Biology is the most popular science studied at Sutton Valence; it is the opening to many careers from medicine to conservation, alongside many other fields that offer the opportunity to change the future.

Biology is the study of the natural world around us, from the largest of mammals, all the way down to our very own microscopic DNA. It is a fascinating subject that allows us to understand how living organisms function, from a molecular, to cellular, to multicellular level, including the intricate and mind-blowing structure of the incredible human machine. Biology involves both studying the past, through the stages of evolution, and the future, in the form of potentially life-changing advances in modern day medicine; it shows us the links, and furthermore, the very delicate relationships that exist between the millions of different species inhabiting our planet, and furthermore, how we can preserve them; it challenges us logically through facts and figures, whilst also challenging our morality; Biology is without doubt, a subject that will never cease to amaze.                                     

To succeed in this subject, it is important that a pupil has:

  • A keen and inquisitive mind;
  • Intrinsic motivation and willingness to read around and ahead of topics covered in class;
  • An interest and understanding of the natural world;
  • An ability to rapidly adopt high-level concepts;
  • Ability to work scientifically by writing methods, drawing graphs and analysing and evaluating data.

Junior Curriculum

Biology is taught as a separate subject at junior level. As with the other Sciences, there is an emphasis on skills and how science works. The topics that are covered include:  cells, tissues and organs, nutrition, breathing and respiration, plant reproduction, sexual reproduction, and health and disease.

Third Form

The Third Form begin the year with the Discovery Term which enables them to study some interesting and exciting Biology topics that are not included in the GCSE curriculum, but which will further their enthusiasm and passion for the subject. These include the topics of sexual reproduction, health and diet, and disease. Whilst capturing the imagination of the Third Form, this introductory term also aims to develop some of the key practical skills that are required at GCSE, from writing methods, to drawing graphs, to completing mathematical calculations. The Third Form then begin the GCSE syllabus in January.


Board: Edexcel
Examination: 100%

The key topics that will be covered over the two-year course include: key concepts in biology; cells and control; genetics; natural selection and genetic modification; health, disease and the development of medicines; plant structures and their functions; animal coordination, control and homeostasis; exchange and transport in animals; ecosystems and material cycles.

A Level

Board: OCR Biology A
Examination: 100%

The aims of the A Level specification are to encourage candidates to develop their interest in and enthusiasm for Biology, including developing an interest in further study and careers in Biology. They are encouraged to appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society; develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works; develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of Biology and how they relate to each other. Students develop abilities in experimental work as well as in other transferable skills.


Biology department staff

Miss Zoe Radford holds a BSc (Hons) Zoology degree from Swansea University and a Biology PGCE certificate.

Mr Andrew Hammersley holds a BSc (Hons) Biology degree from Hull University.

Miss Eleanor Oliver holds a BSc (Hons) Zoology degree from Bangor University.


Miss Zoe Radford
Head of Department

Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


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