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 OCR Biology A specification. This requires candidates to study 6 modules over the two year course. See OCR Biology A Specification

Students have 10 lessons a week with two teachers. One lesson is focussed on enrichment and synoptic skills.

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.

The modules include a diverse range of topics, foundations in Biology which includes cell structure and biological molecules. Exchange and transport which covers both animal and plant transport and exchange surfaces. Biodiversity, evolution and disease, this includes the study of classification and plant and animal diseases and immunology. We complete the end of the Lower Sixth studying ecosystems and this includes three field days. In the Upper Sixth we teach communication, homeostasis and energy which covers photosynthesis and respiration in addition to the nervous and endocrine systems and excretion. Followed by genetics including gene technology and biotechnology, speciation and developmental biology.

We provide students with two different textbooks and a Biology OCR specific workbook and additional revision materials and guides. The coursed is assessed by three public exams sat in June in the Upper Sixth. Two x 2 hour 15 minute exams and one 1 hour 30 minute exam.

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.

Trips, activities and clubs

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

  • Weekly clinics during lunchtimes and in common free lessons
  • Trip to Botany Bay and the Wildwood Trust
  • Visit to The Chelsea Physic Garden
  • Field days to High Elms Country Park.
  • Photography Competition
  • Medical Society
  • Lecture Day
  • Gopher Science


  • Mrs C Hobbs BSc (Head of Biology)
  • Mrs N Colwell BSc
  • Mr S Marlow BSc
  • Mr A Merrett BSc
  • Mrs J Perry BSc
  • Mrs L Harrex (Science Technician)
  • Miss J Kirkby (Laboratory Technician)