The Leys



Biology is part of the Science department at The Leys, based within the Thomson Building at the heart of the School.

Welcome to the study of life

Four experienced teachers and a full time technician all share a passion for Biology. The department has an excellent academic track record and a reputation for innovative and fun lessons designed to excite, stretch, challenge and inspire. We strive to light fires.


All pupils currently study AQA IGCSE Biology. The course begins at the start of Year 9, and is taught over three years. Topics are delivered in the following themes:

Year 9

Cell Activity; Tissues, Organs and Systems; Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins and Enzymes; Digestion; Adaptation and Interdependence; Energy and Biomass in Food Chains; Decay and the Carbon Cycle.

Year 10

Plants as Organisms; Breathing; Respiration; Circulation; Nervous System; Homeostasis; Infectious Diseases.

Year 11

Variations and inheritance; Cell Division; Evolution; Revision and Past Papers.

Assessment is linear with pupils taking two written papers, each with a 50% weighting. During the course pupils will develop their understanding of the scientific process and the skills associated with scientific enquiry. In Paper 2 they will be assessed on aspects of these skills, as well as being required to interpret information from diagrams, tables and graphs. They will also be required to design investigations.

A level

We have adopted the new linear OCR A Level specification with effect from September 2015.

Six modules are delivered in the full A Level which are examined two years later. Three theory papers are supplemented by a practical endorsement that assesses a minimum of twelve practicals.

Specification (OCR)

The Biology department has long standing links with The Sanger Institute, world leaders in Genomics. The A Level curriculum is enriched and stretched through annual video-conferences on the genomics of diseases. We also visit the Sanger campus in order to understand the mechanics of gene sequencing, as well as the extraordinary spectrum of potential applications genomics has. We are also fortunate to have an annual talk from Ian Dunn, CEO of The Galapagos Conservation Trust with the latest data on the islands' biodiversity and the impact the human species continues to have.

The Biology department leads a biennial expedition to Southern Africa. This overland expedition travels through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe and takes in the wonders of the Okavango Delta, the Magkadikadi salt pans, Chobe and Etosha National Parks, the Namib desert and the Victoria Falls. This life changing experience includes sky-diving, sand boarding, white water rafting, quad-biking on dunes as well as land, water, horseback and makoro safaris. The impact on pupils is a joy to behold.


  • Mr Paul Davies BSc MEd(Dip) - Head of Biology
  • Mr Denzil Fernandes BSc - Biology Teacher
  • Dr William Unsworth BSc PhD - Biology Teacher
  • Mrs Amanda Rawley-Kingston - Senior Science Technician
  • Ms Louise Campbell - Biology Technician



01223 508900

The Leys School