What is life? How do organisms survive at the molecular, cellular, and anatomical levels? How do they interact with one another? What evolutionary processes may result in a new species arising from an existing one? These questions are important and studying biology is about understanding the answers.

The world is facing many challenges: there is a growing human population increasing the demand for food, much of the natural world is in danger of being destroyed by human activity and the world’s population is aging with significant effects on brain function. These are a few examples of why the world needs biologists, now, more than ever. 

The aim of the department is to allow students to be curious about the natural world around them. There is an emphasis on developing skills, confidence in the laboratory and a love of the subject. Enhancement and extension activities are provided for students of all ages and are used to boost their understanding of how biology interacts with the other STEM subjects. 

Studying Biology opens doors to a myriad of career options. These include pathways that have the potential to advance the state of life, through medicine, research, exploration or conservation and new interdisciplinary careers such as in the areas of biotechnology, bioinformatics and biomedical engineering. 

Whether understanding key ideas in genetics, knowing how the human body works or why palm oil production destroys ecosystems, Biology sparks the imagination. 

Beyond the classroom

Enhancement and extension activities are provided for girls of all ages including: Biology club for Upper III and Lower IV, Biology Challenge competition for Lower V (Year 10), Biology Olympiad competition for Upper VI, CREST awards, recommended reading lists, a weekly update of upcoming television programmes and the opportunity to attend lectures on advanced biological research including the annual Mrs Jo Trott Memorial Lecture by visiting scientists.

Welcome from Head of Department – Manal Spencer

Biology at the Abbey through the eyes of our students: