Biology

It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living

- Sir David Attenborough

The Biology Department aims to develop students’ natural curiosity in the living world and to initiate a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of this wonderful subject. We teach Biology in a discursive, mutually explorative way, and our students greatly enjoy the opportunities we facilitate to explore the subject in considerable depth. At all stages throughout the School, students learn to enjoy finding out more about the Biology in any given topic, including not only the current nature of our understanding in the field but also the wide range of applications which stem from it.

The Biology Department consists of 7 highly qualified teachers, all with their own subject specialisms in areas ranging from Cell Biology and Molecular Biophysics through Genetics and Evolutionary Biology to Phylogenetics, Ecology & Conservation.

Curriculum

Students begin their studies of Biology as part of our integrated Year 7 Science course, then from Year 8 onwards they are taught separate sciences by subject specialists, beginning with our own, bespoke Year 8 Biology course.

All students in Year 9 begin their studies of the Edexcel International GCSE in Biology. We consider this course to be an excellent preparation for post-16 study, as it allows us great scope to explore topics in depth, often well beyond the scope of the syllabus requirements and which our students greatly enjoy.

In the Sixth Form we offer Biology either as part of the IB Diploma programme or as the Cambridge International A-Level in Biology. Both pathways afford students an excellent opportunity to stretch themselves in exploring the natural world, with multiple opportunities for independent work to support their studies. Around 60 sixth form students in total take Biology and many of our students go on to study Medicine, Natural Sciences and Biological Sciences at University.

Extra-curricular

The extra-curricular life of the Biology Department is vibrant and exciting, with students in the Science Society putting on numerous Biology-focused clubs and activities. Middle school students are currently working with girls in the first and junior schools to create and manage a pond ecosystem on site, and sixth form students are leading a discussion group for students in the upper school looking at the "Biology behind the headlines".

The Biology Department regularly takes short field trips to local sites. In addition, girls in the Sixth Form have the opportunity to go on a longer residential trip to carry out investigations which enhance their practical and analytical skills. We also regularly take groups of students to hear lectures, including Science Live lectures at Oxford. Each year girls in many different year groups compete in the national British Biology Olympiad and Challenge as well as various essay competitions, and NLCS students have been selected to represent the UK in the International Biology Olympiad, most recently in Bali.