To study Biology is to study life – to begin to understand the wonder and complexity of living things and their interactions both with each other and with the environment we all share.
Biology is a rich and diverse field of study. Just like the living organisms it focuses on, Biology is versatile and ever-changing, making it a subject that is full of excitement, beauty and wonder. Biologists study life at various levels, from the tiniest of cells to the organs and systems that make up living things through to the complex interactions that impact entire ecosystems.
As students study Biology, whatever the level, they will gain an appreciation of their own bodies work, of other living things, their environment, and the role of Biology and Science in society. By studying biology, students learn to make more informed decisions about their own health and about significant biological issues such as the effects of human activity on the environment, genetically modified crops, the use of antibiotics and newer technologies such as embryo screening, IVF and stem cell therapies.
Students will also gain an understanding of the process of scientific investigation: asking questions, developing theories, testing them methodically, analysing data, drawing conclusions and re-evaluating ideas in the light of new evidence.
What is studied at KS3?
At KS3 Biology is taught along with Chemistry and Physics as part of the Science programme.
The Biology topics are:
Year 7: Cells and movement, Animal Reproduction, Organisms, Plant reproduction.
Year 8: Variation and Evolution, Food and Digestion, Staying alive, Photosynthesis,
Students gain an appreciation of the complexity of living things and, through frequent practical activities, the fundamentals of scientific enquiry, providing a secure foundation for studying GCSE Biology.
What is studied at KS4?
All students study Biology as a separate science, starting their GCSE course in Year 9. The GCSE specification followed is AQA GCSE Biology 8461. This is a varied and challenging course that introduces students to the extra-ordinary breadth of Biology and the impact that developments in modern Biology have on our lives. The specification includes the following topics: cell biology, organisation, infection and response, bioenergetics, homeostasis and response, inheritance, variation and evolution, and ecology.
In additional to developing a high level of understanding of the subject content, there is a focus on the development of the skills that make a great biologist; investigative and practical skills, numeracy, scientific literacy and thinking skills are developed through a variety of activities, including the 10 required practical activities that make up part of the specification.
What is studied at KS5?
Biology is a very popular subject at A Level. Many students will use Biology as a stepping stone to go to study Biology at degree level, as well as courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Natural Sciences, Marine Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology and Food Science.
It is possible to take either AS Biology or the full A Level Biology within the Kendrick KS5 pathways. There is common teaching of the AS and the full A Level in Year 12. The specification followed is: Edexcel AS and A level Biology B (2015). The specification covers a wide range of topics, building on areas studied at GCSE as well as adding newer aspects of modern Biology. The content of the topics allows students to develop a much deeper understanding of biological processes and their significance in the modern world. Topics include: biological molecules, exchange and transport, energy for biological processes, microbiology, pathogens and disease, ecosystems, control systems and modern genetics and gene technologies.
Students maintain their own laboratory notebooks keep a record of the numerous practical activities that are an integral part of the course, including the 16 required practicals listed in the specification. As their technical competence and independence develop, students will work towards planning and carrying out their own investigations. All students doing A Level Biology take part in a residential field course at Dale Fort Field Centre in South Wales. The total cost of the course is likely to be around £500. Students in Year 13 have the opportunity to take part in the national Biology Olympiad competition.
The department is well supported by the Biology technicians and is centred around three well stocked laboratories.
Mrs Bonnie Kenward– Subject Leader – Biology
Mr Andy Hodge – Subject Leader – Science
Miss Sophie Grice
Mrs Elly Davidson
Dr Sue Dimmick
Miss Sara Hassan
Mrs Meenal Joshi - Technician
Mr Bobby Yau - Technician