Our aim is to enable each pupil to fulfill his potential, whether he is studying the subject as a fifth AS or is intending to follow a career in Biology. The emphasis is on making learning enjoyable and exciting. Just as the biological sciences are presently progressing rapidly in the wider world, our course at Queen Elizabeth's School is moving forward apace, with new developments that include the introduction of cutting-edge practical work, such as DNA gel electrophoresis and making transgenic bacteria.
We foster independent study, sound scientific methodology and proficiency in the use of IT, as well as developing confidence and skills in practical and field work. In-depth discussion is very definitely encouraged: we aim to nurture enquiring minds, empowering boys with a solid foundation of biological principles that will act as a spring board for those who wish to develop their interest in Biology after leaving QE.
Each year, a number of boys in Year 13 are selected to take the Advanced Extension Award in Biology.
There are many valuable extra-curricular activities for our biologists. Year 12 boys visit the National Institute for Medical Research to hear lectures on recent developments in medical research, and QE has a successful record in the Human Biology essay competition run by the NIMR. Boys also apply to the NIMR for Nuffield bursary projects during their summer holidays, giving them the opportunity to do ground-breaking research with PhD scientists. Recent projects have included 'Investigating the roles of hhex gene and proxi gene in liver formation' and 'Cloning genes for inositol polyphosphate kinase using PCR'.
Year 13 boys take part annually in the prestigious Biology Olympiad examination organised by the Institute of Biology, where they regularly win gold and silver medals.
Our biennial Biology expedition offers pupils a combination of exceptional educational opportunity and some unforgettable experiences. On a recent expedition to the Cusuco National Park in Honduras, central America, QE pupils took part in the biggest rainforest structure survey in the world, sleeping in hammocks in primary forest. They spent the second week on Utila island in the Caribbean, where they achieved their PADI open-water diver certification and participated in a coral-reef ecology course.