Biology at Kimbolton is taught by enthusiastic subject specialists. We emphasise the need for good practical and team work skills and our A level students regularly go on to Oxbridge and/or Medical School.
We teach Biology as a separate science throughout the Senior School.
Head of Biology
First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils
Our First and Second Forms follow an enhanced Key Stage 3 Programme of Study, with an emphasis on practical work. We begin the AQA GCSE Biology course during the Third Form.
Fourth and Fifth Forms – optional GCSE subject
- Separate Sciences: AQA GCSE Biology 8461. Assessed via two exams.
- Combined Science: AQA Combined Science Trilogy 8464. Assessed via six exams (two each for Biology, Chemistry, Physics). Please see our separate page on Science at GCSE Level to find out more about this option.
Biology is the study of the natural world: living organisms and their structure, life-cycles, adaptations, and environment. This knowledge can ultimately be used to improve our world in many areas including public health, disease control, natural resources, pollution, animal care and conservation.
During lessons you will explore seven key subject areas: cell biology, organisation, infection and response, energetics, homeostasis, inheritance and evolution, and finally ecology. You will be learning exciting novel ways that our biological understanding leads to treatments for infertility and heart disease, why biodiversity is so precious to our ecosystems and how an understanding of pathogens and how they spread can help reduce the impact of future pandemics.
As with the other sciences, Biology helps you improve your skills in many areas: research, analysis, communication, problem-solving, presentation, creativity, and organisation.
Lower and Upper Sixth Form – optional A Level subject
AQA A level Biology
Biology has many links to contemporary social, environmental and ethical issues. If you want to learn more about the complexities and intricacies of life, how nearly 4 billion years of history has resulted in the wonderful biodiversity we see around us and the systems we have to control our human physiology, this is the subject for you!
You’ll investigate the fundamental concepts of cell and molecular biology, including how DNA works as a coding molecule and how protein synthesis in cells is regulated. There is also work on evolution, human physiology, homeostasis and genetics. Later in the course, you’ll expand your knowledge and understanding by studying a wide range of topics such as neurobiology, hormones, and the biochemistry of the key energy transfers essential for life.
In the Lower Sixth, you’ll spend a fieldwork day in Epping Forest undertaking an ecological investigation, while in the Upper Sixth, our ‘Brain Day’ (led by a professor of Neuroscience) will provide fascinating insight into contemporary research about the human brain.
Kimbolton 7th Period Super Curriculum: During the Lower Sixth year, Kimbolton biologists are given one lesson a week to carry out a research project entirely of their choosing. The pupils have chosen a diverse range of topics in recent years. Several have involved more in-depth laboratory research than is possible during the A level curriculum whereas others are research-based projects. Our pupils are given the opportunity of presenting their projects to the general public at the annual Cambridge Science Fair in March.
- View our Sixth Form Prospectus
- Our after-school STEM club allows keen scientists to work on projects of their choosing, while Gardening club focuses on conservation issues and plant sciences. We have a thriving Medical Society for the Fifth to Upper Sixth Forms. Form students and members are invited to discuss ethical issues and we regularly have visiting speakers, often former students following medical careers.
Regular Trips, Visitors and Competitions
- The Second Form visit Whipsnade Zoo to carry out work related to the adaptation of organisms.
- Members of the Third and Fourth Forms take part in the Biology Challenge competition, a challenging and interesting biology competition which acts as a junior version of the British Biology Olympiad (see below) and is also organised by the Royal Society of Biology.
- Lower Sixth Formers visit the Epping Forest FSC to study practical ecology.
- Sixth Formers regularly attend Genetics lecture days in London, and visit the Sanger Institute in Cambridge.
- Sixth Formers regularly enter the British Biology Olympiad (BBO), an annual competition organised by the Society of Biology to reward the best young biologists in the country and which acts as a means of selecting the UK team for the annual International Biology Olympiad. One of our students reached the national finals in 2016, coming in the top 16 out of more than 7000 students.