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Biology provides a fascinating insight into nature, in addition to offering an apprenticeship in the rigours of the scientific method.  Pupils are disciplined to explore not just the empirically demonstrable facts of reality; they are also invited to explore such metaphysical considerations as why there is even a world at all, and how come there is something rather than nothing.  The Department enjoys three specialist Biology laboratories, and the study of life is encouraged through both the experimental and investigative methods.

Key Stage 3 (ages 11-14)

Biology is taught as part of a combined science programme in the First and Second form.  Pupils are taught topics from the three Sciences by one class teacher.  The topics covered follow those suggested by the national curriculum.  Pupils will cover areas such as: cells, tissues and organ systems, muscles and bones, food and nutrition, breathing and respiration, and plants including their reproduction. In the Third Form pupils in Biology will begin work on their GCSE course.  Pupils will be taught microscopy, diffusion, osmosis, active transport, cell specialisation, cell division, the digestive system, organisation in plants and animals, as well as, communicable diseases.

Key Stage 4 (ages 14-16)

Pupils will either follow separate science courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, leading to three independent GCSEs, or if appropriate, and in their best interests, smaller groups of pupils may be entered for the Combined Science Award (worth two GCSEs or Double Award). This will be discussed with pupils and parents, but the final decision will rest with the School.

Aim of Syllabus

We hope that by the end of the course, boys will be able to:

  • develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods;
  • apply scientific skills, knowledge and understanding;
  • appreciate how science works and understand its essential role in society;
  • understand the main scientific models in Biology, Chemistry and Physics;
  • develop their use of the mathematical content within the sciences.

In addition, it should help boys develop their interest and enthusiasm for science giving them the ability to progress further.

Scheme of Assessment Triple Award:

Written Papers                      100%

For each subject, there are 2 papers. Every paper is examined by a 1 hour 45 minute written examination, worth 50%.  The papers will contain a mixture of question styles, including objective questions, short answer questions and extended writing questions.  Pupils can be entered into Foundation or Higher for all the papers in each subject.  A* to G grades will be replaced by 9 to 1 grades for Chemistry, Biology and Physics.


Scheme of Assessment Combined Science Award:

Written Papers                      100%

The content for the Combined Science Award is a subset of the content from the Triple Award.  It is worth two GCSEs (Double Award).  The three science subjects will still be taught separately and there will be six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each will assess different topics.  All the papers are 1 hour 15 minutes.  Foundation and Higher tiers are available.  The papers are equally weighted.  Each is worth 16.7% of the grade.  The papers will contain a mixture of multiple choice, short answer questions and extended writing questions. The Combined Science Award will have a 17 point grading scale, from 9-9, 9-8 through to 2-1 and 1-1.

Awarding Body: A                                       QSpecification: AQA Sciences


GCSE Biology  8461

GCSE Chemistry 8462

GCSE Physics 8463

GCSE Combined Science 8464