Biology in Southend High School for Girls is woven into all aspects of their school life. Our goal is to inspire our students to not only tangibly live and breathe biology, but also to incorporate this into their metaphysical psyche. We wish to engender a desire to critically view all facets of the natural world, from the loss of biodiversity in the World’s jungles to the intricate workings of the human biome. Our intent is for our students to apply this knowledge to carve their own niche in an ever changing, competitive world, so they are at the forefront of these changes if not leaps and bounds ahead of it. Biology will have taken them from clinging, metaphorically, to the mast of apprehension, to standing in the crow’s nest of understanding, looking towards a bright and new horizon.
In the Biology Department, we embed an ethos that enables humanity to improve their lives and to understand the world around them in an individual and collaborative basis. Students should be enlightened to understand how, through the ideas of biology, the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world functions.
In Key Stage 3, we embark on an intrepid adventure to incrementally build on the prior building blocks of knowledge to understand the interrelationships connecting the micro to the biosphere.
As experienced Biologists embarking on Key Stage 4, students will utilise and refine their prior knowledge and skills within a spiralling curriculum whilst having the confidence to tackle novel concepts.
If students desire to pursue biology at A Level, we will continue to build on their secure foundation embedded within the previous key stages. They will have an opportunity to expand their vision by learning new biological processes such as the study of epigenetics, hereditary and advanced immunity.
We intend our students to leave SHSG with the ongoing thirst and enthusiasm that we have for our subject.
What does it feel like to be a student in the Biology Department?
According to a Year 9 pupil, studying biology at SHSG helps you “apply concepts that are learnt to better understand things in everyday life.”.
In lessons, you will be challenged to understand the micro, and this will put you in good stead to understand the macro. You will build on the theoretical concepts that you are learning in lessons through required and formative practicals. You will have support in the form of mentor-ship and open houses to help you achieve your potential.
At the end of lower school, your journey at SHSG would have taken you to looking at cells and understanding how they specialise to form organs. You will also appreciate the variety of life and the role of reproduction and interdependence in life.
At the end of GCSE, you will continue to build on the strong nucleus of information from lower school science. You will delve into the cell and begin to understand complex topics including Homeostasis and Protein Synthesis. You will also begin to use subject specific language and consider some ethical questions on the use of gene technology.
At the end of A Level, you will have understood the complexities of cellular processes such as Respiration and Photosynthesis; and have a deeper appreciation of the tireless and inspiring work of the scientists who traversed the narrow and difficult path of discovery before us.
In addition to the course, you will be challenged to participate in the Biology Challenge at lower and middle schools. The Biology Challenge stimulates curiosity for the natural world and encourages students to take an interest in biology outside of school. At A Level, you will be challenged to participate in the Biology Olympiad. This is an advanced problem-solving competition for A Level students and an entry point for the International Biology Olympiad.
Our students have entered universities and become professionals in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, laboratory science and education.