Biology
Biology is the study of living organisms and their environments. During the last century our knowledge of Biology has expanded at a staggering rate, and we now take for granted many of the greatest advances in Biology and medicine, which have improved our health and general lifestyle. The biological sciences are the most diverse of subjects – from molecular Biology to the biosphere.

A qualification in Biology equips you with key skills: literacy, numeracy, social awareness, and an ability to make connections between natural, social, economic, political and technological fields.

Biology is a strong and popular subject at Eltham College with many students choosing to follow Biology-related degrees. In the past few years, the department has expanded from two Lower Sixth sets to three sets.

The department aims

  • To provide Biology teaching of the highest quality in an environment that encourages a high quality of learning, good relationships and scientific integrity.

  • To engage, motivate and challenge all pupils and to develop an interest in and enjoyment of the study of living organisms.

  • To encourage the spirit of enquiry and tolerance of others’ views.

We do this by delivering lessons which maintain a balance between biological theory, demonstration and pupils' experimental work.

We also arrange visits, e.g. to the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, Sussex.

We encourage an attitude of curiosity and scientific enquiry and to give a variety and range of work for learning and understanding biological principles.

The Biology Staff

The department currently comprises:

Learning

  • Teaching is based on a good command of the subject, breadth and depth of up to date knowledge and enthusiasm;

  • all Biology teaching staff follow the agreed departmental schemes of work and aspire to the departmental aims and objectives;

  • however, it is recognised that each has his/her own style of teaching resulting from his/her own expertise and experience.

Various learning activities are used in the class room these include and are not limited to:

Loop games, sequence activities, flow charts, sorting activities, matching pairs, concept mapping, pupil presentations, peer marking , practical procedures, thought experiments, spreadsheet exercise, true/false statements, associations, using ICT for research, animations and video clips.

Pupils are encouraged in all year groups to take responsibility for their learning.

Pupils are given plenty of opportunities to practise past papers and lunchtime revision sessions are held on a weekly basis for examination classes in the Lent and Summer Terms. In all other classes, teachers offer pupils individual support as and when it is required.

The Curriculum

Biology is a core subject taught by subject specialists at all Key Stages. Average class sizes are 24 for key stage 3, 20 for keystage 4 and ten for the Sixth Form Groups.

  • In Year 7 and 8 we cover the KS3 curriculum. We have a practical approach to our teaching and include the teaching of scientific skills. We teach Biology through problem solving and set challenging and motivating tasks as well as practical activities we include quizzes and word games, card sorts and loop games.

  • In Years 9 to 11 pupils follow the International GCSE course.

Enrichment

Pupils in Years 8 and 9 usually enter a poster competition organised by the Microbiology in Schools Advisory Committee. This year is concerning Microbes and Climate change. Further details can be found here:

Pupils in Year 10 take the Biology Challenge

Year 11 pupils attend Science Live, a day of talks and demonstrations specifically aimed at inspiring and enthusing GCSE pupils to continue with sciences to a higher level.

Medical society

This society is for students who are interested in studying a medical related degree. It is run by pupils and weekly meeting are held during which pupils discuss and present various topics such as public and ethical issues of medicine or NHS complaints procedures. Past pupils and outside speakers are invited to speak about their experiences of the medical field. The aim is to give students an insight to medical related degrees and to help with preparation for application and interviews.

Results

In the past three years 87.7% of pupils have gained A* to B grade at A Level with 26% gaining an A*. At iGCSE Level, 98.4% have gained A*to C grade with 51% gaining A* Grade.