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Biology

The Biology Department at Pangbourne teaches with enthusiasm and uses a range of approaches designed to provide plenty of variety in studying a subject which is current and inspiring. The Department is based in three spacious and well-resourced laboratories, a prep room and a departmental office.

Form 3 students are given a general introduction to the subject based on some of the concepts in ‘Working Scientifically’ before beginning the GCSE Biology syllabus (following the AQA board) in the Michaelmas term.

The GCSE syllabus, which continues through Forms 4 and 5, incorporates a range of topics which look at modern biological processes such as health and disease, and the human impact on the environment. It can be studied as part of a Combined Science GCSE or as a separate Biology GCSE.

GCSE pupils carry out a lot of experiments and are assessed through practical based questions in the two written exams. They must complete a set of Required Practical Activities during the three years of the course for which records are kept.

Advanced Biology at A Level (Edexcel, Salters Nuffield Biology A) covers cell biology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics and health among other topics. The practical work includes core activities which are assessed separately, leading to a practical qualification – the Practical Endorsement - alongside the A level.

Events organised by the Biology Department include local fieldwork at Rushall Farm, visits to conferences to hear leading scientists, visits to research centres like The Diamond Light Source, Syngenta and Marwell Zoo, and entries into competitions such as the Society of Biology's Biology Challenge and Olympiad.