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Category Archives: A Level

New A Level Biology Topics

I have now completed a fully animated PowerPoint for topic 5 of Edexcel A Level Biology B. This covers the biochemical processes of cellular respiration and photosynthesis. You can view a sample of the PowerPoint here:

It is probably my most advanced presentation to date, with complex animations for the electron transport chain and photophosphorylation.

It is designed for the Edexcel syllabus but would be a suitable resource for any A Level or post 16 biology course.

Even better, I am now working hard to produce teaching videos for all my topics. These feature stripped back versions of the PowerPoint with my explanations. The playlists for respiration and Photosynthesis can be found here.

 

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Easter Revision Time

For most students you will be enjoying a well earned break over Easter weekend after what I’m sure has been a busy and frantic school term. However, when it comes to Monday or Tuesday you will probably be searching for some motivation to start your revision. Getting started can be the hardest part of revision, my advice is to plan plan plan. You can spend a lot of time procrastinating otherwise but if you wake up and you know exactly what you are meant to be studying that day you will get started much quicker. You can also tick off tasks as you complete them throughout the day. I recommend three sessions of revision per day, with decent breaks in between and two at the weekend.

Spend this weekend planning what you want to achieve over the next three weeks. Make sure all your subjects are covered in the right amounts and write specific tasks, such as ‘complete paper 1’ or ‘notes on bonding’ rather than just the subject name.

GOOD LUCK!

Mr Exham

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Biology A Level 2015 – Content or context?

By now I’m sure you will have all looked at the various options for which specification to choose from. For my department the first question was did we want to choose a context based or content based course. The traditional courses are content led, this means that the topics are discreet and are just taught as individual topics, rather than the context based courses which give a context to each section of the specification. For example, the context may be the blood and you would teach various topics from that context, such as cells, immunity and hormones.

As teachers we always give context to what we are teaching and in this way the content based courses are more flexible as you can arrange topics how you want and apply your own contexts where relevant. However, the content in the context based courses seems to be more current and interesting.

Once you decide which approach to take, the task of deciding which exam board to choose is actually quite tricky. Now that coursework as such has been removed from the qualification, the differences between the options are very slight. The content is much the same across all exam boards and so it just comes down to the type of assessment, style, resources, loyalty and personal preference.

Please fill in this poll and write in the comments your opinions and thoughts regarding this important decision.

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