Biology

Welcome to the Biology Department.

Biology, Physics and Chemistry at Cranbrook School are taught as their own subject specialisms from Year 7 onwards.

KS3 Biology

Key Stage 3 is taught over two years in Years 7 and 8. This allows GCSE to be taught over three years, starting at the beginning of Year 9. Year 7s are taught science by three subject specialists in purpose built laboratories. They receive two hours and forty five minutes of lessons a fortnight for each of the three sciences.

In year 7, the biology department aims to teach our pupils about cells – the basic building blocks of life. They look at how they are both similar to and different from other human beings and other life forms. They start to understand how we fit into the whole web of life by studying basic ecology and begin to see how our successful reproduction has led to our impact on the planet. Further into KS3 we aim to develop curiosity about how human systems and organs function by looking at the fundamental processes of respiration, feeding, digestion and immunity.

KS4 Biology

From Year 9 onwards, the material is GCSE standard and follows the AQA specification.  The biology department have adapted their teaching to reflect the changes in the new GCSE syllabus which places a greater emphasis on mathematical and practical skills. All of the examinations are linear and do not include any coursework.

The content is very exciting and covers a broad range of topics including: keeping healthy, living together, the human body, evolution and the environment. As we progress through KS4 there is more focus on issues which we feel are important because of their impact on humans socially, medically and industrially or economically. Pupils are encouraged to become aware of the advances in research and their implications.

A minority of students will switch to double award science at the end of Year 10 where they continue to study all three science disciplines but with rather less content to learn for the exams. This allows much of Year 11 to be spent on revisiting some of the harder material from Year 9 and 10.

Biology is taught by subject specialists in two purpose built labs. There is also access to other labs as well as a Lecture Theatre. The department is well resourced and aims to undertake as much practical activities as possible. The goal of the biology department is to provide a safe and stimulating environment that enables students to work independently and explore their own understanding of the world around them. Lessons at KS4 place a large emphasis on practical activities so that experimental and analytical skills can be developed. The challenging, yet rewarding course, builds the foundations to bridge the gap to A-level studies and beyond.

KS5 Biology

The OCR Biology A Level course is aimed at challenging learners and preparing them for the eventuality of becoming independent in the ‘real wide world’.  It is a course suitable for people who are curious about how their body works and how the world around them can influence their decisions.

The aims of the course are to encourage students to:

  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of biology, including developing an interest in further study and careers in biology.
  • Appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.
  • Develop and demonstrate a confidence in using a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills that will open many doors to further education or employment.

The course consists of:

AS Biology (studied in Year 12)

Module 1:  Development of practical skills

Module 2:  Foundations in Biology  – Cells, biological molecules, DNA, enzymes, cell membranes, cell division and cell organisation

Module 3:  Exchange and transport – Transport in animals and plants, including breathing and circulation

Module 4:  Biodiversity, evolution and disease – Diseases, disease prevention, biodiversity, classification and evolution

A2 Biology (studied in Year 13)

Module 5:  Communication, Homeostasis and Energy – Homeostasis, excretion, nerves, hormones, animal responses, photosynthesis and respiration

Module 6:  Control, Genomes and Environment – Cellular control, inheritance, genomes, cloning, biotechnology, ecosystems and sustainability

Mr John Benford, Subject Leader – Biology : benfordj@cranbrook.kent.sch.uk