Biology, literally translated, means the study of life and living organisms. The aim of the department is to stimulate the students’ natural curiosity in the living world and to learn to respect living organisms and their environment. During the past centuries Biology has changed greatly from studying the form and function of living organisms to understanding the complex mechanisms that under pins the processes that we often take for granted. Over this time, we have discovered much about our anatomy its susceptibility to disease, the requirements of plants which we are all dependent upon, the biochemical basis of cells and ultimately the structure of the molecule of life, DNA. Advances in knowledge have raised new issues. As people strive to lead healthier lives and live longer, the human population increases, placing greater demands upon the environment and resources. Fears over techniques used in genetic engineering and the moral dilemmas over its implementation are important issues for us all to deal with. Biology as a subject continues to change and it is important that students are aware of the numerous issues that affect living organisms today and into the future.
The beginning of the 21st century is an exciting time to study Biology. New techniques and advances in molecular biology and genetics are revolutionizing the way we diagnose, treat, and cure disease, or catch criminals. Our greater understanding of the nature of different organisms and how they interact are enabling us to improve strategies for managing the biodiversity of life on our planet, or meet our demise. The applications of biological knowledge will in one way or another affect every person on Earth. Studying Biology aims to improve the understanding of these issues and promote the respect that we should have for the planet and all species that live on it.
Mr J Millatt Head of Department
BSc University of Bristol, Biochemistry
MA University of Cumbria
Mrs D Hargreaves
BSc University of Wales, Biology with Biochemistry
Mr O Jacques
BSc University of Liverpool, Zoology
Mr A Wilkinson
BSc University of Dundee, Microbiology
Mrs K Newton
BSc St Andrews, Cell and Molecular Biology
Miss L Dootson (Science Technician)
Biology - 11+
The Key Stage 3 Biology course is taught over the first two year groups, Year 7 and Year 8. The course is designed to introduce students to the range and variety of topics in the subject and aims to stimulate the interest and fascination in the living world. It also forms an ideal introduction into topics covered in more depth higher up the school.
These topics are:
Year 7: Cells, Structure and function of body systems, Reproduction, and working scientifically.
Year 8: Health and lifestyle, Ecosystem processes, Adaptation and inheritance, and Detection.
Biology - 13+
Biology is studied as a separate subject at GCSE. The Biology GCSE course begins in Year 9. The course followed is the AQA Biology specification. The GCSE qualification is practical-based with a number of assessed activities throughout the course culminating in external examinations in Year 11.
Biology is followed by all pupils in Year 9 and the course is designed to be both challenging and interesting. Topics studied in Year 9 will form the fundamental basis of Biology and include:
- Cell Biology.
Year 10 & 11
Topics covered in Year 10 and Year 11 will include:
- Infection and Response.
- Homeostasis and Response.
- Inheritance, variation and evolution.
Biology Sixth Form
Sixth Form Curriculum
Biology is a highly-valued subject, stimulating a deep understanding of the natural world.
The course followed is the AQA Biology specification as it extends the skills and issues covered in the GCSE specification. The topics covered will include:
- Biological molecules.
- Organisms exchange substances with their environment.
- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms.
- Energy transfers in and between organisms.
- Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments.
- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.
- The control of gene expression.
Sixth Form Extra-curricular Activities
Please read the A-level Biology course information sheet below for all the information.
Sixth Form FAQs
What are lessons like?
On average, one double lesson per week is devoted to practical work. The theory lessons might involve some traditional teacher-led learning and note-taking but could just as likely involve some internet activity or group work. Independent learning is encouraged. The main object is that we want to help you to achieve the maximum of your potential. The teaching groups normally build a close relationship in which everyone feels comfortable enough to voice their opinions and work together in practical activities.
Is Biology difficult?
Yes, this is not an easy science option! The exam papers are highly prescriptive and require a high level of literacy ability. The teaching staff are all experienced AQA examiners and can point you in the right direction to achieve success. From the onset it is important to work hard and commit yourself to this course.