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, building 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 to compete in the Intermediate Biology Olympiad and the British Biology Olympiad.Year 9 Biology CurriculumYear 10 Biology CurriculumYear 11 Biology CurriculumYear 12 Biology CurriculumYear 13 Biology Curriculum