Woolmer Biology

I love to teach Science because it gives the students the chance to learn about the world around them from a Physical, Chemical and Biological view whilst applying two key skills, problem solving and critical thinking. The awe and wonder it can bring, coupled with the range of theory and practical skills within each lesson mean that no two lessons are the same! Being able to catch a child’s imagination within lessons makes teaching science amazing!

Simon Harvey, Science Teacher Weydon School

What are students taught in Biology at secondary school level?

Biology KS4 (GCSE years)

  • Cell structure and transport

  • Cell division

  • Organisation and the digestive system

  • Organising animals and plants

  • Communicable diseases

  • Preventing and treating disease

  • Non-communicable diseases

  • Photosynthesis

  • Respiration 

  • The human nervous system 

  • Hormonal coordination

  • Homeostasis in action

  • Reproduction

  • Variation and evolution

  • Genetics and evolution

  • Adaptations, interdependence and competition 

  • Organising an ecosystem

  • Biodiversity and ecosystems


Biology teachers are often expected to teach across all Science specialisms at Key Stage 3 (Years 7 to 9):

Cells to Systems Particles and Solutions Forces
Reproduction Key chemistry and the periodic table Energy
Digestion and Circulation Chemical Reactions and Energetics Waves
Respiration, Inheritance and Selection Patterns of Reactivity and Materials Electricity and Magnetism
Ecology Environmental Chemistry Motions, Moments and Pressure

Plus How Science Works projects

How is Science taught?

Science classes are taught in a lab with a basic set of generic equipment such as goggles, clamp stands and Bunsen Burners as well as other teaching essentials such as a white board, an interactive board / projector.

Science is a practical subject, although certain specialisms have more practical content than others. 

Each department has Science Technicians who can provide support and offer advice for practical work as well as help coordinate individual practical lessons by supplying the specific equipment required. 

Health and Safety within a Science lab is key especially when conducting practical investigations.

What else should I be aware of regarding the teaching of Science?

Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Science Club: 

  • A lunch time club that students opt in to attend

  • A great way to enthuse students with practical investigations that are not included within the national curriculum. 

British Science Week:

  • Usually takes place in May and is a celebration of Science, Technology and Engineering.

  • Lessons are dedicated to the awe and wonder of Science.

  • Other activities and demos take place in between lesson time throughout            the week. 


What do students think about Science in secondary school?

On the whole, Science is a very well received and exciting subject for students, largely due to the practical element. Be aware though - practical investigations can become chaotic! 

Science, however, is a core subject; students cannot opt in. This can make it challenging to engage students who do not enjoy Science or feel they do not need to study Science. 

Colleges and Higher Education Institutions value Science, and studying Science is a gateway to many STEM careers, and many other careers will value the skills developed in and by the study of Science. 

What can I do to improve my substantive subject knowledge before I start training?

There is a plethora of online Science resources to help you improve your subject knowledge:


  • Individual exam board websites for specifications

  • BBC Bitesize

  • YouTube channel – freesciencelessons 

  • YouTube channel – fuseschool 


  • GCSE student textbooks – Oxford press

  • CGP Revision books 

Subject Knowledge Enhancement Programmes (SKE):

If you have a degree or A Level in Biology or the Sciences, but studied it a long time ago, or only have Science GCSEs, Subject Knowledge Enhancement courses enable you to build up and refresh your subject knowledge

  • Fully funded course

  • Completed before starting

  • Bespoke to you

  • Improve confidence

  • * Must be accepted onto a teacher training programme to access 

Completing a Science SKE in Biology will also give you access to the SKE materials for the other two sciences and Maths (for two years!).  

How will I improve my subject pedagogical knowledge during the training programme?

Subject Studies Programme will take place across six full days of the academic year. We will work to link your own subject knowledge to subject pedagogical knowledge by:

  • Reviewing common misconceptions amongst students within each Science.

  • Developing practical investigation skills within a classroom setting and how to safely lead a class practical.

  • Creating teaching resources to enhance the learning that takes place within the classroom.

  • Logging your development in a Subject Knowledge Audit document

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