Headteacher’s Newsletter – Friday 1st December 2023
Biology is an exciting and popular subject at Tiffin School. The Biology team are all incredibly passionate about their subject and they all channel that passion into planning and delivering lessons that inspire and engage our students.
The work the students do in Year 8 builds on the science skills delivered in Year 7. GCSE begins in year 9 so in year 8 we make sure to cover anything in the National Curriculum that is not covered in Year 7 or GCSE. We also use year 8 to teach the foundations of the subject. Early understanding of topics such as cells and metabolism provide the basic knowledge that students need when entering GCSE Biology in Year 9. We also use Year 8 to teach students some important topics related to teenager development such as; puberty and reproduction, hygiene and healthy, balanced diets. Students will also spend a lot of their time in double lessons continuing to further their understanding of laboratory skills and of the scientific method that they will have begun in Year 7 Science.
At GCSE, we follow the GCSE Biology AQA specification. As a department, we look regularly at what other examination boards expect of students to make sure we are providing the best Teaching & Learning for our students. We begin teaching the GCSE content in Year 9 and delivery is spread over 3 years to allow for adequate time to investigate each topic to an appropriate level of detail. The Biology department at Tiffin, after many discussions, have decided to alter the order of the topics that we teach from the AQA specification to give students the best opportunity to understand later topics fully. All students, besides Computer Scientists, start on the separate science course where students will be rewarded with one GCSE grade per science (i.e. one for Biology, one for Chemistry and one for Physics). Computer scientists learn all three sciences (with slight reductions in the content they need to know) and are awarded with a separate Computer Science grade and a dual award for combined science (the equivalent of two GCSE grades). It should be noted that doing combined science in no way disadvantages students
when applying to study any of the sciences at A Level.