"The outstanding range of interesting and stimulating extra curricular activities provide excellent opportunities for pupils to take initiative and extend their capabilities. Throughout the school the personal development of pupils is exceptional."

Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, 2010 (Girls’ Division)

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Years 7-9 and Years 10–11 are outlined under “Science”.

At Advanced Level, we follow the AQA Biology Specification. There are three modules at both AS and A2, one of which an assessed unit covering”Investigative and Practical Skills in Biology.”

At AS level topics covered include:

  • Causes of disease
  • Enzymes and the digestive system
  • Cells and movement
  • Heart and lungs
  • Immunity
  • Variation and genetic diversity
  • DNA
  • Exchange and transport

At A2 level topics covered include:

  • Populations
  • Photosynthesis and respiration
  • Inheritance
  • Nervous system and muscles
  • Homeostasis
  • Genetics and DNA technology
  • Fieldwork and ecosystems

The Biology course cannot supply answers to the many questions that will be raised. It does however, provide a background from which to stimulate the students’ interest to study, understand, present ideas and hopefully reach an informed viewpoint.

The subject is a technical one and there are common aspects with Chemistry, Geography and Mathematics. It is also a practical subject and involves microscope and experimental work in the laboratory and in the field. This allows students to experience and develop an enthusiasm for organisms in their natural environment. At the end of Year 12 there is a compulsory residential field trip to the Field Study Centre at Blencathra in the Lake District.

It is difficult to avoid Biological topics in today’s society. The world of the media highlights sensational and inspiring developments, as well as debating controversies and disasters. The role of genetically modified foods in a world with an ever increasing population, the latest hopes for new medicines to fight cancer, the plight of AIDS or asthma sufferers and the ethical issues surrounding organ transplantation and cloning are all issues that will be discussed within lessons and scientific explanations offered.

There are opportunities outside of lessons for those girls who wish to extend their interest in Biology as some Year 13 students take part in the British Biology Olympiad. External speakers are invited into school to share their enthusiasm with the students and there are lunchtime seminars with our colleagues in the Boys’ Division.  Recently some students have undertaken work experience within the Life Sciences Department at Manchester University having been awarded a Nuffield Science Bursary.

There is a vast array of Biology related courses now offered by the leading Universities and Biology appeals to many students in the school so is a popular choice in Year 12.

Girls Division Biology student Girls Division Biology field visit

Sixth Form students hard at work on a Biology field trip