Explore Haileybury


“Set in 500 acres of woodland and fields, Haileybury is a superb place to study Biology. We offer newly-extended and refurbished laboratories, our own lecture theatre and the opportunity for pupils to attend leading lectures in London. As well as contributing to the Science House Challenge, we also enter the Biology Olympiad and Biology Challenges, both national competitions run by the Society of Biology.”

Richard Williams Head of Biology


Biology at Haileybury

As advances in our understanding of living systems continue at an ever-increasing rate, it is essential to convey an understanding of the principles of Biology.

We study the variety of life systems encountered, from Physiology and Biotechnology to Ecology and evolution, from plants and animals to bacteria and viruses, while also allowing pupils the opportunity to gain skills through practical investigation.


In the Removes, the pupils start on the Edexcel Biology IGCSE course, deciding in the Middles whether to sit the IGCSE Biology Exam as part of Triple Award Science or working towards a combined Double Science Award, also run by Edexcel.

In the Sixth Form S2 pupils can choose between IB Biology SL or HL, IB Environmental Systems and Societies or AQA A Level Biology which all explore the subjects studied broadly at IGCSE in greater depth.

For pupils studying for IB, we have in the past tackled a very wide range of investigations as part of their extended essays.

Recently, these have included topics such as the use of oregano and garlic as antibacterial agents, measuring the flow rate of milk and its effect on hydrolysis of lactose by immobilised lactase, studies into the reproductive cycles of locusts and the relationship of asthma to fitness.


Pupils are encouraged to keep up to date with the scientific advances in the modern world and are continually exposed to the history and challenges of the Life Sciences.

All age groups study in laboratories named after famous scientists, attend lectures in our own Science Lecture Theatre or gain experience by travelling down to London for lectures.

Recently pupils have had the opportunity to be part of lectures led by influential Professors including Jim Al-Khalili, Robert Winston, Roselind Eeles, Andrea Sella and Alice Roberts.

We also enter the Biology Olympiad and Biology Challenges, both national competitions run by the Society of Biology. 

Pupils are also encouraged to work as helpers within the department as part of their Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) Service commitments, tending to the needs of the flora and fauna in the department, trialling practicals, producing displays and collating resources.

At Haileybury, we are really fortunate in being able to study in over 500 acres of woodland and fields to get a hands-on experience of ecology just feet from the department door.

In addition to the on-site Biology experiences, all pupils studying the subject in Sixth Form experience the highlight of their course with a four-day Field Trip. Pupils travel down to Devon and Somerset to Nettlecombe Court Field Study Centre where they look at sand dune succession on Braunton Burrows, littoral populations on the rocky shores of Helwell Bay, freshwater sampling techniques and mark-release-recapture in Nettlecombe.

All pupils return with an extensive knowledge of ecological techniques and theoretical knowledge as well as an undeniable love of limpets!

Head of Department

Richard Williams grew up in North London, leaving Highgate School in 2000 having studied Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths. Qualifying from Bristol Medical School, he spent six years training as a doctor before joining the staff at Haileybury in 2007 to teach Biology as a primary subject, as well as Maths and Psychology.

Following his PGCE at Buckingham University in 2012, he became Head of Department in 2013. He has a particular interest in Human Physiology and Anatomy and is fascinated by new advances in Biotechnology. Richard is also an ex-international athlete (3000m Steeplechase and 10,000m); Sports Physiology and Pharmacodynamics form a large part of his reading.

Teaching staff

Richard's team at Haileybury includes:

Olivia Firek BSc PGCE HM Melvill; Jon Fuller BSc PGCE; Christopher Metcalfe MSc; Martin Metcalfe BSc PGCE; Ben Miller BSc PGCE; Anthoula Petrovic BSc PGCE; Victoria Turner BSc PGCE; Kay Mendlson Science Laboratory Technician; Gwynneth Norris Science Laboratory Technician.


To find out more about our recent Biology results, please click on the link below:

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