The Society of Biology have introduced the first ever Biology week, taking place on the 13-19th October.
To celebrate this fantastic event the Biology department have organised an array of exciting activities for students to take part in…
Biology week activities
Monday 15th October; Wildlife photography presentations
A selection of students will be presenting their wildlife photographs in chapel. These amazing photographs are not to be missed! If you fancy yourself as a budding photographer come along and join them in wildlife photography club, Monday at 1.20 in GDL.
Tuesday 16th; David Faulkner
David Faulkner will be in school to discuss his role in the conservation of the Orangutan habitat in the Sepilok Orangutan sanctuary in Sarawak, Borneo.
DISSECTION CLUB of whole rats and frogs at 1.20 pm in CDL with Miss Duignan (all welcome).
Thursday 18th; Dr. Eleanor Weston
Dr. Eleanor Weston, palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum, London, will be in school to discuss the psychology of social perception and attraction. Students and parents are invited to hear her talk to the Cantilupe society at 4pm in the library. Not to be missed!
Lecture on the Galapagos Islands by Norma Broadbridge MBE - University of Birmingham 7.30 pm (Upper Sixth Biology students)
For more information on the events happening around the country during Biology week go on www.societyofbiology.org
Biology clubs and activities
· Mrs. Segalini-Bower will be running a micology club at 1.30 in KLL. This club will be working to produce an entry for the MiSAC annual competition. Each year’s topic is linked to the National Curriculum. Special sponsorship provides money prizes totalling £1,000 for students and their schools. Each student entrant receives a certificate and their school some microbiology teaching materials.
o To see previous entry’s follow the link below;
· Miss. Duignan will be helping students to further their anatomical knowledge of a range of organisms in dissection club!
o Feel free to come along and learn about the function of many different organs and organisms – you will even have your own organs to dissect!
The society of Biology introduces the British Biology Olympiad. An annual competition aimed at stretching the knowledge of gifted and talented A-Level students.
In preparation for this exam students are invited to attend the Biology Olympiad club at 4pm in the Library every Wednesday.
· Wildlife photography competition
If you feel you are a budding photographer, and want to improve your photography skills, come along to KLL at 1.20 on Friday to pick up photography tips!
SIXTH FORM BIOLOGY NEWS
Biology recommended books for summer of L6 into U6
Biology is rapidly developing field of research. There have been huge advances in our understanding of gene activation and the effect of this on key physiological processes. Cancer research is continuously gathering new information on the role played by different biochemical processes in the development of different forms of cancer. The impact of epigenetics on our metabolic pathways and on the possibility of developing autoimmune conditions, as well as on our potential to exploit our brain capacity, is also an extremely exciting field of Biology. Developmental Biology is allowing us to gain a better understanding of cell differentiation and this has great implications in stem cell research. The advances are being continually reported in the better quality press and you should read a newspaper on a daily basis (or use the Internet version). As a developing scientist, however, you should read your areas of interests at a greater depth. This means that you should try and read appropriate articles in the general scientific literature such as New Scientist and Scientific American. Nature and Science offer a much more in depth scientific approach to new research and they are extremely well written, although much more technical.
An excellent biologically specific magazine aimed at A Level Biology students is the Biological Sciences Reviews. This contains relevant articles which relate to the specification and are written by experts in a clear and concise manner at a level understandable for your age group.
There is a whole range of incredibly well written books on Biology. The list could be updated daily, as this is the fastest moving of all sciences. A few of the world’s most renowned authors include Steve J Gould whose books of collected essays have become scientific classics. Currently in the UK Steven Jones and Richard Dawkins have become famous for their excellent and understandable books on genetics and evolution. Christopher Lloyd (who visited our school and gave lectures to our students during Science week in March 2012) has written an excellent book on evolution called ‘What on Earth evolved’, selecting some of the key species that have allowed for life to form and evolve on Earth. There are other fields of Biology that might interest you, such as ethology (the study of animal behaviour), as well as anthropology. Of course the whole of Biology is only understandable in the context of Darwinism. It is the paradigm that holds Biology together as a science. Anyone who wants to be a biologist must have read ‘On the Origin of Species’.
