The Biology Department is committed to developing in pupils a lively enthusiasm for Biology at a young age.
We educate our pupils in the latest developments in the biological sciences, including the ethical implications of recent innovations and the positive contributions that biology makes to society.
We offer invaluable opportunities for pupils at all levels to work at local research facilities such as the John Innes Centre and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where they can engage in projects that contribute to awards such as Nuffield Bursaries and the Crest Gold Award. Pupils have also gained medals in the National Science and Engineering competition.
The top pupils in the Upper 6 are also offered the opportunity to take part in the Society of Biology's Olympiad.
Pupils in Lower and Upper 4 receive one double Biology lesson a week, lasting 80 minutes. The course was devised ‘in house’ and is continuously developed to stretch our pupils whilst reinforcing their natural interest and enthusiasm. All lessons are taught in our purpose-built laboratories.
The topics we cover include the Skeletal System, Cells and Organ Systems, an Introduction to Genetics, Microbiology and Ecology.
Fifth Form pupils follow the IGCSE Edexcel Science Specifications. Double and Triple Award are available to our pupils. The course is taught in three periods a week - one double of 80 minutes and a single of 35 minutes. Our aim is always to stretch and challenge our pupils to the best of their abilities and ultimately to reward them with a solid foundation for A-Level study.
The topics covered during the IGCSE course are The Nature and Variety of Living Organisms, Structures and Functions in Living Organisms, Reproduction and Inheritance, Ecology and the Environment and Use of Biological Resources.
At A-Level we follow the OCR Biology A H420 specification.
The A-Level course is designed to be stimulating and hands on, whilst developing the scholarship and resilience to absorb and interpret unfamiliar data and to critique methodology and sources, essential skills for life beyond school and A-Levels.
During the two-year course pupils compile a practical laboratory book and this forms the basis of their practical assessment, with the A-Level grade being determined by three external exams at the end of the Upper 6. In June, all pupils are expected to attend a day of field studies in coastal sand dunes where they conduct coursework that will form part of their lab books and give them first-hand knowledge of a range of ecosystems.
There are four lessons of Biology each week, taught in mixed ability groups made up of no more than 15 pupils in a combination of single and double periods.