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AQA A Level Biology: A Complete Guide for New Teachers

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This course offers an introduction and overview to teaching the AQA A-level Biology programme of study for anyone in their first 3 years of teaching the course, or for anyone lacking confidence in delivering the course effectively. While assessment materials will be drawn from the AQA course, many of the ideas will be applicable to other specifications.


  • Provide teachers of A-level Biology with the material and confidence to teach effectively to all ability ranges
  • Obtain quality understanding of the key challenge areas and how to teach them
  • Explore how the maths and practical skills can be embedded throughout the course
  • Gain insight into the content, the exam structure and the how exams are marked.
  • Leave with a set of resources and scheme of work for the full 2 year course
  • Understanding of how to differentiate using scaffold and stretch strategies for essay writing


Overview of the AQA A-level Biology course including challenges and what to expect from pupils

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Ensuring students and teachers hit the ground running in September – introducing the scheme of work and baseline assessment
  • Recognising which areas will be most challenging for you and how to address these issues
  • How to develop a teaching plan that reflects the assessment objective weightings and the areas which require more intense teaching
  • Identifying your support network and making the most of it – particularly in a small department
  • Ensuring topic areas which create the foundation for success – incorporating them into

Expectations at A Level

10.30 – 11.20am
  • The transition between GCSE and A level
  • What do successful A Level students do?
  • What do Grade A/A* response look like?
  • What do Grade D responses look like?
  • Synoptic skills and how to use these in your teaching


Discussion: coffee break

11.20 – 11.40am

Approaches to Effectively Teaching the Maths and Practical Skills

11.40 – 12.40pm
  • Effective methods and approaches for integrating maths and practical skills into teaching of the course
  • How to integrate practical skills and theoretical content to help students write about their practical work confidently
  • Practical strategies and approaches in the key challenges in teaching maths and practical skills


Lunch and informal discussion

12.40 – 1.40pm

Key Ideas for teaching the content knowledge from Paper 1

1.40 – 2.40pm
  • Pitfalls and easy wins when teaching Biological Molecules, Cells, Organisms, exchange substances and their environment
  • Teaching for success; how to support students to remember key concepts and begin to apply them – interleaving and retrieval strategies
  • Teaching across the ability range; how to ensure top students are challenged, while not leaving lower ability students behind.
  • Lessons from the exam boards and how to implement them in the classroom.

Planning and structuring

2.40 – 3.15pm
  • Curriculum issues – Intent, Implementation and assessing Impact Milestones for success, what should students have mastered by the end of year 12
  • Assessment time tables, when, what and how and how to balance this with whole school assessment schedules
  • Time management – how to plan so that you can mark efficiently and effectively; use of peer assessment

The exams – what is expected

3.15 – 3.45pm
  • Overview of all three papers by AQA, what are they looking for?
  • Teaching towards the ’endgame’, what language to use, ensure you are marking ‘like the examiner’ and secure grading
  • Focus on essay structure in exams, how to pick up easy marks, and what top grade responses look like


London | Friday 08 December 2023
London | Thursday 01 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 08 December 2023
London | Thursday 01 February 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Dr Harjit Singh is an experienced teacher and senior examiner for A level Biology. She has taught and examined A Level Biology for over 25 years, IB Biology for 8 years as well as BTEC Applied Science. She is a published author of the Key Skills and Knowledge Booster Biology and co-author of Key Skills and Knowledge Booster BTEC Science Applied and Vocational courses. She has presented many biology courses for teachers, student revision conferences and online web conferences. She is also involved in presenting international IB student revision courses.


  • ECTs in Biology
  • Those teaching A-Level Biology for the first time
  • Teachers lacking in confidence in the qualification
  • Heads of Biology
  • Heads of Science


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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