DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. Richard Dawkins. (1941–) English biologist and writer
…. from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.From The Origin of Species Charles Darwin (1809–1882) English naturalist and geologist
Biology is the study of life; it helps us to understand the world in which we live and reminds us about our interconnectedness with other living things. At Oakham, we aim to inspire a fascination with the natural world in all our pupils and help them to learn about the central role that Biology plays in our lives.
The Biology Department is a well-resourced and vibrant learning environment, from which our 9 experienced and enthusiastic biologists combine exciting teaching methods and academic rigour to teach our innovative courses.
In the Lower School, pupils follow Oakham's own Junior Science Programme, which includes all three pure Sciences weaved into one coherent course, delivered by a team of dedicated teaching staff and technicians.
In Forms 4 and 5 pupils study all three Sciences with subject specialists, following GCSE courses tailored to their needs.
In the Upper School, students can choose to study Biology at A-level or at Higher or Standard Level in the International Baccalaureate, with Environmental Systems and Societies a popular subject in a related field that is available at IB Standard Level.
Practical Biology lies at the heart of our teaching: Form 2 pupils have the chance to visit the annual Big Bang Fair; our popular Dissection and Anatomy Club is available to pupils in Forms 3–7, there are opportunities to study for the CREST Awards at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels (Forms 1–7); the Biology Challenge in Form 4 and the Biology Olympiad in Form 7.
All Upper School students are members of our vibrant Biology Society (BioSoc), which runs an extensive programme of guest nights and lecture visits. Students participate in an annual residential field course to Orielton in West Wales and there have been opportunities for fieldwork in international destinations such as Borneo.
For those students wishing to pursue Biology and related courses beyond Oakham, we run Further Biology classes, Doc Soc (for those interested in applying for Clinical Courses), and the IB Extended Essay and EPQ are supported by facilities in the Department.
I have been Head of Biology since September 2007. Before becoming a teacher I enjoyed a career as a postdoctoral research scientist for 13 years, working at Cornell University in the US, and later at Leicester University. I am currently an Upper School tutor and run the Anatomy and Dissection activity and Biology EPQ/CREST projects. I am proud to be called a science geek and am committed to convincing my students that Biology is a fantastic subject to study!