Biology

The Biology Department consists of three well-equipped modern laboratories and two prep. rooms.

Biology is taught within Science in Years 8 and 9 and as a separate science in Years 10 to 14.

Biology is the study of living organisms which includes their structure, functioning, origin and evolution, classification, interrelationships and distribution.

At GCSE, Biology is taught as a component of both Single Award Science and Double Award Science.  Biology taught for Single Award Science covers two modules, ‘Staying Alive’ and ‘Human Health and Activity’.  Module one covers the topics of food and diet, photosynthesis, respiration, DNA, the nervous system, reproduction and hormones.  ‘Human Health and Activity’ covers the topics of variation, natural selection, disease, immunity and ecological issues.  There is an assessment of practical skills in the form of a controlled assessment which is worth 25% of the GCSE SAS course.

Biology taught for Double Award Science covers two modules, ‘Living Processes and Biodiversity’ and ‘Body Systems, Genetics, Microorganisms and Health’.  Module one covers the topics of ecology, biodiversity, photosynthesis, diet, enzymes, digestion, respiration, the nervous system and hormones.  ‘Body Systems, Genetics, Microorganisms and Health’ covers the topics of plant transport, circulation, microorganisms, immunity, DNA, genetics, reproduction and selection.  There is an assessment of practical skills in the form of a controlled assessment which is worth 25% of the GCSE DAS course.

The Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Biology contains sections on molecules, enzymes, cells, DNA, viruses, cell physiology, cell division, tissues and organs, exchange and transport mechanisms, adaptations, biodiversity and human impact on biodiversity.

The Advanced GCE in Biology contains sections on homeostasis, immunity, co-ordination and control, populations, communities, ecological energetics, human impact on the environment, respiration, photosynthesis, DNA and gene technology, genes, patterns of inheritance, variation, taxonomy and statistics.

The main skills being tested are factual recall and interpretation of knowledge, planning, problem-solving, data analysis, graphical techniques, photographic interpretation and drawing. Practical skills are assessed through laboratory work and investigations and will be examined in both AS and A2 level Biology.  The assessment of practical skills accounts for 20% of the AS Biology qualification.  The assessment of investigational and practical skills accounts for 20% of the A2 Biology qualification.

Students taking Biology must be able to carry out disciplined, independent study as a large amount of information must be processed and reading around the subject matter is encouraged. Chemistry and Mathematical skills are useful, particularly in Biochemistry and Statistics, but are not essential.


Career prospects:

Advanced Subsidiary GCE and Advanced GCE Biology can be used in conjunction with other subjects, not necessarily sciences, to gain entry into a wide variety of careers.


Biologically related careers:

Agriculture, Biology, Biochemistry, Conservation, Dentistry, Forestry, Horticulture, Medicine, Nursing, Opthalmics, Physiotherapy, Radiology, Teaching, Veterinary Science.