The Biology Department is currently composed of eight full-time teachers supported by a full-time laboratory technician. The vast majority of the biology teaching occurs in dedicated biology laboratories in the New Science School. The laboratories are all arranged in such a way that there is dedicated workspace for both theory and practical activities and the teacher can clearly and efficiently interact with the pupils at all times. All labs are fully equipped with the standard laboratory apparatus for practical work and teachers make use of both standard whiteboards and digital projectors whilst teaching their classes. Older pupils are encouraged to bring their electronic devices to class to allow them to undertake tasks that require ICT use. The school network can be accessed in every room via Wi-Fi.
In Year 7 and 8 at Christ’s Hospital pupils are taught biology as part of an integrated science course, with one member of the Science Department teaching their class all three sciences on a rotational basis.
In Year 9 pupils start their IGCSE course and are taught biology by subject specialists. At Christ’s Hospital a large emphasis is placed on practical work to aid the understanding of concepts and the development of practical skills. We recognise not only that practical experiments have an important role in the learning process, but that they also promote interest and engagement. In Year 11 pupils sit either double award science or separate biology (along with separate chemistry and physics).
Biology A level is a popular choice amongst pupils at Christ’s Hospital who wish to take their biological studies beyond IGCSE. It is a two-year course that covers a wide range topics and themes from biological molecules and cells all the way up to whole ecosystems. Many pupils choosing A level biology apply to study biology-based subjects at university, such as medicine, biomedical sciences, veterinary medicine, biochemistry and biology itself.