The sciences are amongst the most popular and successful subjects at Reigate Grammar School.
All students study Biology, Physics and Chemistry up to the end of the Fifth Form (Year 11) and large numbers continue at least one of these to A Level. The sciences are also well represented in the courses students choose to follow at university: last year nearly a quarter of our Upper Sixth leavers went on to study the sciences, engineering and medicine.
All pupils in the First and Second Forms (Years 7 and 8) are taught general science using ‘Thinking Science’ material with an emphasis on the acquisition of relevant skills. In the Upper School we follow the Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) course. All three sciences are available at A Level, either together or in combination with a wide range of other subjects.
Biology at RGS
Biology is a popular subject throughout the school, with four or five sets in each year of A Level study. Results in recent years have been very good: at separate award IGCSE in 2016, 94% of candidates achieved A* or A grades, while at A Level in 2016 76% of candidates obtained an A* or A grade. Many students go on to study related subjects at university and we have had particular success in recent years with applications to medical schools and for Natural Sciences. In 2014, 38 students went on to study Science based courses, 10 of whom secured places at Oxford or Cambridge.
We have a strong emphasis on offering a range of enrichment opportunities including: annual celebrations of Biology Week and Science Week; support completing CREST Awards, a Biology book club and a fortnightly journal discussion group, Biology Breakfast. We run several trips each year, this year going to the Natural History Museum for a ‘behind the scenes tour’ of the Spirit Collection, Nettlecombe Court on the eastern edge of Exmoor National Park, Wakehurst Place to see the Millennium Seed Bank and the more adventurous join forces with the geographers to travel to Belize which is often described as the trip of a lifetime. We have visited London for specialist lectures as well as welcoming speakers to Reigate Grammar School, highlights including: a visit from Animazing where students and learn about a menagerie of exotic animals, an engrossing talk about Ophthalmic Surgery which included a pig head dissection and an illuminating lecture on the discovery and development of medicines. We are a friendly department in which our pupils thrive and their ‘have a go’ attitude breeds success beyond the classroom, with national success in competitions ranging from observational drawing, to essays, to the Biology Challenge and Olympiad. In 2015, 13 students achieved Biology Olympiad medals, with one coming in to top four of Gold medallists and representing the UK team in the International Biology Olympiad in Denmark.
A-Level: Edexcel (Biology B)
Course Summary and Specifications
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