Years 10 and 11 (IGCSE)
Students are taught the Edexcel IGCSE Biology course. No coursework is required, but the development of investigation skills is still an important element of the course. IGCSE courses are a good foundation for International Baccalaureate Diploma courses.
Students acquire practical and investigative skills and learn to appreciate the importance of accurate experimental work. Students learn to describe and explain patterns in data and learn to evaluate the social, environmental and economic impact of scientific developments.
The study of the organ systems enables students to understand how their bodies function. They learn some important facts about themselves and the importance and relevance of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Sixth Form – International Baccalaureate
As part of the IB programme, the Science Faculty offers Biology at Standard and Higher Level.
IB Biology coursework (internal assessment) requires students to plan, carry out, analyse and evaluate an investigation of their own choosing.
Students become genetic engineers, transforming bacteria using a gene from a jelly fish, causing them to glow green when an ultra violet light is shone on them. The complex heart dissection always proves a hit and students marvel at the structure of this relentless pump. Practical work in IB finishes with the dissection of a whole organism.
A highlight of the IB course is the Experimental Sciences Project, conducted over two days in Year 12. Students are placed in groups and have to design a method to answer a question of their own choice, based on a theme (for example the beach, eggs or the Olympics). Self-motivation and perseverance, working within a team and self-reflection are assessed. It is a great opportunity to work with others and have freedom to explore different approaches to problem solving.
In Biology, Year 12 students participate in a one-day river study, during which they investigate the distribution of animals. Valuable techniques are learned and students often discover animals and plants that are normally overlooked. As so often happens in science classes, the wonder and joy of discovering something new is apparent on students’ faces.