This new course is for all teachers of OCR A level Biology looking to develop new approaches for extending their very able students to achieve an A* at A level and succeed at university.

We will explore proven strategies to challenge the most able students in OCR A level Biology, whilst producing high level teaching, learning and thinking skills. The course is practically focused, and delegates will take away a range of approaches, ideas, and new thinking to impact upon their pupils’ learning.


  • Learn how to set and sustain high expectations to challenge the most able
  • Take away new teaching approaches to develop higher order thinking skills in a biological OCR context
  • Obtain a range of new ideas, resources and ideas for developing the most able students
  • Gain strategies and approaches that ensure students succeed in the examinations
  • Find out more about preparing able students for Oxbridge and Medical interviews
COURSE DATE London Wednesday 13 March 2019
  •  All teachers of OCR Biology
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.30am
Setting high expectations to ensure success

  • Setting high expectations across in topics such as cell biology and biological molecules to ensure the highest achievers flourish
  • Stimulating and teaching a growth mindset

10.30 – 11.30am
Improving Exam Attainment – how to achieve the A*

  • How do we characterise high ability learners and what are their barriers to success?
  • Review and Discussion: Best practice A/A* practical strategies, ideas and techniques
  • Lessons learnt from the 2018 Exams and how to apply these to your teaching
  • Formative strategies and approaches on how to construct outstanding exam responses

11.30 – 11.45am
Discussion: coffee break

11.45 – 1.00pm
High impact strategies for challenging the most able students in the OCR specification

  • Strategies and resources to cover A01 and the lower order skills quickly
  • Teaching for metacognition
  • Feedback for fast progress and target setting for very able students
  • Differentiation in OCR Biology which allows stretch and challenge
  • Developing research and referencing skills

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 2.45pm
The development of practical, mathematical and higher order thinking skills in a biological context

  • How to develop critical thinking skills
  • Encouraging the young biologist through argument to produce A* thinking
  • Enhancing problem solving and tackling difficult mathematical questions
  • Nurturing and stretching able students to achieve the highest levels in practical and synoptic questions

2.45 – 3.00pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.00 – 3.30pm
Preparing able students for Oxbridge and Medical interviews

  • Advising potential undergraduates on their application: preparation and the personal statement
  • What to comment on in your reference
  • Mock interviews/assisting in interview preparation

3.30 – 3.45pm
Final discussion, top tips and depart

John Medlicott

John has taught for 15 years and has trained teachers for over 10 years where he is regularly graded as “outstanding” by delegates on their evaluation forms. This year he has chaired National Conferences in School Leadership & Teaching and Learning and has led a debate on “the future of A levels” and “Implications of the new OFSTED Framework” at the 6th annual Sixth Form Leadership conference in London. He has held a number of Senior Management positions as well as leading departments both in the UK and internationally.

View all courses led by John Medlicott >