molecules into and out of cells, breathing and cellular respiration, enzymes and digestion.

GCSE

Pupils have four periods a week of which, at least, one double period is a practical. Topics covered include; Homeostasis, nervous communication, genetics and genetic diseases, the human genome project, genetic engineering, plant biology, reproduction, ecosystems and pollution. Much of the work is related to modern life such as kidney transplants, diabetes, neurological disease, genetic issues, genetic modification, evolution, crop production, fertility and conception. All pupils take two papers one based on the subject core and one on its applications. Pupils are encouraged to read widely and to extend their knowledge and understanding.

A level

A level is composed of ten units of study including Cell biology, disease and nutrition, animal systems, photosynthesis, respiration, the environment, gene technology and bioengineering, genetics and evolution.

The huge diversity of topics on the course provides an opportunity for pupils to extend their interest in any number of areas. Many of our candidates have a particular passion for the medical life sciences but increasingly genetics and cell biology are becoming popular areas for further study. Pupils are also entered for a certificate in practical competence.

The course helps develop discussion and presentation skills as well as problem solving, interpretation and essay writing. Pupils regularly make Podcasts, videos and presentations of their work. Studies are often shared onto the school intranet.

Extra-curricular

Year 9 and 10 take part in the National Biology Challenge. They also take part in the Crest Research Award scheme; designing and carrying out an individual research project.

Sixth formers take part in the National Biology Olympiad, compete for Darwin Research Awards and Welcome Trust Research Placements. 

Trips

There is abundant scope for field experiments in the school grounds which contain two large ponds and a wide range of other habitats.

Each year Year 12 Take part in a five- day residential field course currently to Normandy.

Other

We maintain close links with a variety of Universities and staff and pupils are active in a number of local and national scientific societies.