Key Stage 4

Biology at KS4 is taught either as part of the AQA GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy) or the AQA GCSE Biology (taken as the 'Triple Science' option). In both courses, the students will study the topics listed below, however those opting for the Triple Science route will study some of these topics in more depth. Both routes include content based around “How Science Works” and there are 7/10 required practical tasks (depending on the route taken) that all students must carry out in class time. They will be assessed on these in their exams at the end of year 11. All exams are terminal and will be sat at the end of year 11, there are no exams in year 10 and there is no coursework.

Year 10 topics
  • Cell biology

  • Organisation

  • Infection and response

  • Bioenergetics

Year 11 topics
  • Homeostasis and response

  • Inheritance, variation and evolution

  • Ecology

Key Stage 5

At KS5 our students are entered for the 2-year AQA A-Level Biology Course. We do not offer an AS. This course is excellent preparation for any Science, Engineering or Maths based university course. It also equips our students with the necessary study skills to go on to read any other challenging, academic course at university e.g. Law.

In year 1, the students will study: 
  • Biological molecules

  • Cells

  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment

  • Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

In year 2, the students will study:
  • Energy transfers in and between organisms

  • Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

  • The control of gene expression


Extra Curricular


Biology staff contribute ideas and support to the science club. There are Biology hemed enrichment activities at KS3 and KS4, including the Biology Challenge and MAD days. Year 12 students are invited to workshops at the Newcastle University and also take part in a field trip to one of several locations e.g. The Rising Sun Country Park. Year 13 students are invited to carry out a workshop at the Centre for life and they are also invited to take part in the Biology Olympiad, a national competition which challenges and stimulates students with an interest in Biology to expand and extend their talents. 

Last updated: July 2021