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Pupils have very good levels of scientific skills

ISI 2013

Biology

From year 7 to 11 Biology is taught as a separate subject to every age group in the school by six specialist teachers.

We enjoy the use of four fully-equipped laboratories, each with its own networked computer, data projector and interactive white board. There are also enough high quality microscopes and apparatus so that each pupil can work individually. Class sizes are small which enables the teacher to maintain a purposeful atmosphere and give each pupil the individual attention they need. The courses also include off-site trips to Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Paignton Zoo and the Eden Project also forms part of our junior courses.


Course Content

Years 7 and 8: We begin with an introductory course with the general themes: ‘The Body’, ‘The Environment’ and ‘Cell Biology’. These years are intended to be fun and to engage younger pupils in our subject and are structured around Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum. Pupils have one (80 minute) double period a week, followed by a 20 - 30 minute homework assignment.

Year 9: We begin teaching the GCSE material, starting with topics that are common to both of the GCSE specifications we use. Teaching time is increased to a double (80 minute) and a single (35 minute) lesson per week. One homework assignment is set for a duration of 20 - 30 minutes. At the end of this first year of study, there will be a comprehensive exam that helps us make preliminary decisions as to the best course for each pupil to follow over the next two years.

Year 10 and 11: All students start Year 10 continuing to follow a common course of study. Teaching time is the same for Year 9, however, two homework assignments per week are set. The course that the students are entered for is decided in February of Year 10, by tests taken in all three sciences.The marks of these tests are used to make our final decision as to the best course for each pupil: Those in sets 1 and 2 begin a two-year IGCSE biology course as specified by Edexcel. Set 3 follows a similar course but for the IGCSE Double Award Science. Those in sets 4 and 5 follow the National Curriculum Key Stage 4 AQA specification leading to GCSEs in Science A and Additional Science.

Pupils have very good levels of scientific skills

ISI 2013
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