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 our bespoke programme of study, 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 2018, 68% of candidates achieved A* grades, while at A Level in 2018 30% of candidates obtained an A* grade and 92% of candidates obtained an A* to B. 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 2018 20 students went on to study Biology based courses, 3 of whom secured places at Oxford or Cambridge. A further 9 students began courses in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences.
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 Sixth Form talks series TSI Friday, Biology book club and a fortnightly journal discussion group. We run several trips each year, this year going to the Natural History Museum for a ‘behind the scenes tour’ of the Spirit Collection and Nettlecombe Court on the eastern edge of Exmoor National Park to conduct a range of ecological investigations. We have visited London for specialist lectures as well as welcoming speakers to Reigate Grammar School, highlights including: a visit from Animazing where students 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 both within and beyond the classroom, with national success in a range of competitions including observational drawing, essays, the Biology Challenge and the British Biology Olympiad. In a typical year 15 students will achieve Biology Olympiad medals and in 2014 one of our students represented the UK at the International Biology Olympiad in Denmark.
A-Level: Edexcel (Biology B) for Upper Sixth; AQA for Lower Sixth
Course Summary and Specifications
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