• How can 2 metres of DNA be stuffed into a nucleus with a diameter of one hundredth of a millimetre?
  • What does the inside of an eyeball look like?
  • How does the heart pump blood in a perfect one-way system?

These are just some of the many fascinating topics which form part of the study of Biology – life and living processes – and which make this subject one of the most popular at the Royal Grammar School.

Biology is taught throughout the school by a team of dedicated specialists who enthuse and inspire their students. The four laboratories within this modern Department are superbly equipped with models, microscopes, audio-visual apparatus and computer technology.

Boys coming into the school in Year 7 follow the QCA scheme of work and are immediately introduced to topics like reproduction, genetics, respiration and circulation. All Year 10 and 11 students follow a Biology specification which includes a controlled assessment component.

Biology is a very popular choice at A Level where results have been improving year on year. The A Level course followed is a modular scheme which gives students an excellent grounding and a large proportion of the boys go on to study Biology or a related subject at University.

The Medical Society is open to all students (from Year 11 upwards) who are interested in a career in medicine or an allied subject. MedSoc not only invites outside speakers to make presentations on their specialism’s, it also guides and assists students through every stage of the University application process – BMAT and UKCAT tests, writing personal statements and interview practice. Many students have benefitted from the Med Soc and every year a substantial number of applicants receive offers from medical schools.


Curriculum Statements for Biology

GCSE (Years 9-11)

Current Year 9, 10 and 11 students follow the Edexcel specification for the Biology GCSE. The course builds upon the biological principles established in Years 7 and 8 by considering evolution, classification, homeostasis, genetics and the environment. The extension module covers behaviour, control systems in organisms and biotechnology which will ensure pupils are prepared for AS and A2 Biology in the Sixth Form. Examinations of the different modules will be taken at the end of Year 11. These take the form of 1 hour, 60 mark exams containing a mixture of short and extended writing questions. Students have their practical skills tested via a Controlled Assessment which is completed during Year 10. This involves students completing an investigation during class time and producing a report of their conclusions.


Year 8

Students follow the QCA scheme of work at KS3. The following topics are studied:
Fitness and Health (fitness, breathing, dangers of smoking, importance of diet, use and abuse of drugs): Food and Digestion (why we need food, a healthy diet, extracting nutrients from food, how the digestive system works) and Plants and Photosynthesis.

Year 7

Students follow the QCA scheme of work at KS3 with topics ordered so that KS3 work is complete by the end of Year 8. The topics studied are Cells (structure and function of cells, microscopes, different cells for different jobs, cell reproduction, the secret life of plants); Flowering Plant Reproduction (flower and seed structure and function); Variation and Classification (causes of variation, describing living things and putting them into groups, sorting plants and animals); Fitness and Health (lungs, breathing and smoking); Environment and Feeding Relationships (food chains, food webs, pyramids of number). 

Understanding biodiversity is crucially importantYear 10 Boy