Key Stage 3

Year 7

In Year 7 the curriculum covers most of the processes of life, including reproduction in plants and animals, and links these to the cells, organs and organ systems of both. Examples of the organ systems we look at are the digestive and gas exchange systems. The curriculum examines what we must do to keep these processes working effectively and the potential problems that occur when these things go wrong. Experiments and case studies are completed to help enhance pupils’ learning.

Year 8

In Year 8 we begin by looking at health and lifestyle and consider how poor nutrition and other lifestyle choices affect our health. We consider the interdependence of living organisms and their relationships in an ecosystem, as well as the importance of plant reproduction through insect pollination in human food security. The impacts of a change in the balance of these and bioaccumulation can lead to extinction and this is also researched. Many of these concepts are examined in a practical way, enhanced by experiments and case studies. We end the year looking at adaptation of a variety of species, linking this to inheritance, natural selection and evolution.

Year 9

We start to deliver the GCSE curriculum in year 9 by examining cells and genetic material. This is linked to why we look like we do, as well as what happens when mutations and genetic variants occur. Inheritance and Mendel’s work in this field is replicated through the completion of genetic diagrams and we also research more recent developments that have occurred as a result of the human genome project and genetic engineering.

Key Stage 4

GCSE Biology


Subject Leader:

Miss Rendle


Exam Specification:

OCR Biology B 21st Century J257

QN code:




Summary of course content

B1 - You and your genes

B2 - Keeping healthy

B3 - Living together – food and ecosystems

B4 - Using food – controlling growth

B5 - The human body – staying alive

B6 - Life On Earth – past, present and future

B7 - Ideas about Science

B8 - Practical skills


Terminal examinations at the end of year 11 – both papers assess content from all eight sections

Paper 1 – Breadth in Biology – 1 hour 45 minutes – 50%

Paper 2 – Depth in Biology – 1 hour 45 minutes – 50%

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Practical work and theory

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Research, revision, exam questions

How will it help me in the future?

Awareness and greater understanding of the world around you.

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

All work done in KS3 will be built upon to  a higher level of understanding

What skills will I develop?

The ability to carry out and evaluate practical processes and analyse the results collected.  Literacy and numeracy skills and the ability to work as part of a team are also developed.