‘It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.’
Sir David Attenborough
The word ‘cyto’ is derived from the Greek word KYTOS, which refers to a container, or receptacle to be filled – the Tormead Biology Enrichment Programme is designed to be this receptacle; an ever-changing and constantly updated resource that students can utilise to enrich their learning, and deepen their understanding of the biological world. It was Ewell (1997) who suggested that the learners themselves are not 'receptacles' of knowledge, but rather they create their own learning actively and uniquely.
KYTOS offers unparalleled opportunities to explore the subject beyond the classroom. Girls can develop their surgical skills in the Dissection Club, enhance the school environment in the Conservation Club and delve deeper into the fascinating world of forensic science and criminal investigation in the hugely popular Forensics Club. Girls can participate in monthly A-Z biology quizzes, annual photography competitions, weekly enrichment sessions looking at topical news stories, and themed trips (ranging from the Old Operating Theatre and Hunterian Museum, London, to Costa Rica). We also encourage girls to enter the ‘Rosalind Franklin Prize for Academic Writing’, which is endorsed by the Rosalind Franklin Society, New York. MED:SEM is a programme of dedicated seminars covering a range of topics for those pursuing medical-related careers. Recent additions to the programme include the KYTOS Biology Podcasts (streamed in over 90 countries) and the KYTOS Genetics Society.
The KYTOS website helps to embed a number of key principles highlighted in the Tormead prospectus – it is these principles on which our Biology teaching is based, and it is through independent study and inquiry of mind that KYTOS aims to enrich this learning experience.
Mr Rob Isaacs
Director of Science / Head of Biology at Tormead School
A personal message from Professor Dame
Sue Black, Forensic Anthropologist
Forensic Science at Tormead School
"What a true beacon Tormead School is for engagement with science. It is so vital that more we attract more girls into science and ensure that the environment and opportunities remain maximised, so that they can progress unhindered all the way to the top of their chosen profession.
Throughout my career I have been blessed with the most altruistic of mentors and the most important was my biology teacher, Dr Fraser, who taught me to question, to be curious and to believe in myself."
A hand written letter from Sir David Attenborough to Mr Isaacs (March 2016). It is a great honour for the Biology department to receive a commendation for their 'invaluable work', inspiring the next generation of Biologists.
Tormead's Conservation Club ran a hugely successful charity event, with all proceeds donated to the Born Free Foundation. Virginia McKenna contacted the club's members to thank them for their wonderful efforts.
Professor David Wilson, Emeritus Professor of Criminology, remains a source of inspiration for all those who attend the KYTOS Forensics Club. In April 2020, during the difficult period of self-isolation, we were thrilled to receive a very special message from the man himself; not just providing words of encouragement, but suggesting ways for the girls to develop their existing forensic knowledge.
“Hello to the students at Tormead School in Guildford. I found my love of science in the laboratory at the age of 14, and I just wonder what took me so long. Biology is everywhere you look, wonderful, strange, and inspiring. Sometimes people think that understanding will take away the world’s magic, but it’s the opposite — the more you know, the more you appreciate the clever and beautiful workings of life. Warm wishes to all of you in your journey of discovery in science."