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Biology

Departmental Aims

Biology is the study of all living things. As a subject, it aims to solve many global issues such as food security, climate change and pandemics. Through studying Biology, students begin to understand major scientific ideas and to appreciate their significance within society. They learn how biological concepts are applied in industry and medicine, to help improve our quality of life. They also learn ways in which biological concepts can be applied more controversially, as is the case with genetic engineering. Biology at Sullivan helps pupils to become confident, effective, and informed citizens.

Staff

Mr S R Drennan (Head of Department)
Miss L M Aranha
Mr D Greeves
Mrs L A Johnston (Part-Time)
Miss E O'Neill (Part-Time)
Mrs A S Brown (Technician)

Key Stage 3

Biology is taught as part of the Year 8 Science course covering topics such as Cells and Reproduction. In Years 9 and 10 it is taught as a separate subject by a specialist. Topics covered in Year 9 include Food & Digestion, Respiration, Nervous System and the Brain & Bones, and Ecology & Conservation. In Year 10 topics include Genetics, Circulation, Microbiology, and Investigative Skills. In the Junior school there is an emphasis on using visual material, practical work, and active methods to aid learning.

GCSE

At GCSE, the CCEA specification is followed. Biology is taught in 5 periods each week. The topics include those covered at Key Stage 3 plus some additional ones such as Transport in Plants, Excretion and Movement into and Out of Cells. It is a popular choice by Year 11 pupils with around 140 of the year group choosing it. Regular testing, plenty of exam preparation, which is carried out within class time, help ensure the work is spread over the two years and avoid last minute panic. Please refer to the Subject Choice for GCSE Information Booklet for further information on full course details.

GCE

Biology is also a very popular choice at AS and A2 level, where again the CCEA specification is followed. Those topics covered at GCSE are addressed in greater depth and pupils are expected to apply concepts to unfamiliar scenarios. There is an emphasis on practical work throughout, ensuring pupils have the skills required to study Biology (or related fields) at University. Practical coursework in both AS and A2 is carried out in class. Please refer to the Subject Choice for AS/A Level Information Booklet for further information on full course details and criteria for entry.

Homework

Years 9-10

Learning homework for test after each topic. Occasional written/ICT homework

Years 11-12

Booklet of past paper questions after each topic to be completed. Learning homework for test after each topic.

Years 13-14

Booklet of past paper questions after each topic to be completed. Learning homework revising for test after each topic. Pupils are expected to keep up to date revision notes (which are regularly reviewed), which helps to foster independent learning. Other written/learning homeworks are occasionally given as deemed necessary.