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Mrs S A Simms BSc PGCE (Head of Department)

Mrs E Bowen MEd BSc PGCE PQH

Mrs B McKeeman BSc PGCE

Mr P Baxter BSc BAgr PGCE

Technical Support - Mrs R McCullough


Biology is an important subject that is frequently featured in the news and media. Gene cloning, threats to conservation, biodiversity and our landscape and new advances in medical treatment are just a few of the issues which are current news headlines.

In Biology, we learn about the fascinating human body and how all its organ systems function. We study and carry out research on global issues of pollution and conservation, as well as learning about plants and why they are so important to the world around us.

Biology at Carrickfergus Grammar School

Biology at CGS is taught by specialists in three dedicated labs, a tutorial room and the extensive school grounds. In addition to room-based lessons we make as much use of the surrounding meadows, hedgerows and playing
fields for environmental studies as time (and weather) will permit.

The Biology teachers have a great enthusiasm for their subject and seek to share this with all students. We each teach all the year groups using a variety of teaching methods; group work; individual pupil tasks; practical work; teacher demonstrations; PowerPoint; question and answer sessions; creative tasks and much more.

Key Stage 3

We follow the NI Curriculum and cover topics:
- Cells
- Reproduction
- Diet and Digestion
- Breathing and the Respiratory System
- The Skeletal System
- The Nervous System
- The Circulatory System
- Plant Biology
- Genetics


Students will follow the CCEA specification and will sit Unit 1 in the Summer of year 11 and Unit 2 in the Summer of Year 12. Unit 3 Practical skills (controlled assessment) will be carried out in the Spring/Summer term of Year 11.
Unit 1: Cells, Living Processes and Biodiversity
Unit 2: Body Systems, Genetics, Micro-organisms and Health.
Unit 3: Practical Skills


Students require at least B grade in GCSE Biology and preferably have studied GCSE Chemistry in order to study A level Biology. Biology is one of the most popular A-level courses with a very high uptake. Students follow CCEA Biology which is designed to promote continuity, coherence and progression within the study of Biology. A-level combines topics from diverse disciplines such as Biochemistry, Botany, Ecology, Zoology, Cells, Physiology and Immunology. This gives the student a broad but in-depth knowledge and flavour of the biological subjects which can be studied at a higher level.

AS and A2 Level Course Specification
Examining Board : CCEA Length of Course: 1-2 years

This Biology specification enables pupils to study living organisms, including their structure, functioning, origin, evolution, classification, interrelationships and distribution. Pupils will also address the spiritual, moral, ethical, environmental, social and cultural issues which arise from this study and which are met in certain parts of the specification.

Pupils will develop skills in investigational and practical problem solving, in application of number, in team work, in interpreting data, in using ICT and in communication

This subject allows pupils to obtain a prerequisite qualification to gain entry to Higher Education in the field of Biology, or prepare for direct employment in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, communication, education etc.

AS Unit 1: Molecules and Cells
AS Unit 2: Organisms and Biodiversity
AS Unit 3: Assessment of Practical Skills in Biology

A2 Unit 1: Physiology and Ecosystems
A2 Unit 2: Biochemistry, Genetics and Evolutionary Trends
A2 Unit 3: Assessment of Investigational and Practical Skills in Biology

More details of the GCSE and A-level courses can be found at

Careers options
Biology is the gateway to a host of career options:

Medicine, Physiotherapy, Research Scientists, Veterinary Medicine, teachers, nurses and midwives, dentists, dieticians, forensic science, medical laboratory work, Pharmaceuticals, development of new drugs, agriculture, journalism, nature conservation and many more!!

It is relevant not only in the fields of science, engineering and medicine, but also to areas of commerce and the public service in which problem-solving and practical skills are valued.

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