“The power of Selection, whether exercised by man or brought into play under nature through the struggle for existence and the consequent survival of the fittest, absolutely depends on the variability of organic beings. Without variability, nothing can be effected; slight individual differences, however, suffice for the work, and are probably the chief or sole means in the production of new species.”
Charles Darwin (1868)
The 21st century is the century of Biology. Biology is the study of living organisms, their internal mechanisms and their interactions with the surrounding environment. By considering everything from the biosphere to the molecular processes that make life possible, Biology is a diverse and fascinating subject that continues to raise as many questions as it answers. By examining the origin, evolution, structure, function, growth, distribution and inter-relationships of living species, it is Biology that teaches us how to observe, appreciate, comprehend, protect and be curious about our most precious asset – life itself.
We seek to encourage in our students a deep and lasting interest in the natural world via an awareness of biodiversity in all its forms and the development of practical and cognitive skills to understand and appreciate the complexity of living organisms.
We have six well-resourced teaching laboratories in which qualified Biologists deliver a balanced curriculum of investigative and theoretical learning, supported by highly experienced technicians. Biology is an incredibly popular subject in College, in which theoretical exploration, practical experience and research opportunities are all encouraged, providing an excellent preparation for university study.
Guest speakers visit regularly to offer their expertise, advice and knowledge on a range of biological areas. Girls also benefit from field trips, with destinations and activities such as marine and freshwater ecological investigations in Dorset and voluntary overseas expeditions to highly bio-diverse habitats.
The curriculum is complemented by a selection of clubs and societies. Girls complete their own projects in Biotechnology club, most recently growing bacterial cellulose in the lab to make clothing and budding medics can hone their skills via the dissection club in Year 12. There is also a thriving Psychology Society run within the department.
Girls are introduced to a range of biological concepts and are encouraged to develop a foundation of observational and practical skills.
Girls study the Edexcel iGCSE Biology qualification.
Girls can choose to study either AQA A level or AS Level Biology or Biology at Higher or Standard Level as part of the IB Diploma course. They can also choose to study Environmental Systems and Societies as an IB Standard Level option.
Acting Head of Biology: Mrs Hilary Mott BSc MA
Mrs Rachel Carey BSc
Miss Charlotte Cowley BSc
Mrs Liz Dobney BSc
Mr Richard Dodds BSc NPQH
Miss Kate Fleming BSc
Dr Hilary Laver BSc
Mrs Anne Martin BSc MA
Mr James Skinner BSc MA
Dr Amy Smith BSc
Mrs Amanda Thiselton MA
Miss Helen Washbourne BSc
Dr Cassie Stevenson
Mrs Jayne Iles
Ms Jocelyn Giles BSc
Mrs Zoe Cheale BEd
Miss Jacqueline O’Mahony