Significant changes in the new A level Biology  specifications include an increase in the  levels of maths being assessed, and new approaches to the testing of practical skills.

Recent results show that student performance in these areas remains weak; despite their Maths GCSE and practical experiences in Science at GCSE, many students find it hard to transfer these skills to a biological setting.

This course provides new  approaches and ideas that will enable students to be able to  tackle questions with confidence.  Biology teachers can find the Maths aspect of A level Biology specification challenging to teach in an engaging way and our highly experienced Biology teacher and examiner will demonstrate how to integrate the teaching of both maths and the practical skills so that students can gain the most possible in their exams.


  • Gain new approaches for ensuring that students can tackle the maths and data analysis questions with full confidence
  • Discover successful methods for integrating maths and practical skills into teaching of the course
  • Develop new teaching approaches for the practical skills and ensuring students can utilise these with unfamiliar contexts
  • Obtain example answers and ideas that ensure success in the A level Biology exams
COURSE DATES Online | Thursday 25 March 2021
Online | Wednesday 16 June 2021
  • All teachers of A level Biology
  • Heads of Department for A level Biology
  • Heads of Science Faculties
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • 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



Online | Thursday 25th March 2021

London | Wednesday 16th June 2021

10.00 -11.00am
Effective Ways to Fully Integrate Maths and Practical Skills into Your Teaching

  • Feedback from 2018 on key areas where students succeed and struggle in A level Biology in Maths and Practical Skills Testing
  • The challenges for planning and teaching and ways to overcome them
  • Interesting and different ways to fully integrating skills teaching into your Biology A level curriculum
  • Ensuring the depth of skills knowledge and understanding is in place in your planning

11.00 -11.20

11.20- 12.20pm
Developing the Maths and Data Analysis Skills in Context

  • Identifying the best places to teach the maths skills within specification areas
  • Where students make mistakes with Maths – reviewing example answers to assess what makes the difference between grades

Key areas for development:

  • Linking Maths skills with specification content
  • Maths skills in questions
  • Calculations using spreadsheets
  • Unit conversions
  • Log graphs
  • Decimal places and significant figures

12.20 – 1.00pm
Accessing Grades A/A* in the Maths and Data Analysis Exam Questions


2.00 – 3.00 pm
Practical Skills: successfully linking Practical skills with A level Biology exam questions

  • Why students struggle to identify the practical skills within a question
  • Where students make mistakes with practical skills – teaching strategies to prevent this

Key areas for development

  • Understanding and selecting key terminology
  • Dealing with the familiar in unfamiliar contexts
  • Interpreting and explaining data
  • Evaluation of procedures and conclusions
  • Teaching approaches to embed synoptic thinking in A level Biologists

A level Biology exam methods and tests, including Statistical tests

  • Step-by-step procedures when calculating statistical values
  • Choosing which test to use – Chi Squared, Spearman Rank, correlation coefficient, t-test with experimental data
  • Interpretation of the different statistical tests beyond Ecology
  • Analysing examples of when to utilise the relevant skills for high marks
  • Examples responses to questions and question types

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 >

Dr James Penny

Currently Head of Science and STEM coordinator at Taunton School in Somerset., James has described over 50 new fossil species and has had several genera and species named for him. Has travelled and lectured across the world. He has published widely, both academic papers and books and resources for GCSE and A level, including many Kerboodle resources and the popular ‘Maths Skills for A level Biology’ textbook. He is a former ISI school inspector, principal examiner and academic development course leader.

View all courses led by Dr James Penny >