Biology is the study of life itself: from the functioning of the living cell to the study of plants and animals, what more important study could there be? Issues in Biology are crucial ones in today’s world. The field of genetics is of increasing importance in medicine and medical research; as DNA sequencing becomes quicker and cheaper new worlds of information are opening up; biological developments in relation to forensic science are providing new insights into crime detection.
The study of Biology within the school is compulsory up to GCSE level, whether as a single subject in its own right, or as one of the three elements of composite qualifications in Science or Additional Science. The Department uses a practical, hands-on approach wherever possible; there is an emphasis on laboratory skills. Pupils are challenged to think imaginatively and to be critical scientists – to use, rather than to simply reproduce, the factual basis of their learning.
At GCSE, the department’s objectives are:
- To enable pupils to understand the inner workings of plants and animals
- To increase understanding of how animals and plants take energy and materials from the environment
- To apply biological ideas to explain health and response to disease
- To explain the genetic basis of inheritance and variation
- To develop the skills of planning and then carrying out a properly controlled experiment
For further details of the course and the course structure can be found in The Right Course.
The Biology Department comprises teachers with very different postgraduate backgrounds who work together to share their enthusiasm for ecology, molecular biology, physiology, anatomy and medicine. Their high levels of subject mastery combine with wide-ranging teaching experience in a lively and enthusiastic Department. Wherever possible, practical experimentation is used to develop an enquiring attitude and appreciation of science as an activity and not just a body of knowledge. Trips, visits and experiences are used to take Biology out of the teaching laboratory and to help pupils appreciate the wider applications and methods of the discipline.