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Teaching team: Mrs H Chapman, Mr S Marsh, Mrs R Mason, Miss J Mawn, Mrs Mercer

Years 7 and 8 are taught general Science until Year 9 when Physics, Chemistry and Biology are taught as separate subjects. We aim to inspire and enthuse students about Biology and living organisms through investigating, observing, experimenting, testing out ideas, and thinking about them. We look at the basic unit of life, the cell, and explore how cells perform specific functions within organisms, and how these organisms relate to, and shape, the environment in which we live. We follow our own course in Years 7 and 8 before formally commencing AQA Biology GCSE and OCR Biology A at A Level. [updated November 2019]

Co-curricular activities

The A-Level course includes an opportunity to attend a one-day field studies course at Wakehurst Place. Further enrichment is provided through a KS3 Science Club. We also run a biology clinic and offer additional enrichment activities for Year 12s. Details


DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software ever created."
Bill Gates, The Road Ahead

Years 7 and 8

Year 7

Students study Cells and Tissues, Animal and Plant Reproduction, Environment and Adaptation, Variation and Classification, Photosynthesis, and Food and Digestion.

Year 8

Students study Variation and Classification, Photosynthesis, Lungs and Gas Exchange, Respiration, and Human Biology.

National Curriculum

GCSE: Years 9, 10 and 11

Year 9

Year 9 Biology is the first year of the Biology GCSE course and covers Cell Biology, Transport in Cells, Organisation, and Photosynthesis. Practical work is an integral part of the Science course and practical skills are developed throughout the course.

Year 10

Students study Communicable Diseases, Respiration, Homeostasis, Human Nervous System, Hormones.

Year 11

Students study inheritance, variations and evolution, and ecology, reproduction and meiosis.

Exam Board: AQA

Links to Specification:

Biology 8461:

A Level: Years 12 and 13

Entry requirement: GCSE Biology grade 6 is essential (or Dual Science 66). A reasonable understanding of Chemistry will be an advantage to candidates, but studying Chemistry A-Level is not a requirement.

Aims and Outcomes

Students who gain an A level in Biology may go on to study further Biological Sciences, Medical Sciences or Veterinary Sciences at University .

Year 12

Year 12 Biology students cover Cell Structure, Biological Molecules, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids, Enzymes, Biological Membranes, Cell Division, Exchange Surfaces, Transport in Animals and Plants, Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease.

Practical work is carried out throughout Year 12.

Year 12 examination: This is a ‘new’ A Level and as such is a two year course, with all the externally assessed exams at the end of Year 13. There are internal mock exams during Year 12.

Year 13

Year 13 Biologists cover Communication and Homeostasis, Excretion, Neuronal Communication, Hormonal Communication, Plant and Animal Responses, Photosynthesis, Respiration, Cellular Control, Inheritance, Manipulating Genomes, Cloning and Biotechnology, Ecosystems and Populations.

Practical work is carried out throughout Year 12 and 13.

Assessment at the end of Year 13 consists of 3 written papers:

Biological Processes: 2 hour 15 minutes written paper ( 100 marks, 37% of total A level)

Biological Diversity: 2 hour 15 minutes written paper ( 100 marks, 37% of total A level)

Unified Biology: 1 hour 30 minutes written paper ( 70 marks, 26% of total A level)

Practical skills are embedded within the course and are assessed throughout the written examinations, as well as through a separate Practical Endorsement.

Exam Board:OCR

Link to Specification

Careers Education

Biology is a widely required and highly regarded “facilitating” subject that will help
students gain entry to many careers. It is a requirement for many very competitive degree courses where sound scientific skills are required. As a department we have a good track record of facilitating the high grades that are demanded for courses such as Medicine, Veterinary and Biomedical Science degrees.

The department offers specific guidance to students applying for Biology-related courses, and runs a lunchtime club for students interested in pursuing Medicine and related courses.  

We actively encourage students to participate in work experience, and to take up extra-curricular opportunities in the subject, and provide opportunities for mock interviews for university courses.
Careers opportunities are emphasised where appropriate as an intrinsic part of the Biology curriculum.