My Woodhouse Biology

Jack Halkyard
Jack Halkyard
Jack Halkyard came to Woodhouse from Enfield Grammar School and lives in Bush Hill Park. He studied biology, psychology and economics at A level and graduated in 2018 with A*A*A. He is currently studying biology at Sussex University.
He spoke to us during his second year of A levels...
“Biology became my favorite subject when I was studying for GCSE. I was originally interested in the natural world through geography, but as I progressed I became more interested in areas of animals and microorganisms.
I could have stayed at my old school for A level, but I came here because I like the ‘independent study’ way of doing things. Woodhouse is like a stepping stone to university, which I thought would be better for me.
Everyone was so welcoming on open day and I could see that there was a good social atmosphere at Woodhouse. Everyone enjoys being here and having fun, but they are also working hard and getting good grades.
Another big difference coming here is that everyone is academically oriented and there is no disruption in our lessons. Here, because you pick subjects you want to study, you enjoy what you are learning. I know I enjoy all of my subjects, so I do well in them and am motivated to look further into them. And it’s been good to have the chance to experience dissections at last, it was removed from our GCSE syllabus.
The topic areas for biology at A level are similar to GCSE, but you build on them in so much more detail. For instance, before with photosynthesis we studied the basics like the equation and generally what happens…but at A level it becomes a more complicated process involving biology chemistry and physics.
Using my study periods in the learning zone or the library has helped be develop skills in independent research and has enabled me to do better in my subjects. I like to read the New Scientist magazine which is helpful and there’s lots of extra stuff you can do on the Woodhouse ‘shared area’ so If we've covered a subject in class, I can then go home and start writing up notes on that subject using the college webpages until I understand it. And we have independent study work we are given like bio fact sheets with practice questions and we can work through them in our own time.
I’ve done so many extracurricular activities at Woodhouse. I signed up for the ‘Run 10k for Charity’ and we ran at our local park every week, building up to the Greenwich Run, and we raised money £255 for ‘Movember’. I’ve been on a beach trip to Broadstairs, a trip to the zoo, kayaking and paddle-boarding… there’s been so much on offer for us here.
I have also completed my Duke of Edinburgh Gold award, taken part in the National Citizen Service scheme. I can bring biology into many of the outside activities I do. For D of E we had aims and projects and our group were looking at the environment and the differing species you can find in the Lake District, comparing flora and colour variation.
I am applying for degrees in biological sciences or biology at Oxford, Birmingham, Exeter Southampton and Sussex. I was quite late applying to Oxford but then I thought… might as well try.
I am interested in studying marine biology but the career prospects of a degree in it are not as broad as a general degree and many are research based, seasonal projects - rather than steady work, so I’ve decided to do biological sciences because they are modular across different life sciences like zoology and marine botany. I’d rather keep it broad with biology so that I've got more career avenues.”