This new course is designed for all teachers who wish to ensure all students maximise their potential in A level Biology. By providing a range of proven, effective advanced teaching techniques, reinvigorated approaches, the course aims to help teachers created outstanding teaching, learning and achievement success to raise the overall attainment of their classes.

Emphasis will be placed on the content students often struggle with and strategies to teach this more successfully, how to wrestle with the challenges of the synoptic nature of the courses and skills students need for successful exam performance.

At the heart of Lee’s course is the need for rigorous understanding of the topics covered in order to flexibly apply this knowledge to unfamiliar examination scenarios, and how this can be improved for students from different starting points.

This intensive new course will demonstrate how to guide your students to achieve their maximise possible grades in future AQA A Level Biology examinations. The course is designed for teachers of AQA A Level Biology, but would be of benefit to teachers of other exam boards.


  • Explore the key concepts in biology that underpin topic content to develop an integrated approach to biological study
  • Develop the use of retrieval practice to promote student recall, supporting the teaching of the most challenging A Level topics
  • Strategies and scaffolding to support student’s application of knowledge to novel contexts
  • New approaches for Biological writing, how to support students to write coherently using biological terminology correctly.
  • Take away fresh ideas, approaches and methods that challenge A/A* students and support their further development
  • Develop greater understanding of the precision and detail that examiners are looking for in A/A* students
  • Find out more about the barriers to progress and ways to support highly able students to overcome them

Online | Tuesday 16 November 2021

  • Heads of Science
  • Heads of Biology
  • Teachers of AQA A-level Biology
  • Teachers of other A Level Biology Exam Boards
  • 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 – 10.15am: Key issues raised by the pandemic

  • Exploring the issues raised by remote learning
    • What impact has this had on teaching and learning?
    • Considering strategies for remote learning, and how this can be made effective

10.00 – 11.00am: Planning for Success: Exploring the core concepts to build an integrated approach

  • Identifying and highlighting the core concepts to build an integrated approach to teaching biology. What are the ‘first principles’ in biology that give students a solid foundation for A Level study?
  • Sequencing topic content to embed opportunities for retrieval practice.
  • Using core concepts to teach the most challenging areas of the course: the electron transport chain, immunity and action potentials.
  • Interleaving taught content to promote student understanding of the inter-related nature of biological study supporting the teaching of more challenging content (e.g. interleaving photosynthesis and productivity, membranes and transport and action potentials.)

11.00 – 11.15am: Break

11.15 – 12.15pm: Strategies and Scaffolding to support students’ application of knowledge to Unfamiliar Contexts

  • Anticipating misconceptions and strategies to avoid them in meiosis

  • Scaffolds to support students in developing fluency with biological terminology.

  • Example frameworks that encourage students to develop rich and full responses on selection

  • Questions, question types – breaking down the questions, applying appropriate responses.

  • Tackling Hardy-Weinberg equations with modelling approaches.

  • Interpreting stats tests correctly and building the three-part conclusion.

12.15 – 1.00pm: Raising Performance in Exams

  • Building vocabulary and developing high end skills – spotting the key command words
  • How to apply the appropriate knowledge to questions covering ‘unfamiliar contexts.’
  • Integrating practical skills and theoretical content to help students write about their practical work confidently
  • How to support students to write coherently using biological terminology correctly.
  • Evaluating conclusions made by other scientists – why students don’t seem to get it.
  • Making links – example responses to the synoptic essay and what examiners are looking for.

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch

2.00 – 2.45pm: Differentiation- Maximising the Attainment of All Students in AL Biology

  • Teaching to the top: strategies for stretching/A* students and challenging complacent high-achievers.
  • Supporting non-mathematicians in Biology with multi-part maths problems
  • Encouraging self-monitoring and evaluation – when and how to intervene in year 12 and 13
  • Develop greater understanding of the precision and detail that examiners are looking for in A/A* students
  • Embedding Olympiad questions and stretching the most-able students
  • Where to go ‘over and above’ to maximise outcomes
  • Find out more about the barriers to progress and ways to support highly able students to overcome them

2.45 – 3.30pm: Enrichment Programmes to Raise the Profile of A Level Biology

  • Enrichment programmes to raise the profile of A-Level Biology.
  • Where can Biology take me? Ideas to boost progression in the biological sciences.
  • Beyond fieldwork: trips that bring the course to life.
  • What next? Preparation for university and tackling Oxbridge admissions.

3.30pm: Q&A, Evaluation and Close

Lee Baxter

Lee has taught AQA A Level Biology for 10 years and leads a highly successful Biology team, supporting students to achieve outstanding value added scores. Over 70% of their A Level students achieve a high grade, and half of those students who progress to higher education elect to pursue a degree in a biology-related field. Lee is an examiner for a major exam board and a member of the Association of Colleges’ College A Level Subject Excellence Network, identifying and sharing good practice with other practitioners that has contributed to their significantly positive value added scores.