Biology A level allows for the in-depth study of a wide range of topics concerning living organisms and their place in, and interaction with, the world.
OCR Biology A is followed, which is a broad course. It includes those areas at the forefront of academic research today such as the use of stem cells in medicine and gene technology as well as cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, evolution, human and plant physiology, ecology and the environment.
The course demands application of knowledge and understanding of ideas, processes, techniques and procedures as well as analysis and evaluation of information, ideas and evidence. Practical work is a very important part of biology and we devote significant time to this. Since the removal of controlled assessment these skills are now examined in the written exams. A grade 8 or 9 in Biology is necessary as is an aptitude for Maths as the course includes a significant mathematical element.
Girls are encouraged to think and read beyond the strict confines of the specification such that they develop a synoptic view and greater understanding of biology as a discipline. Girls will be offered opportunities to attend lectures which will help broaden their understanding of the subject. There are extension programmes which are open to all, but primarily aimed at those applying for biologically-related subjects at university, including subjects such as medicine. Some girls enter the Biology Olympiad with considerable success.
The course lends itself to a number of disciplines, notably Biological Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy, Psychology, Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry, Human Sciences, Sports Science, Geography and Environmental Science.