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Bury Grammar Schools

Biology

At no time in history has the science of life been so visible and so important to the future of our planet. Newspapers, magazines and television feature Biology prominently every day.  
 
Biology is the study of life and living things and here at BGS the Biology Department encourages pupils to develop enquiring minds, personal, social and research skills in a caring and supportive environment.  The Biology Department aims to enable all students to acquire biological skills and knowledge and to provide opportunities for them to use these skills to undertake practical work and answer questions with confidence, enjoyment and success. Pupils are encouraged to think for themselves, to be inquisitive and ask questions and to be prepared to use their understanding to make ethical decisions. The style of teaching in the Biology Department is organised so that the pupils start with a solid understanding of and familiarity with basic terms and concepts and build upon this to improve their level of understanding. They are encouraged to recognise any difficulties of understanding as they arise and to ask for help in overcoming them. Practical based tasks are also set which require the planning of investigations and analysis of results.

Subject Curriculum

Key Stage 3

 
In Years 7 and 8, Biology lessons place an emphasis on developing basic practical skills which set up a pupil for the rest of their academic studies.  Lessons are heavily inquiry based and engender an independence in students as they are challenged to develop their own theories about particular topics.
 

GCSE

 
We begin the GCSE Biology course in Year 9 using the AQA specification. The topics are structured such that the students discuss topics which they are equipped to deal with in Year 9 before progressing onto harder material in Years 10 and 11.  The AQA specification is wide ranging and deals with topics as diverse as the impact of human activity on biodiversity and the use of monoclonal antibodies to treat disease. This course provides a solid base for all students and helps to foster a love of Biology.
 

A Level

 
Those taking A Level Biology are also taught according to the AQA specification.  As modern exams place a great deal of emphasis on applying knowledge to unfamiliar situations, the Biology department foster agile thinking throughout the course. Over the two year course, students hone their research skills and complete a wide range of activities to strengthen their independent thinking.  This makes a Biology A-level invaluable to life beyond the classroom, even for students who are not pursuing a career in the Sciences.
 
 

Head of Department

Miss Bailey graduated from the University of Leeds after studying Human Physiology and has been at BGS since 2013. An old girl of the school, Miss Bailey has returned to the school and been an integral part of the Biology department since she arrived.  As a keen advocate of the schools’ extracurricular activities, she has led some of the school’s D of E Award programmes and has taken part in World Challenge expeditions across the world. Her love of Biology stems from from an amazement of the diversity of life on Earth and how all this can be explained through an understanding of the underlying Biology.