Rydal Penrhos Community


      Biology at Rydal Penrhos School is a popular subject, with particular emphasis on the development of skills to carry out rigorous scientific enquiry.

      All pupils take GCSE and additional Science. Within this framework they are taught all three sciences by specialised teachers within the respective subject areas. Pupils can then deepen their knowledge of the subject at A Level. We have many pupils who successfully enter further education to read Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences.

      In Biology the use of communication, ICT, maths, safe laboratory practice, and topical issues make the subject relevant to pupils’ lives. It also complements many other subjects, whether they are sciences or arts. It is rapidly becoming the science for this century, as our ability to manipulate DNA fundamentally changes many of the ways in which we live and work.

      Biology is a very ‘hands-on’ subject at Rydal Penrhos, with practical work taking place both inside and outside the laboratory.


      The Biology Department is well resourced, with three modern laboratories, all fully ICT equipped (interactive data projector and white board, Department laptops, digital microscopes and the latest data logging equipment) and a prep room. There is a staff and student library and ICT study room, as well as a marine tank and fossil display. The department also houses a greenhouse and UV light bank.




      Chemistry at Rydal Penrhos School is not just a “flash in the pan” subject with a particular penchant for practical skills. We aim to discover the hidden secrets that the ancients could not see.

      The journey starts with a nucleus of an idea, orbiting around the concept until we gain sufficient impetus to become highly charged about a particular subject. We then deviate along rainbow streets with chromatic colours and separate off into individual aspects of the course.

      All pupils take GCSE core and additional Science. Within this, they are taught all three sciences by specialised teachers within the respective subject areas. Some pupils then go on to study separate Chemistry at GCSE. Pupils then have the opportunity to study Chemistry at A Level. We have many pupils who successfully enter further education to study Medical, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences.

      Why study Chemistry?

      • To stimulate and sustain the pupil’s interest in and enjoyment of chemistry
      • To stimulate and sustain the pupil’s interest in and capacity for learning in general
      • To develop the pupil’s problem solving, data-handling, evaluative thinking and practical abilities
      • To show some of the social, economic and environmental significance and consequences of chemistry
      • To provide pupils with a body of knowledge and understanding suitable for those who will go on to study chemistry and pharmacy at Higher Education and for those who will study medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, biochemistry, geology and environmental science



      The study of Physics is an attempt to understand everything that we can observe and measure in the universe, from the infinitesimally small to the infinitely large: from the beginning of the universe in the Big Bang, to its ultimate fate.

      Why study Physics?

      Physics provides a route into many careers. These prospects are not only confined to research – they extend into a wide range of industries: food, medicine, finance, marketing, business, law and management – anywhere that might call for an ability to analyse and model complex situations. A decisive factor in choosing Physics at higher levels should be whether a pupil has found the subject interesting and enjoyable lower down the school, although there is a major change of emphasis from largely factual knowledge at Key Stage 3 (years 7-9) and GCSE (years 10-11), to a requirement for much greater understanding and problem-solving ability at A-level (Sixth form).

      For GCSE science at Rydal Penrhos, pupils have the opportunity to study Physics as a separate subject. In the Sixth form, pupils can choose between A Level. In recent years, pupils have gone on to study Physics and Engineering at Cambridge University, Astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Particle Physics at Royal Holloway.

      A pupil who has studied Physics is always in high demand for the many careers that value an ability to think logically and analytically and to solve complex problems including the sciences, engineering, technical and computing, finance and management.

      Physics is necessarily a very practical subject where students undertake many experiments at all levels of the school. Full use is made of modern teaching techniques and resources including computer animations, simulations, independent learning and trips out of school such as engineering problem-solving days, lecture trips to Manchester and Liverpool Universities, and visits to facilities such as Dinorwic Power Station.