GCSE New Specification Biology Resources

I have made lessons that cover the content from the first (of seven) topic for the new AQA GCSE Biology and AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy specifications. The lessons focus on giving pupils exposure to rigorous academic language and develop pupils' theoretical language before exploring ideas practically. This scheme of work also includes two required practicals: Observing … Continue reading GCSE New Specification Biology Resources

The Limits of My World (Part II)

In Part I of this post, I discussed the importance of teachers (of all subjects) making language teaching explicit in their lessons. I argued that an improvement in language enables pupils to better access the curriculum and broaden their cultural capital. I shared three practical, easy-to-implement strategies to help teachers incorporate the teaching of language into their lesson: sharing … Continue reading The Limits of My World (Part II)

5 Steps for Effective Revision + Activity Ideas

Revision, revision and more revision.... with exams around the corner, teachers are busy planning and innovating revision activities. Meanwhile, pupils are busy revising (at least, in theory; some are definitely actually-understanding-for-the-first-time) before the daunting and the anticipating become the done and dusted. My understanding of learning and the examination process obtained through experience and research of … Continue reading 5 Steps for Effective Revision + Activity Ideas

Developing autonomy: taking a step back

"I aspire for my pupils to develop their independence." I've said this to myself constantly since I began teaching, but when I ruminate on the details, I realise that my understanding of independence has changed, and so have the behaviours and words I expect to observe in 'independent pupils'. To begin with, my vision of my pupils being independent … Continue reading Developing autonomy: taking a step back

Planning curriculum for linear GCSEs

The new GCSE specifications are arriving with waves of reform. New syllabus, new examination structure and timing, new grading system, new emphasis on skills, absence of coursework, different emphasis on practical skills and literacy... you'd be forgiven for complaining that there is too much change in one go, with little time to prepare. Ofqual are … Continue reading Planning curriculum for linear GCSEs

Comprehension Strategies in the Classroom

Poor comprehension skills are undoubtedly a hindrance to learning. As teachers, we expect our pupils to read and make meaning from an unfamiliar text nearly every lesson. This might take the form of a text to teach new ideas and facts, a stimulus for discussion, to give instructions or even to read and interpret our marking. But to what extent … Continue reading Comprehension Strategies in the Classroom