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.

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

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


Students who choose to study Biology at A level will follow the AQA Biology specification. This requires candidates to study 8 modules over the two year course. See AQA Biology A Level Specification here. 

In the first year, students study the fundamentals of Biology including biological molecules, DNA replication, protein synthesis, cell structure, cell division, the immune system, plant and animal exchange surfaces, plant and animal mass transport, biodiversity and genetic diversity. In the second year, students study energy transfers (respiration and photosynthesis), the nervous system, hormonal communication, inheritance, evolution, gene expression and genetic engineering.

Students are given an excellent, AQA endorsed textbook, as well as a guide to maths in Biology. Additional resources (both online and in hard copy) are also available to support students, with teaching tailored to the specific requirements of the AQA course. The students sit 3 x 2 hour public exams in the summer of the Upper Sixth.

Students will develop their practical skills throughout the course and, if competent, will be awarded the Practical endorsement in addition to their A level grade.


In addition to our teaching there are a range of support activities to support and encourage the development of Biological knowledge including:

  • Weekly drop-in help sessions
  • Targeted support in Year 13
  • Biology Society
  • L6 and U6 Medics Club
  • Interview preparation – for Oxbridge and other universities

Trips and other activities

  • Participation in the Intermediate Biology Olympiad (L6) and Biology Olympiad (U6)
  • Annual L6 Field Trip in the Summer
  • Botany Bay and the Wildwood Trust
  • The Chelsea Physic Garden
  • Field days to High Elms Country Park.
  • Photography Competition
  • Science Week
  • Gopher Science


  • Mr H Sleath BSc (Head of Biology)
  • Mrs N Colwell BSc
  • Mr S Marlow BSc
  • Mr A Merrett BSc
  • Mrs J Perry BSc
  • Mrs J Ferigan (Biology Technician)
  • Mrs O Wansbury (Biology Technician)