Biology

Through each Key Stage we aim to develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, biology. Our students acquire scientific skills, knowledge and understanding for progression to further learning.

Key Stage 3 schemes of work are developed to prepare students for later study at GCSE, but also to promote an interest in ‘Biology in the Wider World’. To this end, the Biology Department is developing extra-curricular activity on biodiversity via Science Club with a view to establishing links with a school in China.

Key Stage 4 and 5 schemes of work are developed around the GCSE and AS/A2 specifications respectively. We have a large number of Sixth Form students taking AS/A2 Biology; typically more than 50 students embark on the Year 12 course. Most of these take up places in Higher Education to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, physiotherapy, biomedical science and other science-related courses, although a few will have studied Biology as their only science at A-level. Each year, some students achieve full marks in AS/A2 modules. In the last ten years we have had students with GCSE or A-level marks within the top five in the country. We are also successful in preparing our students for Oxbridge and for the Advanced Extension Award.

Extra-curricular activities take place at every key stage. These include:

  • National competitions, e.g. Biology Challenge

  • Inter-house competitions with a biological theme during Science Week in March

  • Visiting lecturers for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5

  • Local university visits for Years 12 and 13

We have links with the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Sheffield. This benefits our students by exposing them to young women as science role models and informing them about cutting-edge research findings. We have had interesting talks on topics such as cystic fibrosis by PhD students and a pathology event.