Biology is the study of living organisms which includes their structure, functioning, origin and evolution, classification, interrelationships and distribution. The Biology Department aims to stimulate and excite pupils’ curiosity about and interest in the living world around them.
At Key Stage 3 Biology is taught as part of a general Science programme.
Topic covered at Key Stage 3 include
KS3 students follow schemes of learning based around the Northern Ireland Curriculum framework. Activities that promote key scientific and literacy skills have been built into the schemes. These include opportunities for students to further their scientific knowledge and understanding through planning investigations, obtaining evidence, and presenting and interpreting results.
Pupils have opportunities to develop creative and critical thinking in their approach to solving scientific problems. They also develop their practical skills by carrying out experiments and demonstrate self-management by working systematically.
GCSE Single Award Science
GCSE Double Award Science
At Key Stage 4 Biology is studied as part of the CCEA specification – this can be as part of the Single Award Science or Double Award Science course. Biology is also taught as a separate GCSE. These qualifications build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed at Key Stage 3.
The CCEA GCSE Biology specification provides a broad, coherent and practical course that develops confidence in, and a positive view of, science.
It encourages students to appreciate the value of science in their lives and in the wider world around them. It also gives students opportunities to apply their knowledge and understanding of the nature of science and the scientific process.
Practical science is a key part of this specification, with students carrying out nine prescribed practicals during the course.
The specification has three units:
At Key Stage 5, the Biology Department offers Biology at AS and A2 Level. Students follow the CCEA specification which builds on the broad objectives of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.
Students will acquire and develop skills that are valued in further and higher education, as well as in the workplace. These include an ability to understand complex processes, analysis, evaluation, problem solving and research, as well as practical skills such as using a microscope, handling apparatus and fieldwork.
An important aspect of the specification is the development of students’ practical skills in biology.
At AS students complete the following units:
Specified practicals which support AS 1 and AS 2 content which incorporates an external written examination assessing practical skills and internal practical assessment
The A2 qualification is made up of the AS units plus 3 additional units which are studied at a higher level for A2:
Students who have studied Biology at A level have gone on to follow a variety of careers including: