No subject is moving faster than Biology.
With recent advances in our knowledge of genetics, the sequencing of the human genome, and a fierce world-wide debate raging over climate change, evolution, stem cell research, cloning, GM crops and many other topics – there is no greater time to be studying Biology and understanding the world around us better.
The Science Department ethos is to nurture a genuine curiosity in, and a love for, Science in order to enable each pupil to reach their full potential. Each pupil is encouraged to discover their scientific talents through participation in, and contribution to, lessons and co-curricular activities. We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their progress and learning. In Years 7 & 8 Science is taught as general Science. From Year 9 onwards students get weekly dedicated Biology lessons. Biology is then taught as part of a Combined Science (AQA Trilogy) GCSE or a single Edexcel IGCSE course and then at A-level (AQA).
We follow the Exploring Science Course at Key Stage 3. This course provides a rigorous and challenging scientific content whilst at the same time developing the key skills successful Scientists need – an understanding of how to work scientifically, the literacy and communication skills to make sense of the world around us and the mathematical skills to process data effectively. In Year 7 classes are mixed ability and in Year 8 onwards pupils are put into sets. They receive four Science lessons per week generally taught by the same teacher.
Science is a core subject, which is studied by all pupils in the school up to GCSE. Pupils are prepared for either the AQA combined Science GCSE or the Edexcel IGCSE triple science exams.
At A-Level we offer the AQA Biology course where students are taught in small groups with 8 lessons per week. Most of the course content is teacher-led; theory work is backed up by appropriate practical work, problem solving tasks, individual and group activities. Students invest a lot of time reading and preparing outside of the classroom and see themselves, along with the Science Staff, as enthusiastic members of the ‘A’ Level team intent on achieving the highest standards.
There is no coursework but pupils need to complete, and show competence in, a series of 12 core practicals over the two-year course.
The department supports a series of co-curricular activities in lunchtimes and after school. These include Science Club, CREST awards, Forensics Club, various work experience programmes (for A-Level students) and, where it is considered beneficial, trips to conferences and lectures.