Biology Key Stage 4

Biology is taught as a separate science throughout the school, by specialist teachers. It is compulsory in Years 7, 8 and 9, but is an option in Years 10 and 11. The subject us very popular, and the majority of students choose to study it at GCSE.

The linear GCSE course is broadly based and deals with all aspects of biology. It provides a solid and challenging introduction to many of the principles covered in the A Level syllabus and will prepare students nicely for further study within Biology, whilst enjoying new discoveries along the way.

The course consists of 9 topics, which pupils start to study from Year 9. During this initial year, pupils cover: (1) key concepts in biology, (2) cells and control and (3) genetics.

In Year 10, pupils study: (4) natural selection and genetic modification, (5) health, disease and the development of medicines and (6) plant structures and their functions.

In Year 11, pupils study: (7) animal co-ordination, (8) control and homeostasis, (9) exchange and transport in animals and ecosystems and material cycles.

Whenever possible, theory is backed up by practical work; indeed, investigations are an integral part of the course. The Department is well-equipped and possessed five laboratories and a full time technician. We are fully wireless networked and we have multimedia projectors and Smart Board, as well as interactive microscopes and a set of laptops so that IT can be frequently used to aid teaching and learning.

All students are given individual access to a large library of electronic resources which are used as lesson support, revision aids, research material and extension work. These are interactive and can be highly tailored to meet the individual demands of our pupils.

The rural setting of the School lends itself to ecological investigations and a variety of specimens can be obtained.

Examination Board: Edexcel

Specification available on the Edexcel website: 2016.coursematerials.html#filterQuery=category:PearsonUK:Category%2FSpecification-and-sample-assessments


Pupils sit two written examinations at the end of Year 11 (2 x 105 minutes). Paper one assesses material in topics 1-5 and paper two, topics 1 and 6-9. Both papers contain a mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.