Our consistently outstanding Biology lessons aim to instil for our students core societal values so that they can all achieve highly. The Department has an ethos of extended learning and an appreciation of the natural world around all of us.

General aims of the department

  • To ensure students are best placed to tackle their formal exams in year 11 and 13
  • To foster an interest in and awareness of the natural world around them
  • To be available to support students throughout their course - students are welcome to contact staff directly to ask for support
  • Students are tracked and monitored to check they are progressing at the pace expected
  • To return all work set within one week to ensure feedback on work is meaningful

Curriculum summary

Year 8

The curriculum topics from the national curriculum with the aim to stretch students both in subject knowledge and to develop scientific practical skills. Areas of study are as follows:

  • Health, diet and the human alimentary canal
  • The human cardiovascular system and Coronary Heart Disease
  • Reproduction - the emphasis is on humans, other mammals and medical issues surronding reproduction e.g. IVF

Year 9

Students embark on AQA GCSE Biology (9-1). The following topics are studied:

  • Cell biology: cell structure, cell division and transport into a cell
  • Organisation: digestive and cardiovascular systems in animals and the plant transport system.

There is a one hour lesson each week with various teaching styles adopted to help students progress. Skills of analysis, communication and evaluation are developed throughout the year.

Progress is reviewed via formal assessment on a regular basis alongside a one hour exam which takes place towards the end of the year.

Year 10

The AQA course continues and topics will include:

  • Bioenergetics: photosynthesis and respiration
  • Homeostasis: nerves, hormones and plant growth substances
  • Ecosystems: food chains, population sizes and pollution

There are two one hour lessons each week and specified practical work will be conducted in order to fulfil the GCSE requirements of the course. A 90 minute exam is conducted at the start of the Summer term in order to assess progress and forms the basis for a predicted grade.

Year 11

The GCSE will be taken at the end of this year (two exams papers) so there is a strong emphasis on revision especially after the first term. Topics taught in this year are:

  • Infection and response: diseases, drug development and vaccines
  • Inheritiance, vartiation and evolution

 An intensive revision programme is followed in the run up to exams. Emphasis throughtout the year is on fine tuning exam skills to ensure students are fully prepared for the 2 exam papers in GCSE Biology.

A link to the AQA GCSE Biology syllabus is below:

A level

It is a subject needed by potential medics, vets or dentists, although some of the students study the subject in order to simply secure an A level science. The subject is ever changing and thus tests skills of application as well as the more general numerical, practical and organisational.

At A level students follow the AQA course. Topics are continued and developed from GCSE and start with biochemistry and cell biology. Throughout the course practical work aims to strengthen knowledge, develop skills and allow application skills to be practised. Exams are at the end of the second year of study and consist of three papers:

  • Paper one (based on year one work)
  • Paper two (based on year two work)
  • Paper three (based on application and practical skills)

During the A level course a field trip takes place (if enough students register interest) to Preston Montford in Shropshire in order to develop field work experience.

There are also opportunites to go on lecture days and help sessions are available with members of staff.