The challenging nature of biology helps develop enquiring minds and critical thinkers, highly valued by universities and employers in all fields.

At Denstone, the biology department shares a charming traditional building with chemistry and physics, and benefits from generous sized modern teaching laboratories with interactive whiteboards, video microscope, and a prep room with full time technician support. Teaching is dynamic and challenging and utilises modern techniques. The department is large and thriving, with 6 full time staff.

There are some important and topical issues encountered today relating to biology such as, how do we beat bacteria? Are GM crops safe? Is there a population problem? At Denstone College we prepare students to face the world with an understanding of the role played by science in answering these challenging dilemmas, and each of our specialist teachers place experimental work at the very heart of learning.  

First and Second Form students follow the AQA Activate scheme of work and have access to a wide range of resources via the online learning platform, Kerboodle.  Emphasis is placed on practical skills and we extend our students’ abilities by giving them the opportunity to apply and extend their knowledge.

Third Form and GCSE study focusses on how science continues to shape lives. Our GCSE curriculum looks closely at how biology influences everyday life and encourages students to apply this to real situations, bringing content to life. Students follow the AQA GCSE Biology or Trilogy curriculum, which is closely supported by our online platform, Kerboodle, helping to provide continuity from the First and Second Form.

A Level students follow the AQA specification and are again supported by Kerboodle. Experimental work is the mainstay of our teaching. Some of our practical equipment is for exclusive use by the Sixth Form including a PCR machine, gel electrophoresis and colorimeter, as well as a range of A Level standard light microscopes. Biology is a popular choice for A Level with a large proportion of pupils going on to study Biology or a related subject at university. We are extremely successful at placing Medics, Vets and Dentists and each year we run a series of mock vivas, working hard to prepare our students for the rigorous demands of university interviews.

The Biology Department has had success outside the classroom too, ranging from the Royal Society of Biology Poster and Essay Competition to the Biology Olympiad for Sixth Form, and the Biology Challenge for the Third and Fourth Form. We also encourage our students to broaden their horizons by taking them to a variety of stimulating lectures and seminars. Our younger students get involved in British Science Week and have even taken part in Citizen Science initiatives.


Further subject information can be found in the relevant school curriculum document on the Curriculum page.