Updated: Wed 14 Mar 2012
Biology is the science of life, and lies at the heart of major social problems that face the human race. Biology helps us to ask and answer important questions about ourselves: how we evolved, how we impact on our environment. It also engenders a respect for, and fascination with, the wider natural world. As such, it is a subject of interest to everyone, whether or not they consider themselves a natural scientist. Biology is a modern science; as we venture further into the 21st century, our body of biological knowledge is expanding at a rapid pace, and the technologies used are developing in line with this.
Biology, like all sciences at Whitgift, is taught with the emphasis on both practical and theoretical work, with the aim of giving students an appreciation of science as a process, as a way of understanding life and living organisms, including ourselves. Students are taught to think critically, and to analyse and evaluate data and experiments.
Every time we light a match, drive a car or simply run a race we perform a chemical reaction. If we are to understand how our planet works, how we can protect it and how we can make advances in the understanding of how our bodies work, then Chemistry is the key. Chemistry at Whitgift offers a diverse curriculum in six well resourced labs.
The Chemistry department encourages independent thinking, problem solving and a chance to be creative through experimental design. Many boys opt to study Chemistry in the Sixth Form where we offer courses which convey the excitement of contemporary chemistry by exploring the current research and applications of chemistry through stories which range from 'what is in our medicines' to an appreciation of 'how chemistry can be used in art restoration'.
Boys taking Chemistry at Whitgift learn how to think analytically and enjoy the 'hands on' practical work which is a very important and vital aspect of the subject They discover quickly the vast range of careers and opportunities open to them and value the chance to explore a subject to greater depths.
Science does not come any more fundamental than Physics. The very tiniest particles of which everything is made are at the heart of Physics, and by working out how they interact with each other, bigger and bigger ideas can be built up until you get to explanations of how the entire universe came into being and what is going to happen to it next. On the way between these two extreme concepts, you will also come across more everyday problems such as:
How does an Igloo keep an Eskimo warm? (Year 9)
How do optical fibres transmit information? (Year 10)
How do sound cancelling headphones work? (Year 11)
How can 3 metres and 4 metres add up to 6 metres? (Year 12)
Why do you weigh more at the poles than at the equator? (Year 13)
By studying Physics, you will find that you understand a lot more about the reasons why things work as they do, but you will also develop your ability to think logically. The ideas of piecing together a few fundamental facts to make a much more complex idea is what Physics is all about, but is also a skill that is invaluable in so many other areas.