We are a forward looking and lively department with a strong academic tradition. 

Biology is taught as a separate subject to all pupils from Year 9 to Year 11 and in Years 12 and 13 for those who wish to further their study. At the end of Year 9, students choose either Biology (as part of a “triple science” IGCSE package) or "double science"). A substantial proportion of students study Biology at A level.

AT IGCSE we follow the Edexcel IGCSE Biology, Double and Single Award Science specifications. We begin the IGCSE courses in Year 9 and this gives us considerable flexibility of approach allowing extension of the narrow confines of the current IGCSE specification where appropriate, for example stretching the gifted and talented.

At A level we follow the Edexcel A level Biology Specification A (Salters Nuffield – context led).


Years 10 & 11

Most students at Ampleforth follow the Edexcel IGCSE Biology Specification. Approximately 45% of students in Years 10 and 11 take IGCSE Biology  (alongside Chemistry and Physics) leading to three IGCSE’s while the remainder follow a programme leading to two IGCSEs in Science (Double Award).

The Specification and past papers are available at: 


Some students will opt to take Single Award Science (at the end of year 10) and this will lead to a single IGCSE Science grade. The Single Science option examines less content and is examined in shorter, more straightforward papers.

The specification and past papers are available at: