Biology Stretch and Challenge

Reading List

Free journals on plants and ecology can be found at:

The Big Picture Wellcome Trust

New Scientist

Horrible Science series Nick Arnold

The Optimists Tour of the Future Nick Stephenson

Do Polar Bear’s Feet Freeze? New Scientist

Popular science reading books

Here is a small selection.

  1. The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being, Alice Roberts. Alice Roberts combines embryology, genetics, anatomy, evolution and zoology to tell the incredible story of the human body
  2. The Epigenetics Revolution, Nessa Carey. A fascinating introduction to epigenetics. If you enjoy this, follow up with Seed to Seed (see below).
  3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot. How one woman’s cancer cells changed the medical world forever, and because a multi-million dollar industry.
  4. Bad Science, Ben Goldacre. Looking objectively at popular science reporting.
  5. The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan. A very different approach to science writing, Michael Pollan turns our normal perspective on its head to consider how plants manipulate humans.
  6. Almost Like A Whale, Steve Jones. Using contemporary science to update Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of the Species”.
  7. Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution, Holly Tucker. The dramatic history of blood transfusions, from 17th century France onwards.
  8. Seed to Seed, Nicholas Harberd. A research scientist tells the story of ten years of discovery in his own laboratory. A very valuable insight into contemporary genetics and epigenetics research, and what it means to be a scientist.
  9. Calculus Diaries, Jennifer Ouellette. A non-mathematician finds out how maths can help you tackle anything – even a zombie apocalypse.
  10. Life Ascending, Nick Lane. Where does DNA come from? How did the eye evolve? A reconstruction of evolutionary history through ten of its greatest landmarks.
  11. Genome, Matt Ridley. 23 human chromosomes in 23 chapters.
  12. The Energy of Life, Guy Brown. Introduction to the cutting-edge science of Bioenergetics

TV Programs/Films

David Attenborough any series

Brian Cox any series

Jim Al Khalili any series


Bang goes the Theory

TED talks website

Dara O’Briain’s Science Club

iPad Apps/ Websites



Virtual Cell 

Evolutionary Biology

Gene Screen


TED talks

New Scientist

BBC Health

BBC Science and Environment

IFL Science



Possible trips

GCSE ScienceLive! Lectures in London Yr 10

GCSE Science in Action Lectures in London Yr 11

Places to for you to visit in the summer?

The Natural History Museum

The Science Museum

London Zoo

Colchester Zoo

Centre of the Cell, London Hospital

Inspire Science Centre, Norwich

Wellcome Collection, London

Horniman Museum, London

Internal Competitions

Science photography competition

External Competitions

The Harry and Margaret Kroto Prize for Innovative Use of Technology in Science Learning 2019

Biology Olympiad (Spring Term) Yr 13

Intermediate Olympiad (Summer Term) Year 12

Biology Challenge (Spring Term) Year 9

Holiday Project Ideas


Topics are...

Year 7-13

Develop your own investigation

Use the planning an investigation guide found at to help you develop a project in an area of biology that really interests you! This is possibly the best way to impress!

Year 7-9

Are you left or right minded?

The Biology of life in the Antarctic

Attracting Wildlife to your Garden

Year 9-11

Synthetic Biology


Genetic Engineering - how far is too far?

Plant growth responses investigation

Year 11-12

Is Obesity Contagious?

What's the big deal with invasive species?

What is epigenetics?