Alongside developing scientific knowledge, studying Biology cultivates a spectrum of transferable skills developed by studying Biology includes analysis, teamwork, manual dexterity, mathematics as well as independent and logical thinking skills.

The John Lyon curriculum encompasses the entire spectrum of biological systems, ranging from molecules to ecosystems. Across key stages, pupils delve into a variety of topics with increasing depth, covering areas such as Cells and Development, Genetics, Environment and Ecology, Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Neuroscience, and Plant and Agricultural Biosciences.

Students explore major global challenges, including food security, environmental management, human health, and biotechnology.

Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 | Core Subject

From Year 7, Biology, along with the other sciences is taught as a separate subject to all pupils.

In Year 9, preparation for IGCSE, begins and pupils will begin learning elements of that IGCSE course.

Year 10 and 11, IGCSE | Option Subject

For IGCSE, although Biology is an option subject, all pupils are strongly encouraged to continue their study of at least two of the three sciences.

The Biology IGCSE develops an appreciation for the significance of biological facts, concepts and principles alongside the skills needed for their application in an ever-changing world. Pupils develop excellent dexterity skills through accurate experimental readings. Analysing data allows pupils to draw apposite conclusions that they can compare to the theories studied. A strong understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of the latest scientific and technological developments is also nurtured with a critical eye to how these will influence social, environmental and economic issues.

– There are no specific academic requirements to study IGCSE Biology. The IGCSE material covered during Year 9 serves as the foundation for the rest of the course, and it is essential that pupils spend time consolidating this work before commencing Biology IGCSE in Year 10.

– Edexcel IGCSE 4BI1 Biology

Sixth Form, A-Level | Option Subject

A-Level Biology is both challenging and stimulating, appealing to the logical thinker. It helps students understand the biological advances and discoveries being made around us. Students of Biology will gain a range of practical skills and techniques that will give them a firm foundation in any Biology-related field they wish to pursue to degree level. There is assessed practical work, but no assessed coursework involved.

– Grade 7 at (I)GCSE Biology. Candidates should ideally be on track to achieve at least Grade 7 in Mathematics too.


– AQA A-Level 7402 Biology

John Lyon Success

– 44% of A-Level students gained A*-A grades.
– 58% of IGCSE pupils achieved a 9, 8 or 7 grade.
-Varun Valentine (OL2023) left John Lyon to read Medicine at Imperial College London.
-Anish Ardhanaraiswara (OL2023) left John Lyon to read Dentistry at King’s College London.
-Azmat Khokhar (OL2023) left John Lyon to read Medicine at Queen Mary University of London.
-Dhilan Bartlett (OL2023) left John Lyon to read Biomedical Science with an Industrial Placement at the University of Sheffield.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon’s programme of extra-curricular activities includes a number of options directly related to or complementary to Biology, such as Experimental Biology Club, Biomedical Society, Gardening, and Journal Club.

Academic enrichment opportunities include Biology Olympiads, essay competitions, and extended projects. The department frequently collaborates with the Excellence team to invite external speakers.

Beyond School

The Biology A-Level course is highly regarded by universities and employers as it equips its students with a logical mind and many transferable skills, including reasoning, problem-solving and research skills, alongside the ability to communicate clearly. The skills gained provide a firm grounding in any Biology related degree. Biology is required for studies in Natural Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacology, Veterinary Science, Botany, Zoology, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Genetics and other similar courses. This can open possibilities to work towards any biological or medical career such as Academic or Industrial Research, Pharmacy, Scientific Publishing, Public Health, and Wildlife Conservation. Many Biology graduate students also pursue careers outside of Biology in sectors such as Business, Marketing, Accountancy, Finance, Law, Computing, Media, Politics, and the Civil Service.