In the Sixth Form, we aim to advance our students' understanding of Biology and to help them develop informed opinions on the latest advances. Biology also offers students the academic satisfaction of problem-solving within a real-life framework, which they find both enjoyable and inspiring.
Recent years have seen revolutionary advances in our understanding of Biology. The Human Genome Project; the cloning of Dolly the sheep; the discovery of stem cells and our ability to genetically modify organisms are just a few that will have an impact on future generations. Never before have humans been able to manipulate life to such a massive extent. When you add this to the hugely significant issues surrounding climate change and the environment, it has never been more important for young people to gain an understanding of the world around us.
At Brentwood, we have a hands-on approach to the teaching of Biology. Our facilities are excellent, allowing all our students to participate fully in practical techniques. We emphasise investigative skills and fieldwork: we like to teach in context. On their residential field course, the Sixth Formers learn ecology in the field rather than in a classroom. Our biology teachers have a broad range of specialist interests that not only cover the full A Level and IB curriculums, they go far beyond them: from complex biochemistry, to the psychological basis of human behavior. We encourage our students and support their interests, wherever they may lead them.
To view the Biology curriculum please click here.
Dr Paul Tiffen
Head of Biology
Dr Tiffen graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and then studied a PhD in Developmental Biology and Apoptosis at the University of Cambridge before completing a PGCE. During his degree he spent a year working in medical research for GlaxoSmithKline, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Dr Tiffen supervises Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine applications, mentors Oxbridge Biologists, is a Sub-Lieutenant in the Navy section of the CCF, coaches the 4th XI football team and is also a Sixth Form tutor.
Miss Jane Byrne
Miss Byrne graduated from the University of Cardiff with a BSc (Hons) in Genetics, before completing an MSc in Medical MicroBiology at Westminster University and a PGCE. Before teaching, she worked at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as a Microbiologist and at University College London Hospital as a Clinical Scientist of Virology.
Mrs Pamela Ebden
Mrs Ebden graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc (Hons) in Biology before completing an MSc in Human and Applied Physiology at King’s College, London and then a PGCE. Before teaching, she worked as a Scientific Officer at the Army Personnel Research Establishment. She is also an examiner for both OCR and IB Biology. She is Assistant Housemistress of South House and helps organise the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Mrs Helen English
Mrs English graduated from King’s College, London with a BSc(Hons) in Biological Science before completing a PGCE. She is on the Teacher Advisory Panel for the Wellcome Trust’s publication ‘The Big Picture’. She is coordinator of the School’s Gifted and Talented extracurricular provision for Second to Fourth Years and helps organise the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Mr Keith Gray
Mr Gray graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology before completing a PGCE. He then taught at Woodford County High (all girls selective), Coopers Coborn and Southend Grammar School for Boys before joining us. He is Assistant Housemaster of Weald House, a Pilot Officer in the RAF section of the CCF and a Fourth/Fifth Year tutor.
Miss Victoria Kerslake
Miss Rutter graduated from the University of Sheffield with a BSc (Hons) in Biology and then completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education in London. She is an examiner for OCR responsible for moderation of A2 practical assessments. She is a Boarding Housemistress at Mill Hill, helps organise the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and is a Sixth Form tutor.
Miss Lucy-Jane Willmott
Miss Willmott graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology before completing a PGCE at the University of Oxford. She has then taught at St Leonards-Mayfield School in East Sussex and Le Rosey in Switzerland before joining us.