Steven J Gould ‘Wonderful life’ ‘Panda’s thumb’ ‘Bully for Brontosaurus’
Steven Jones ‘Darwin’s Island’ ‘Y: the Descent of Man' ‘Almost like a Whale’
Richard Dawkins ‘ The Blind Watchmaker' ‘ River out of Eden’ ‘Climbing Mount Improbable’
Konrad Lorez (ethology) ‘ King Solomon’s Ring’ ‘On aggression’
Niko Tinmbergen (ethology) ‘Curious Naturalists’
Alice Roberts (anthropology) ‘The incredible Human Journey’
Donal Johanson (anthropology) ‘ Lucy: the beginning of Humankind’
Ben Goldacre ‘Bad Science’
Peter Pringle ‘Experiment Eleven’ ( on the discovery of streptomycin)
E O Wilson (sociobiology) ‘Anthill’ ‘The Social conquest of Earth’
Simon Conway Morris ‘Life’s solution’
Rachel Carson ‘ Silent Spring’ (on bioaccumulation)
Christopher Lloyd ‘What on Earth evolved?’
AS and A2 Biology lecture
Oxford University Museum of Natural History - Wednesaday 5th December 2012
Twenty four AS Biology students had the opportunity of listening to University lecturers all based at Oxford University in the great frame of Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Each professor covered aspects of the AS Biology syllabus, extending and stretching students’ knowledge and understanding by sharing with our students the latest developments in the field of research related to each topic.
In the first lecture Dr Mark Fricker from the Department of Plant Sciences showed how the use of technology and microscopy has improved our understanding of some key cytological processes, including muscle contraction.
Professor Liam Dolan from the same Department, proceeded to give an amazingly detailed account of the evolution of terrestrial eukaryotic plant cells by means of several incredible mechanisms, one of which (TIC/TOC proteins) was based on the theory of endosymbiosis.
Dr Ashley Griffin looked incredibly young to have already completed a couple of PhDs. She is a researcher in the Department of Zoology and her detailed description of the mechanisms of cooperation and conflict between bacteria colonising an agar plate was truly fascinating.
The introduction to the afternoon museum based activities, was by an oncologist who used Lego men to describe the biological principles behind carcinogenic cells.
All speakers were extremely passionate about their field of research and managed to convey great enthusiasm to all students.
The architecture of the Museum itself is simply exquisite, and we left feeling inspired and privileged to have had the opportunity of appreciating once more what a wonderful science Biology is!
AS Biology Fieldtrip
Slapton Ley, South Devon - Friday 12th April to Monday 15th April 2012
Departing St Peter's Square on Friday12th April at 12 noon Cost: £ 25 per student
This residential 4 days trip covered the Ecological aspects of the syllabus (F212). Students worked extremely hard to complete Qualitative, Quantitative adn Evaluative tasks. The weather was extremely kind to us and a small group of students enjoyed an early morning run and walks every day before the enormous English breakfast. Shingle ridge ecology proved challenging in the wind, but the views of the sea and the Devon Coastline were simply stunning, especially during the magnificient sunrise on the last day.
British Biology Olympiads 2012
The BBO is designed to stimulate and challenge our most gifted Biology Sixth Form students to extend their knowledge and to demonstrate their talent.
This is an international competition which is rewarded with medals, certificates and other prizes.
The group of 8 students enetered by the Biology Department met weekly on Wednesday after school in the Library to read the most recent research in Biology from Nature, Science and Scientific American and discuss some of the key ethical aspects of stem cell research, in preparation of the BBO.
An excellent result from Emma Leeman who achieved a high gold and was invited to take part in the second round. Unfortunately Emma will be busy during the April Easter holiday and will be unable to attend the finals.
Charlie Orr and Charlie Scotcher achieved a Highly Commended certificate and George Rowberry achieved a Commended certificate.
