It just doesn’t get any better than biology!
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.
Our main objective in the Biology Department is to enthuse our pupils to love our subject as much as we do. Pupils will develop an understanding of how life sciences play a key role in understanding the world around us and the global challenges which affect us all. Both our International GCSE and A-level courses develop interest and understanding of the living world so that our pupils become biologically literate global citizens.
The department is superbly resourced with five specialist laboratories, providing our pupils with extensive opportunities for practical work. The department consists of five full-time teachers and one and a half lab technicians.
Science is a core subject, which is studied by all pupils in the school up to Fifth year. In the Third Year, pupils begin to follow the Edexcel IGCSE Triple Science qualification. There is an option in the Fifth Year to take the Science Double Award (two GCSE grades), but the majority continue with the three separate sciences.
At A-level we follow the AQA specification, which is relevant both in the classroom and in the real world, with practical, hands-on experience at its very heart. All A-level Biologists are encouraged to participate in various co-curricular clubs such as Darwin Society and enter national competitions. There is also the opportunity to work with local primary schools as part of our outreach programme.
Mrs Sally Wallis BSc (Hons) Head of Department
Sally studied Biochemistry at Leeds University and then completed her PGCE at Durham University. With over twenty years of teaching experience, she has worked in a range of educational settings. Her specialist interests are genetics and inheritance. When not teaching, she is also an U14 netball coach. Outside of school, Sally enjoys visiting sites of historical interest and adding to her Lego collection.
Mrs Isis Whitwell BSc (Hons) Second in Department
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 runs the Synchronised swimming club at school. When she has opportunity, she also plays Octopush and during her time at university was a member of her university Octopush team.
Mrs Aimee Seal BSc (Hons) Teacher of Biology and Head of 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 the Lake District where she is from before relocating to Caterham 13 years ago. Aimee has enjoyed teaching both Biology and Human Biology at A-level in recent years and her particular subject interests are Physiology and Molecular Biology. Outside the classroom she is a Head of Year for First/Second years and finds supporting their pastoral needs very rewarding. She is a Ballroom and Latin American dancer, and is also part of the D of E team.
Dr Carla Gentile BSc MSc PhD in Biological Sciences Teacher of Biology
Carla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences, a Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences (specialising in Entomology and Parasitology) and a Doctorate in Molecular Biology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her PhD studies also included a year of research conducted at Imperial College London. Following her formative education, Carla worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher for 8 years, holding positions at Queen Mary University of London, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her research spanned a diverse range of fields, including malaria fieldwork in Brazil and the study of mosquito vectors of disease, circadian rhythms, neurobiology, molecular biology and genetics. With a wide array of interests in Biology, she particularly highlights her interest in Molecular Biology, Inheritance, Evolution and Immunology.
Dr Suzana Zizek PhD MRSB
Suzana obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and proceeded to study environment science at PhD level. Her research was focused on how pollutants such as mercury, pesticides and pharmaceutical residues affect ecosystems. She worked as an assistant professor at University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia and conducted postdoctoral research in Boston, USA and Vienna, Austria. She is a passionate scuba diver, amateur Lindy hop dancer, and a great admirer of the works of Richard Dawkins.Back to Academic Departments