Biology

It just doesn't get any better than biology!

Extra Information

Field Studies Council - Biology leaflet 13 01 09

Biology - AQA - Specification

No subject is moving faster than Biology. With recent advances in our knowledge of genetics, the sequencing of the human genome, and a fierce world-wide debate raging over evolution, stem cell research, cloning, GM crops and many other topics – there is no greater time to be studying Biology.

There is no better Department in England than the award-winning department at Caterham School. Our main objective is to enthuse the pupils to love Biology – through staff who just love Biology, and through encouraging independent thought and analysis.

The Department is superbly resourced - providing pupils with extensive opportunities for practical work. Pupils learn better through doing rather than listening or watching someone else demonstrate an experiment. We make the subject as hands-on as possible - this is taken to an extreme at A level, where we get pupils out into the field as much as possible to experience real life Biology.

The Biology Department consists of 6 full time teachers and one & half slightly mad lab technicians. The Department has won 7 Good Schools Guide Awards in the last 9 years.

Science is a core subject, which is studied by all pupils in the school up to GCSE. Pupils are prepared for the London Edexcel IGCSE Science Examinations. The subject is taught as the three separate Sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Pupils will be entered for either the IGCSE Double Award Science Examination (2 GCSE passes) or three separate IGCSE Sciences (3 GCSE passes)

IGCSE Double Award Course
Double Award is the usual examination taken nationally by the majority of pupils and provides the required background needed to study any of the three individual sciences in the Sixth Form at AS or A2 level. The new AS courses are written on assumption of knowledge of Double Award. In fact IGCSE Double Award provides a better foundation for taking Sciences at AS level than the 'old' GCSE.

IGCSE Separate Science Courses
At Caterham, all pupils will follow the Triple Award (Separate Sciences) course in the Third and Fourth Year. After the January exams of the Fourth Year pupils and parents will be advised if we think the Double Award route might be more suitable option. If this is the case then they will complete the Fifth Year in a Double Award set.

The following table shows the results when pupils have taken Biology as a separate subject.

A Level

 Biology 2012 2013 2014
Pupils 22 18 50
A* 45% 33% 22%
A 45% 39% 40%
A*-B 100% 89% 88%
A*-C 100% 100% 98%

 

 Human Biology 2012 2013 2014
Pupils 18 29 n/a
A* 44% 17%  
A 39% 55%  
A-B 94% 90%  
A-C 100% 100%  

IGCSE

 Biology 2012 2013 2014
Pupils 84 91 95
A* 87% 90% 90%
A 12% 8% 10%
A*-B 100% 99% 100%
A*-C 100% 100% 100%

 

 Human Biology 2014
Pupils 17
A* 88%
A 12%
A-B 100%
A-C 100%

Biographies

Dan Quinton, MA Oxon, FSB - Head of Science and Head of Biology

Dan studied Biology at St Peter's College, Oxford, specialising in Botany. After 15 years in the music business he changed careers, and has now completed over 15 years teaching Biology at Caterham School. His specialist interest is Evolution. Outside school hours Dan can be found either playing the double bass in jazz clubs or at right mid for Oxted Vets hockey team.

Andrew Taylor BSc (Hons) Teacher of Biology, Head of Staff Development

Andrew is a University of Exeter graduate with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biological Sciences. He has been at Caterham School teaching Biology, Chemistry and Junior Science since 1997. His subject interests include Ecology and Biological Statistics. You will see Andrew running sailing courses at a local sailing centre or taking pupils on sailing adventure holidays in the Mediterranean. He is also keen on Drama and enjoys working behind the scenes as the stage manager for school productions.

Jamie Robinson, Ph.D. Teacher of Biology.

Jamie is a graduate of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, with a BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (Zoology). He completed a PhD in palaeontology at the Natural History Museum and University College London. After teaching at the Natural History Museum he undertook a PGCE at the Institute of Education, London. His particular interests include all aspect of evolutionary biology and natural history.

Steven Marlow MBiochem Oxon. Teacher of Biology

Steven Marlow is a graduate of New College Oxford and completed his GTP at Caterham School. He has been with the school since 2008. He enjoys teaching First Years to the Upper Sixth, both Human and General Biology, and particular areas of interest are energetics and analytical techniques. When not teaching, Steven is an a keen hobbyist, and in 2012 took the school Warhammer team to the grand final of the national competition. A keen sportsman as well, Steven has coached rugby, athletics and basketball.

Mrs Isis Whitwell BSc Biological Sciences Teacher of Biology, Head of Harestone House

Isis is a University of York graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences. York is also where she completed her PGCE. As part of her degree she participated in an industrial placement at Imperial College where she was involved in Cystic Fibrosis research. Her subject interests include Genetics and Microbiology. Outside the classroom Isis has always enjoyed swimming and during her time at York was a member of her university Octopush team.

Mrs Aimee Seal BSc (Hons) Teacher of Biology, Head of First Year

Aimee is a graduate of the University of Durham, with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences, and she completed her PGCE at Newcastle University.  She taught in a comprehensive school in the Lake District before relocating to Caterham. Aimee enjoys teaching both Biology and Human Biology at A-level and her particular subject interests are Physiology and Molecular Biology. Outside the classroom she tutors the prospective Medical students, helping them to secure university places.  She is a Ballroom and Latin American dancer, and has enjoyed choreographing the School Musicals. She is also part of the D of E training team.