Biology forms part of the compulsory science curriculum at GCSE, and students in years 9 to 11 follow the AQA science specification. Students complete ‘core’ and ‘additional’ biology courses, supported by a ‘how science works’ element of their learning. Topics followed include Keeping Healthy, Nerves and Hormones and Interdependence and Adaptations. Extra activities are held during the year. Assessment is through internal tests, external unit exams and ISAs: in addition, students are judged on their practical skills. The students carry out experiments including measuring breathing rates and volumes, studying effects of antibiotics and making yoghurt. Biology forms an important component of the double award Science GCSE: many students will be permitted to study for a separate Biology GCSE.