This NEW course will demonstrate how to guide your students to achieve high grades in future AQA A Level Biology examinations. The course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for all aspects of the course which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills, and well as driving up good standards to excellent.


By the end of the course delegates will have:

  • Increase awareness of what we should aim to achieve with the most able Biologists
  • Take away fresh ideas, approaches and methods that challenge A/A* students
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in A/A* students
  • Find out more about the barriers to progress and ways to support highly able students to get over them

Online | Wednesday 23 June 2021

  • Heads of Science
  • Heads of Biology
  • Teachers of AQA  A-level Biology
  • NQTs would also benefit from this 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


10.00 – 10.30am: Challenging our most able students

  • What do ‘gifted’, ‘talented’ and ‘able’ mean in in A level Biologists?
  • Why do we have to challenge our most able students?
  • How should we be challenging them?
  • Key attributes of Grades A and A* students in the classroom

10.30 – 11.15am: How are A/A* grades achieved?

  • Feedback – looking at the most recent exams: What went well? What did examiners look for at the top levels?
  • Structure of the AQA exams and what they expect of the best students
  • Avoiding potential hazards – what can cost a top student their A grade?

11.15- 11.30am: Break

11.30 – 12.00pm: Structuring an excellent two-year linear teaching course

  • Planning – how to build in challenge for the most able throughout Yr 12 and 13
  • Planning with the end integrated into the course – re questions, key essentials, question types which stretch and challenge able students

12.00  – 1.00pm:  Exploring and solving the big challenges for A/A* Biology Students

  • Differentiating for A/A* students in a mixed ability Biology class
  • Sustaining enegagement with retrieval and recall over two years
  • Assessing GCSE required skills
  • Intervention strategies throughout Yr 12 and 13
  • Barriers to progress and how to overcome them

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch

2.00 – 2.30pm: Stretching and Challenging our most able A level Biology students

  • Additional challenges –Olympiad, Isaac Physics
  • Linking with higher education
  • Broadening the horizons beyond the specification

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch

2.30 – 3.10pm: Preparing for challenging exam questions

  • Using eAQA to inform teaching
  • Preparing A/A* grade students for longer answer questions
  • Varied practice to stretch the most able
  • Working to the standard – reviewing and marking specimen scripts

3.10 – 3.40pm:Successfully linking Practical skills with AL Biology exam questions

  • Linking the practical lessons to the theory for able students
  • Working around the practical lessons – Pre and Post practical work
  • Top level retrieval and recall for the required practicals

3.40 – 3.45pm: Q&A, Evaluation and Close

Michael Brown

Michael was an examiner for 18 years and has worked in post 16 education for 23 years, initially as an A-level Biology Tutor before progressing to Head of Department and finally STEM and Quality Initiatives Manager. He has had a positive effect on student’s aspirations and achievement; his Learner Voice results are always very positive and examination results have been consistently above benchmark for all KPI’s with excellent value added. As a Head of Department he completed an ‘Exceeding Expectations’ management training course and is a strong and effective leader. His Science provision was chosen as part of OFSTED’s Good practice survey: Improving Sciences in Colleges. Michael was then seconded to another campus to improve science results and turned around the department within 12 months. During this time his college also reached the finals of the National STEMNET Awards for three consecutive years.