All students will join us having already covered some of the foundations of biological knowledge and practical skills in Years 7 and 8. Cell structure, for example, is covered in Year 7 and revisited at the beginning of Year 9 in greater depth and builds on the pupils’ microscopy skills. 

During the GCSE years pupils are taught topics in a logical sequence which builds upon prior knowledge and provides the scaffolding for future learning. Each topic is taught over several weeks and is assessed by a formal test, after which pupils have the opportunity to reflect on their progress and set targets for improvement. Whilst learning a new topic, summative assessment takes the form of self and peer assessment in class, in addition to online assignments, which allow for swift and personalised feedback. In all topics, relevant links are made to Chemistry and Physics to help students regard science as a single subject with interconnecting strands where each has a key purpose. 

By the end of Year 11, students will have a comprehensive understanding of Biology, encompassing a wide range of topics and the skills necessary, including both practical and analytical, to prepare them for A Level. Through a range of practical activities, students will have investigated a wide range of topics, for example, the action of enzymes, linking back to their work in Year 8. Students will have looked in more depth at genetics, variation and evolution, the building blocks of which were taught in Year 8, and the impact of recent genome research on the diagnosis and treatment of inherited diseases. Throughout the course, pupils will have enrichment opportunities to attend lectures and take part in trips to enhance their learning. They also take part in the Biology Challenge in Year 10. Students will develop an appreciation of the importance of biology in a wider context, including current developments in biology, for example, medicine, ecology and biotechnology. 

Studying Biology at A level allows students to develop a more sophisticated knowledge and understanding of topics already studied at GCSE but also introduces new subject areas, such as Biochemistry and Genome Technologies. A subscription to Biological Sciences Review enables students to read beyond the specification and establish links between topics and other subjects. The range of student-led biological societies and clubs allows them to explore different potential career pathways, fostering independence and leadership. There are opportunities to attend subject-specific conferences and residential trips and compete in the Intermediate Biology Olympiad and the British Biology Olympiad. 


  • Cells and microscopy
  • Cell division and the role of stem cells
  • Transport in cells – investigating osmosis
  • Lungs as an exchange surface
  • Plant biology and measuring rate of photosynthesis
  • Digestion and investigating rate of enzyme activity


  • The Heart and the Circulatory system
  • Gas Exchange link to exercise and respiration
  • Aerobic, Anaerobic respiration and exercise
  • Non-communicable diseases e.g. cancer and CHD
  • Plant diseases and their identification
  • Communicable disease in animals and defences
  • Discovery and uses of drugs including the use of monoclonal antibodies
  • Nervous system and measuring response times
  • Structure of brain and eye
  • Homeostatic mechanisms and treatment of kidney disease and diabetes
  • Role of sex hormones and the menstrual cycle
  • Controlling fertility
  • Role of plant hormones and investigating the effect of light on seedling growth
  • Mitosis vs Meiosis in Reproduction
  • Structure of DNA and how proteins are made including effect of mutation
  • Mendel and how characteristics are inherited
  • Variation & evolution by natural selection including antibiotic resistance, extinction and classification
  • Gene technology including cloning and genetic engineering
  • Ecology including measuring biotic and abiotic factors
  • Human impact on the environment
  • Food security


  • Maths in biology throughout the course
  • Cells, microscopy, membranes and transport across membranes
  • Exchange surfaces and measuring lung volumes
  • Transport in plants and animals including heart dissection and measuring transpiration rate
  • Biological molecules including qualitative and quantitative testing
  • Diseases and defences in plants and animals
  • Role of enzymes and investigating factors affecting
  • Cell division including microscopy and role of stem cells
  • Classification & evolution
  • Biodiversity & conservation 
  • Maths in biology throughout the course
  • Homeostasis and the role of the endocrine and nervous systems
  • Excretion including the role of the liver and kidneys
  • Respiration and investigating the rate of respiration in yeast
  • Photosynthesis & plant hormones including using TLC to separate photosynthetic pigments
  • Behaviour in animals including the role of the brain and muscles
  • Cloning and ethics
  • Biotechnology, DNA sequencing and genetic engineering including culturing microbes
  • Gene regulation and the effect of mutations
  • Inheritance and population genetics
  • Ecology including sampling techniques