This new course is intended for teachers of A-level Biology who want to improve the achievement of their students on AQA A-level Biology Paper 3. The focus is on the longer response A02 and A03 questions and the Section B Essay question, but there will also be guidance for raising achievement at the A/A* level.

The course will focus on the main causes of learners’ poor attainment in in this examination and the techniques which can be developed to improve their understanding and exam technique. The course focuses on AQA A-level Biology, but the skills developed would also be useful for teachers teaching other specifications.


  • Develop teaching strategies that lead to deep learning and ensure successful outcomes for your students in some of the challenging topics of Year 2
  • Explore how different approaches to problem solving lead to effective ways of tackling unfamiliar questions in Paper 3
  • Build advanced skills in data analysis through targeted exercises
  • Gain insights into approaches that work in answering ‘levels of response’ questions and other questions
  • Embed synoptic learning using active learning methods
  • Apply some of the latest research to build learning power in your students
  • Support for the most able students to achieve the highest grades and nurture for those who struggle
  • Teachers of AQA Biology
  • Heads of Biology
  • Heads of Science
  • 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 -11.00am
Key Challenges for Students in Paper 3

  • Review and feedback – the summer 2019 examination and issues arising
  • Lessons learnt from 2018/ 19 and how to build these successfully into your teaching
  • Modifying your teaching strategies: tackling the most challenging question types
  • Addressing the Assessment Objectives in every lesson
  • Dealing with the unexpected context questions: why students continue to struggle with this

11.00 – 11.15am
Discussion and coffee break

11.15- 12.15pm
Preparing your students effectively for extended answer questions including Level of Response questions

  • Successfully embedding and applying highly effective exam technique
  • Exploring the skills necessary for success with the extended questions – what students do well and poorly in the exams
  • Strategies to aid students in writing high-achieving responses in these questions
  • Setting exam targets and giving high impact feedback for class tests
  • Creating a culture of self-reflection and improvement at A level

Practical and Mathematical Skills and Questions

  • Embedding practical and mathematical skills across the course
  • Examiners’ advice for tackling the more challenging maths and hitting the top grades
  • The style/nature of the questions and the mark schemes, using feedback from 2019
  • Strategies to aid students in writing high-achieving responses to these questions

1.00- 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 -2.45pm
Section B: The ‘Essay’ Question

  • Pulling it all together: adapting your teaching to successfully delivering the breadth within the A level course
  • What examiners expect at A and A*
  • Planning for ‘connectivity’ in your Biology curriculum
  • Developing the synoptic skills early and embedding them throughout the course
  • Using metacognitive & other strategies to help students perform well in the essay.

2.45 – 3.30pm
Accessing top grades in Paper 3

  • Tactics for achieving the A*
  • Raise attainment and value-added by modifying your practice in simple yet effective ways
  • Independent learning and self-regulation how to encourage, motivate and use to ensure high performance
  • Peer tuition and collaboration

3.30 – 3.45 pm
Discussion and Depart

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 >