Biology is the science of life; therefore anyone interested in the world around them, or in themselves, will be interested in this subject.

Biology also lies at the heart of some of the most challenging problems facing us in modern life. For example, our ability to predict the consequences of climate change, control new and existing diseases, feed an increasing global population, manage threatened habitats, or make informed ethical decisions about genetically engineered crops or animal testing will all depend on our understanding of biological processes. Biology also informs us about what it means to be human: how we evolved, how we function as living organisms and why we behave as we do.

Years 7-9

Year 7 pupils follow a combined science course comprising aspects of all three sciences.

The Year 8 Biology course aims to deliver an understanding of how the human body works, focusing on three main systems (digestive, respiratory and immune). The areas of study chosen mean that there is a major emphasis on health and lifestyle choices (smoking, respiratory diseases, healthy diet, vaccinations).

The Biology Department offers a unique course to Year 9 pupils, which mainly focuses on Anthropology and Forensics. Pupils will develop an understanding of the evolution of humans and their place in the natural world using up-to-date knowledge of the most recent discoveries in the field. The Forensics part of the course will allow pupils to explore the intricacies of forensic zoology, entomology, botany and genetics.

GCSE course

The Biology GCSE course is based on the AQA specification comprising of three units (B1, B2 and B3) and a coursework component which is entirely carried out under exam conditions in school (two exam papers and a practical investigation) In Year 10 pupils learn aspects of Human Biology as well as Evolution and Environmental Biology.

In Year 11 the B2 module includes topics such as ecosystems, photosynthesis, inheritance and enzymes and the B3 Further Biology module covers topics such as transport systems, kidney, circulatory system, microbiology and aspects of biotechnology and sustainability.

A-Level course

See Sixth Form Curriculum here for details of our A-Level Biology course.

Outside the classroom

Dissection club: open to all students and lead by Miss Duignan with the support and help of our Sixth Form pupils - future medical and veterinary students.

Wildlife Photography club: open to all pupils to develop the skills needed to make the most of our natural world.

Biology Society: open to all Biology Sixth Form pupils and aimed at broadening pupils’ knowledge with the most up-to-date research in the field of Biological Sciences.

British Biology Olympiads club: open to Upper Sixth Form pupils who have been selected to enter this international Biology competition which takes place in February.

Biology Challenge: open to all Year 10 Triple students.

Mycology club: open to all KS3 and KS4 pupils combining art and fungi for the MISAC (Microbiology Advisory Committee) national competition which takes place in March.

Lunchtime revision sessions and tutorials are available for all year groups focusing on exam techniques.

Biology week: this is a national event taking place in October to celebrate Biology. Outside speakers and pupils from local schools are invited to join in the many events organised in the Department which culminate with the Biology Department Hull Cup.

Year 9 Human Biology Prize: this is presented on Speech Day in July and is awarded on the basis of academic achievement and a presentation on Anthropology, judged by a group of invited guests in the Library during Science Week in March.

HCS Wildlife Photographer of the Year: this competition includes 3 categories (KS3, KS4 and KS5) and takes place during Science Week (March).

Year 11 Biology Prize awarded to the top Biology Student of the Year.

Senior Biology Prize awarded to the top Year 13 Biology Student.


Year 8 Biology trip to Think Tank in Birmingham (Summer term).

Year 9 Biology trip ‘Darwin day’: A visit to The Museum of Natural History at Oxford University will allow pupils to improve their knowledge and understanding of evolution and Darwinism (Summer term).

Year 9 Biology trip Forensics at @ Bristol (Summer term).

Year 10 GCSE Science live lectures at Birmingham Symphony Hall (Spring term).

Year 12 and 13 Study day at Oxford University Museum of Natural History: this offers Sixth Form pupils a chance to listen to Oxford professors and lecturers on the most recent aspects of their research (December).

Year 12 & 13

Oncology Day at Oxford Oncology Research Centre (March).

Aspire to Medicine Conference Birmingham (March).

Biology Week lecture at Birmingham University (October).

Opwal research trip to Mexico or South Africa, working with University researchers gathering data on biodiversity (Summer Holiday).

Trip to Iceland looking at extremophiles, whale watching and northern lights (February).

A-Level Biology student
Biology student and teacher
Science students