The IGCSE Biology course gives students an excellent understanding of biological facts, concepts and principles. We aim to sustain and develop an enjoyment of, and interest in, the study of living organisms. In addition, the processes involved in the scientific method are taught and assessed.

Both components give students an excellent foundation for A Level Biology. We are keen to stretch and challenge our students during their time studying Biology. We aim to foster their ability for students to think for themselves so that they are more able to tackle the applied nature of the examination questions and become good scientists. The teaching of theory is frequently complemented with carrying out practical experiments. Here students can hone their practical skills and gain practice in considering how experiments need to be conducted. The course also enables students to evaluate and the benefits and drawbacks of modern scientific developments in Biology.

In IGCSE Biology topics studied include the Nature and Variety of Living Organisms, Structures and Functions in Living Organisms, Reproduction and Inheritance, Ecology and the Environment, and the Use of Biological Resources.

We believe that this framework provides our students with a challenging and inspiring course which will provide them with an informed interest in matters of biological importance and also act as a springboard should they wish to continue with their studies to A Level.


Biology is the study of living organisms and their environments. During the last century our knowledge of Biology has expanded at a staggering rate, and we now take for granted many of the greatest advances in Biology and medicine, which have improved our health and general lifestyle. The biological sciences are the most diverse of subjects – from molecular Biology to the biosphere.

A qualification in Biology equips you with key skills: literacy, numeracy, social awareness, and an ability to make connections between natural, social, economic, political and technological fields.

Biology is a strong and popular subject at Eltham College with many students choosing to follow Biology-related degrees.

The department aims:

  • To provide Biology teaching of the highest quality in an environment that encourages a high quality of learning, good relationships and scientific integrity.
  • To engage, motivate and challenge all students and to develop an interest in and enjoyment of the study of living organisms.
  • To encourage the spirit of enquiry and tolerance of others’ views.
  • To encourage an attitude of curiosity and scientific enquiry and to give a variety and range of work for learning and understanding biological principles.

We do this by delivering lessons which maintain a balance between biological theory, demonstration and students’ experimental work.


Year 7 and 8

In Year 7 and 8, students have two lessons per week of Biology and one piece of homework will be set. Students will study a variety of topics including:

Year 7 Year 8
Cells Movement
Soil Understanding Experiments
Reproduction From Food to Cells
Diet and Digestion Blood and Circulation
Variation Microorganisms

We provide students with a textbook and folders.



Biology is a core subject. We begin teaching the Edexcel International GCSE in Year 9.

At GCSE, students have three lessons of Biology per week in Year 9 followed by four per week in Years 10 and 11 and one piece of homework will be set each week. Full details can be found in the specification but topics include:

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
The Nature and Variety of Living Organisms Cell Structure and Movement In and Out of Cells Respiration and Gas Exchange
Photosynthesis Excretion Transport in Humans
Nutrition in Humans Human Co-ordination and Response, Homeostasis Cell Division and Inheritance
Food Production Plant Co-ordination and Response Human Reproduction
Ecology and the Environment Plant Transport Cloning and Selective Breeding
The Nervous System Genetic Modification
Reproduction in Plants Food and Energy
Cycles within Ecosystems

All students will begin their GCSE Science courses in Year 9, following the Edexcel International GCSE syllabus for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. When classes have completed the majority of each course, and following their mock examinations in January of Year 11, the option remains for some to follow the Dual Award syllabus to completion. This is the normal course for most in the UK, where they will be assessed on approximately two thirds of each separate science course, learned so far, leading to two GCSE combined science grades rather three separate science grades. This system provides the best opportunity for each student to show their ability and develop their skills through Years 9 to 11, yet sufficient time to prepare for the appropriate examinations that will allow them to achieve their best possible grade outcomes.

The course is examined by one 2 hour and one 1 hour 15 minute exams at the end of Year 11.

Trips, Activities and Clubs Gallery
  • Mr H Sleath BSc (Head of Biology)
  • Mrs N Colwell BSc
  • Mr S Marlow BSc
  • Mr A Merrett BSc
  • Mrs J Perry BSc
  • Mrs J Ferigan (Biology Technician)
  • Mrs O Wansbury (Biology Technician)


School News

The latest leg of the Hans Woyda Mathematics Competition concluded on Wednesday with an impressive showcase of mathematical skills at St Dunstan’s College.
Last evening marked a significant milestone for the Eltham College Hans Woyda Team as they took the stage for their eagerly anticipated second league match of the academic year.
For our first ‘Meet The Teacher’ interview this academic year, we are diving into the world of mathematics to introduce André Astbury-Palmer, our new Maths Teacher at Eltham College.
Our Head of Junior School at Eltham College, Vikki Meier, shares her insights on the important decision of choosing the right school for your child.
On Sunday, our Chess team travelled to Eton to participate in the National Schools Rapid Play competition.