Biology is the study of life. The name comes from the Greek ‘bios’ meaning life and ‘logos’ meaning knowledge. It is an enormous subject with many branches has changed almost beyond recognition since the revolutions in genetics, cellular and molecular biology.
The main aims of the department are to stimulate curiosity in the living world and to initiate a lifelong interest in and enjoyment of the subject. We also hope to broaden our students’ knowledge of a wide variety of biological principles and seek to provide them with a basic knowledge upon which to make informed decisions about current issues. We aim to cultivate this interest through observation, investigation, talks and discussion.
The Biology department consists of 7 well qualified teachers all with their own subject specialisms and 2 experienced technicians.
Biology is integrated in the Year 7 course and is taught as Science. In Year 8 students are taught separate sciences by subject specialists.
Beginning in 2012, we have introduced the triple award Science IGCSE for all students. The girls are taught biology, chemistry and physics as three separate courses by specialist teachers. We consider this course to be an excellent preparation for A level, allowing us much greater scope to explore topics in depth during the Sixth Form.
Around 60 students in total take Biology, either as A Level or IB Diploma candidates. with a large proportion opting for the A Level course over the IB course.
Many of our students go on to study Medicine, Natural Sciences and Biological Sciences at University.
The Biology Department regularly takes short field trips to local sites. In addition, girls in the Sixth Form have the opportunity to go on longer residential trips 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 compete in the British Biology Olympiad, the Nuffield Foundation Science Bursaries, the Peterhouse Essay CCompetition and the BA – CREST award.
The student run Science Society is one of the largest societies at NLCS and is extremely active within the school. They are responsible for promoting science and organising activities throughout the school. In addition, our Year 12 girls run a Biology Club for years 7 and 8, where exciting experiments are carried out. Science Society are also heavily involved in the running of Science and Maths week, creating great excitement about the sciences and a wonderful array of posters and projects.
The Biology Department runs two enrichment sessions a week which take place on Wednesday afternoons. One session is aimed at potential Medics and the other at Natural Scientists. The aim of these sessions is to take students beyond the curriculum, inspire a passion for the subject and to challenge understanding. It is crucial for students to develop confidence in communicating scientific ideas and think independently for themselves so they can excel in an interview situation.