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

Five experienced teachers and two technicians 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.



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

Year 9

Cell Structure and Microscopy; Cell Division; Osmosis, Diffusion and Active Transport; Digestive System; Circulatory System, Non-Communicable Disease; Plant Systems and Ecology.

Year 10

Photosynthesis; Respiration; Communicable Disease, Homeostasis, Nervous System and Hormonal System.

Year 11

Plant Hormones; Reproduction; Inheritance, Evolution, Genetic Engineering and Classification.


Assessment is linear with pupils taking two written papers, each with a 50% weighting. Both papers test each of the three assessment objectives (AOs):

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific techniques and

AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of: scientific ideas; scientific enquiry, techniques and

AO3: Analyse information and ideas to: interpret and evaluate; make judgements and draw
conclusions; develop and improve experimental procedures.

Pupils are required to complete 10 required Required Practicals as part of their assessment.


A Level

The department follows the OCR A H420 specification. There are six modules:

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in biology
Module 2 – Foundations in biology
Module 3 – Exchange and transport
Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease
Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy
Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

Part of the pupils’ assessment includes a Practical Endorsement. Pupils undertake 20 formal investigations in order to demonstrate the breadth of skills required to pass. Practical work includes live breeding experiments using Drosophila melanogaster as well as PCR and gel electrophoresis and part of a crime scene investigation.

We have long standing links with The Sanger Institute, world leaders in Genomics. The A Level curriculum is enriched and stretched through annual lectures and webinars on the genomics of diseases, the mechanics of gene sequencing as well as the extraordinary spectrum of potential applications genomics has.

The Biology department leads a biennial expedition to Southern Africa. This overland expedition travels through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia, taking in the wonders of the Okavango Delta, the Magkadikadi salt pans, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba. This life changing experience white water rafting, gorge swinging, rhino tracking as well as land, water, horseback and makoro safaris. The cultural, lingual, social and personal development is immeasurable. It is also an opportunity to support Mabvuku School in Harare.

  • Mr Paul Davies – Head of Biology
  • Mr Denzil Fernandes
  • Mrs Sarah Tong
  • Dr William Unsworth
  • Mr Oliver Peck
  • Miss Agata Markowicz – Biology Technician
  • Miss Agnieszka Kaminska – Assistant Technician

Discover more at The Leys

Academic Overview

A Leys Education is one which is built firmly on three main foundations; Academic, Pastoral and Wider Curriculum.

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Curriculum Information

An overview of the curriculum taught at The Leys.

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Teaching and Learning

We are fortunate at The Leys to have a thriving and diverse Academic Enrichment programme which is growing and developing all the time.

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