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Sixth Form (Ages 16-18)


Biology is widely recognised by universities as a scientific subject requiring both intellectual and practical capabilities.

Dr Rebecca Stone

Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.

Prof. Stephen Hawking

Why Study Biology?

Have you ever wondered why you look like your parents, how medicines work, what DNA actually is, whether clones exist outside science fiction films, how your heart keeps you alive and why your urine is sometimes really, really yellow? 

The study of A-level biology gives you the answers to all these questions and many more. 

The course gives an exciting insight into the contemporary world of biology. It covers the key concepts of biology and practical skills are integrated throughout the course. This combination of academic challenge and practical focus makes the prospect of studying A-level biology highly appealing. The King’s College biology department is comprised of enthusiastic, dedicated specialists who are passionate about their subject and who enjoy both laboratory and field-based practical work. We are supported by an excellent and experienced technician.

The A-level course follows the OCR linear biology programme. There are no practical exams but a focus on practical skills which are tested in the terminal papers. This gives us the opportunity to complete numerous practicals lessons that sharpening our pupils' skills and understanding.

The specification is divided into six modules, covering the following topics:

  • Development of practical skills
  • Exchange and transport
  • Communications, homeostasis and energy
  • Foundations in biology
  • Biodiversity, evolution and disease
  • Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

Biology is an excellent basis for a university degree in healthcare, such as medicine, veterinary science or dentistry, as well as the biological sciences, such as biochemistry, molecular biology or forensic science. It can also complement sports science, psychology and sociology. A-level biology can open up a range of career opportunities including research, environmental studies, forensics, sports science and science communication. The transferable skills you will learn, for example, problem solving, are also useful for many other degrees, such as law.


Field Trips

Pupils have the opportunity to take part in the Biology Olympiad competition, Biology Society activities and visits to lectures. We run an annual field trip in the Lower Sixth to study the ecology of the Isles of Scilly and past, more adventurous experiences, have included conservation expeditions to places such as Honduras, South Africa and Mexico. 

During previous trips to the Isles of Scilly, students have carried out fieldwork projects that fulfil many of the practical endorsement requirements and cover the ecology sections of the A-level specification. Pupils also have the opportunity to snorkel with seals and take a boat trip to observe some of the rare and interesting birds that nest in the cliffs around the islands.

Emily Coombe

BA (Hons), MRes - Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Biology Teacher

Sam Florey

BSc (Hons) - University of Bath
Biology Teacher

Imogen Pardoe

BSc (Hons) - University of Plymouth
Biology Teacher

Rebecca Stone

BSc (Hons) - Bristol University / PhD - University of Birmingham
Head of Biology

Verity Tucker-Brown

BSc (Hons) - London South Bank University
Biology Teacher
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