For more information please visit: http://www.biology-olympiad.org.uk
High-fliers in the 2012 BBO:
Around 3000 students took part nationwide and only 5% of them achieved a gold medal. One of them is Emma Leeman. Her score was so high that she was invited to enter the second round to be selected for the International Olympiads in Singapore. Unfortunately Emma will be in Malawi during the International Olympiads so she could not continue with the selection process. However, we are so impressed with her amazing biological knowledge!
Emma will be invited to collect her medal at the end of June in London from Professor Steve Jones.
Charlie Scotcher and Charlie Orr achieved a excellent scores and were HIGHLY COMMENDED
George Rowberry was COMMENDED for a very good overall result
Year 9 Peter Prior Biology presentations
During Science week a small group of 5 Year 9 students took part in a presentation in front of a selected audience on one of the key aspects of Human evolution.
This project (as well as academic achievement) will be used by the Biology Department to award the Year 9 Human Biology Prize.
The research and presentation skills demonstrated by all students were outstanding and the quality of the work produced was truly impressive.
Only one of the candidates will be awarded the Human Biology Prize on Speech day.
Year 10 Biology lecture
Birmingham Symphony Hall -Monday 28th January 2013 -
Departing St Peter's Square at 8.15 am. Cost: £ 25 per student
All Year 10 Biology students will have the opportunity to listen to eminent speakers such as Professor Lord Robert Winston and Professor Steve Jones on topics such as genetics and fertility treatments. This should allow students to understand the various applications of Biology to everyday life.
Biology Challenge 2011-2012 for Year 9 and Year 10 students
This is a competition organised by the British Biology Olympiad for the best and most motivated biologists amongst Year 9 and Year 10 students, to stretch their knowledge and understanding and to test their enthusiasm for Biology. Students compete with other students from British schools and are issued with Gold, Silver or Bronze Awards.
If you would like to take part in this competition please see Mrs Segalini-Bower in Konrad Lorenz Lab by the end of Novmeber.
For more information please visit: http://www.biology-olympiad.org.uk
Year 9 Biology lecture
Oxford University Museum of Natural History - Monday 3rd December 2012
Departing St Peter's Square at 7.30 am. Cost: £ 10 per student
This is becoming a 'classic' trip for HCS Year 9 students. The lecture in the University Theatre about Darwinism is inspirational and the various activities about evolution around the museum have been extremely informative and enjoyable. This trip has proven to be an extremely successful day for our students.
HCS WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION 2012
Many photographs were submitted in the three categories: KS3 (Y7 to Y9), KS4 (Y10 and Y11) and KS5 (Y12 and 13).
We were incredibly impressed with the quality of the pictures and the talent shown by the photographers.
Judging took place during Science week and the winners are:
KS3: ANNA SWEETMAN
KS4: ALEX QUAN
KS5: HATTIE EDWARDS
KS5: HIGHLY COMMENDED ASIF HAIDER
The Biology department would like to thank Asif in particular for his inspirational work which has been displayed over the past 2 months.
Biology Key dates 2012-13
Year 9 Darwin day at Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Year 12 and 13 Biology lecture to Oxford Museum of Natural History
- January 9th 2013 Wed am– F211 (AS Biology retakes for Year 13)
· January 11th 2013 Friday pm – F214 (A2 Biology for Year 13)
· January 15th 2013 Tuesday pm– F212 (AS Biology retakes)
· January 21st 2013 Monday am – F215 (A2 Biology retake)
January 28th 2013
Year 10 lecture at Birmingham Symphony Hall
- January 28th 2013 Monday am– B1 AQA GCSE Biology retakes (Y11)
- April 12th to 15th 2013
Year 12 AS Biology fieldtrip residential to Slapton Ley Field Study Centre, South Devon
- May 14th 2013 Tuesday am – B2 and B3 AQA GCSE for Year 11
- May 21st 2013 Tuesday pm- F211 OCR for Year 12
- June 3rd 2013 Monday pm – F212 OCR for year 12
- June 5th 2013 Wednesday am– B1 AQA GCSE Biology for Year 10
- June 11th 2013 Tuesday am – F215 OCR for Year 13(A2 Biology)
- June 17th 2013 Monday pm– F214 OCR for Year 13(A2 Biology retakes)