National Biology Challenge

Amie and Jasper have made Bournside history this week after becoming our first ever students to receive the Gold Award in the National Biology Challenge!

The challenge, held by the Royal Society of Biology, was an online competition that invited year 9 and year 10 students from schools across the nation to participate in. The competition format was split into two 25 minute papers and had multiple-choice questions set on various topics that they would have covered during their biology lessons, including a mixture of GCSE-style questions and general knowledge of biology. It was also designed to help reward students that went the extra mile with biology such as watching documentaries or reading magazines about the natural world. Some example questions included:

  1. How many bones are in the human body?
  2. How many kidneys do dolphins have?
  3. True or false; we have made goats that can produce spider silk.
  4. Identify the following skulls, birds and hazard symbols.

Amie confessed to growing up watching a lot of Deadly 60 videos and David Attenborough programmes through BBC iPlayer which she says helped give her various tips that she later used to boost her knowledge for these challenges, such as identifying the skulls of an orca, a crocodile and a rodent. She really wants to take biology for her A-Levels and is set on becoming a vet for call-outs or emergency situations as she finds that more interesting and likes the random feel to it. When asked how she became so interested in the field, Amie told us her biggest inspiration was Dr Noel Fitzpatrick who more recently replaced a Great Dane’s entire diseased leg with a bionic implant. Jasper is also considering it post-16, proclaiming his interest for not just biology but all of the sciences. His major interest is Biological Conservation and helping animals, working with the WWF – he too took a great interest in a lot of David Attenborough’s work and said “It’s the beauty of nature that interests me. Everything is so intricate and I like how all these different things mix together to make our ecosystem.”

Out of more than 7,500 students across the nation who took part in the competition, Amie and Jasper are among the 5.4% of that who were awarded Gold! This is an incredible achievement for the two and also for us as a school as our students have only ever reached as high as Silver before. Mr Burton, Ms Corbin and Mr Richards passed on their congratulations and commended the pair for their hard work and how great their aspirations are.

Well done Amie and Jasper!