Biology at Radley is taught as part of a Co-ordinated Science course which leads to the award of a dual grade in IGCSE Science. It is a three year continuous course.
We start by looking at the classification of plants and animals, which provides an excellent early opportunity for students to meet the department’s collection of living organisms, an interest the boys may later wish to pursue by joining Radley’s Animals Society. We then study cells before moving onto mammalian nutrition, circulation, breathing and the detail of gas exchange and cellular respiration. Much of this ties in with the work covered in Chemistry on gases, fuels and carbohydrates.
ICT is an increasingly important aspect of all Sciences and Biology is no exception; the department uses software extensively throughout the course. In the Shell year boys use modelling software to investigate the limits of our body’s circulation, and are able to test a human to destruction in a way we would otherwise discourage.
Radley’s programme on Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is integrated into the Biology course for this first year which enables us to discuss such difficult subjects as sex, alcohol, smoking and drug abuse, without losing sight of the underlying science.
The Biology Department's literacy strategy aims to ensure all boys communicate scientific ideas accurately and precisely from the beginning. Likewise, care is taken to ensure correct graphing and data-handling skills are developed early on in the course.
There are school exams at the end of both the Michaelmas term and the Summer term. Separate exams are sat in Biology but the cut of the sets is based on overall performance across all three Sciences.