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Biology

In the Biology department we aim to

  • develop students’ interest in, and enthusiasm for, Biology
  • develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods in Biology
  • acquire and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works and its essential role in society
  • acquire scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for progression to A Level Biology and beyond

Staffing

Head of Department

Mrs L Rodgers

Teachers

Ms J Clarke

Mrs P Fox

Mrs G Keel

Mrs S Power

Miss J Ventress

Technicians: Mrs E Levett & Mrs S Sharp

Prefects

Abi Riley

Alfie Stone

Anna Burton

Barbie Taylor

Grace Miller

Harry Moorhead

Jodie Ferris

Ruby Drakeley

Ambassadors

Emily Sharpe

Aisling Sheppard

Devika Sunil

Laxmi Thileepan

Key Stage 3

Content

Please click here for the Key Stage 3 Science National Curriculum content

Year 7 Topics

  • Cells
  • Forces & effects
  • Particles
  • Energy
  • Nutrition & digestion
  • Chemical reactions
  • Sound & light
  • Reproduction
  • Space
  • Ecology

Year 8 Topics

  • Photosynthesis
  • Circuits
  • Separating mixtures
  • Structure & function of organisms
  • Pressure
  • Chemical energy
  • Forces, motion & energy
  • Genetics
  • Electrical energy

Assessment and feedback 

Students are continuously assessed by their teachers during a whole range of activities but their progress is formally monitored using end of topic tests and the end of year exam, marked using common mark schemes.

Feedback has its main focus on science learning objectives and outcomes since our aim is to improve performance in Science. We aim to be positive, developmental (showing the student how to improve further) and specific.

We assess targeted pieces of work (either class or homework but not notes), focussed on difficult concepts, open-ended or challenging activities or data analysis. Self and peer assessment are used to review straightforward tasks.

Key Stage 4

Content 

  1. Cell Biology
  2. Organisation
  3. Infection and response
  4. Bioenergetics
  5. Homeostasis and response
  6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
  7. Ecology

The GCSE specification in Biology should enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of Biology
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of Biology through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on Biology through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

  • AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific techniques and procedures.
  • AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific enquiry, techniques and procedures.
  • AO3: Analyse information and ideas to: interpret and evaluate; make judgements and draw conclusions; develop and improve experimental procedures.

Assessment and feedback 

Students are assessed by means of regular end of topic tests based on past exam questions. The tests are marked using official mark schemes, which are shown to students during the review process. These tests are graded against GCSE standards and used to inform students and parents on academic standards. These tests allow the identification of areas for improvement. During each topic students are given similar past exam questions to develop their skills. Official mark schemes are again shown in order to enhance student understanding of the depth and accuracy required. Feedback on reviewed work will be either written or oral and focuses on improving student understanding, correcting common misconceptions and training students to develop more complex and complete exam answers.

Specification

Please click here for the AQA GCSE Biology specification

A Level

Content 

  1. Biological molecules
  2. Cells
  3. Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  4. Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
  5. Energy transfers in and between organisms
  6. Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
  7. Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  8. The control of gene expression

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures:

  • in a theoretical context
  • in a practical context
  • when handling qualitative data
  • when handling quantitative data

AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to:

  • make judgements and reach conclusions
  • develop and refine practical design and procedures.

Assessment and feedback 

Students are assessed by means of regular end of topic tests based on past exam questions. The tests are marked using official mark schemes, which are shown to students during the review process. These tests are graded against A Level standards and used to inform students and parents on academic standards. These tests allow the identification of areas for improvement. During each topic, students are given question packs containing similar past exam questions to develop their skills. Official mark schemes are again shown in order to enhance student understanding of the depth and accuracy required.

Feedback will be either written or oral and focuses on improving student understanding, correcting common misconceptions and training students to develop more complex and complete exam answers.

Specification 

Please click here for the AQA A Level Biology specification

Exam Support

Past papers

Please click here  for the AQA GCSE Biology past papers and mark schemes 

Please click here for the AQA A Level Biology past papers and mark schemes

Careers

Potential careers

Amongst a wide range of careers accessible with a biological degree, students could consider:

Biochemistry, Botany, Forensic Science, Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Ecology and the Environment, Landscaping,Physiotherapy, Environmental Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Teaching, Research Scientist, Physician Associate, Science writer

Alumni 

Alannah King

Studying Natural Sciences at Trinity Hall (Cambridge) 2016-current

Sophie Wicken

Studying Biochemistry at St Johns Oxford, 2015 –current

Michael Grela

Studying medicine at Queen Mary’s London 2016 – current

Lucinda Giles

Studying Veterinary Science at Liverpool

These alumni all showed boundless enthusiasm for Biology whilst at Highworth and they have continued this by visiting the department at regular intervals to give talks and help to prepare other students for their university applications.

Extra-curricular

Clubs 

KS3 Science Club 

Biology support (all Years)

Trips and visits

A Level Biology trip to Brockhill