This revised course is for all teachers of 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.

The course, led by a highly experienced A level Biology teacher who regularly has students looking to read Biology at Russell Group Universities, will explore proven strategies to challenge the most able students in A level Biology. Delegates will take away a range of approaches, ideas, and new thinking to impact their pupils’ learning and ensuring top level examination results in A level Biology.


  • Develop your teaching approaches to extend your more able students
  • Challenge your students with problem solving, modelling and questioning to stretch pupils’ thinking process
  • Increase your understanding of how to integrate areas of Biology into teaching a ‘whole biology approach’.
  • Sample answer at Grades A and A* will be discussed and marked.
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the content effectively in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
DATE & LOCATION Online | Thursday 10 June 2021
  • All teachers of OCR Biology
  • 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


Bridging the gap to an A/A*

  • Consideration of what determines A/A* learners, including feedback from the 2018 exams
  • What skills are needed to access the higher grades?

Higher Order Questioning

  • Problem solving and mathematical contexts
  • Approaches to improve lateral thinking
  • Strategies for approaching the mathematical content
  • Data analysis and interpretation


Interconnections: a Whole Biology Approach

  • Lessons learnt from OCR 2019– where do students lose marks on the A/A* level? Including example answers
  • Teaching key areas for high performance: why do some reactions ‘go’ and others don’t?

Challenging learners thought processes

  • Modelling in Biology
  • Thought provoking examples to challenge learners’ understanding
  • Ways to encourage students through argument to produce A/A* thinking
  • Ensuring able students are thinking and responding at a high level throughout the course – strategies and teaching ideas


Extending A/A* students

  • Lesson activities and approaches
  • Developing high level exam skills
  • Extra-curricular activities to promote A/A* level thinking
  • Impact in your classroom – review resources for immediate use with high ability learners

Preparing able students for Oxbridge and Medical Interviews

  • Advising high ability students on their application: preparation and the personal statement
  • What to comment on in your reference
  • Mock interviews and assisting in interview preparation


John Medlicott

John has taught for 25 years and has trained teachers for over 15 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 >