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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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New IB Biology Pages

It has been a while since I have managed to update mrexham.com due to other work commitments, but as I approach revision time with my IB students it seems logical to create some resources that are useful for everyone at this stage.

Therefore I have made a new IB page for revision resources which can be found here.

I have made a quick IB revision quiz for Core topic 1 on cell biology to start with. This is designed to quickly assess your factual recall on this topic, and is a good way to remind yourself of all the little details you need to know.

There are plenty of skills required to get a 7 in IB Biology such as; data interpretation, evaluation, application and practical science understanding to name just a few but if you don’t know these key facts then you don’t have the foundations needed for these higher level skills.

I will be posting similar tests for all the core topics over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

You will also find a very useful resource covering the 7 key practicals you should have completed.

Many of you will also be carrying out your Internal Assessment projects at the moment so I have created a page to help you with writing that up. It can be found here.

I plan on blogging more about the IA in the future as I am marking my classes now and have learnt a lot about going through the process for the first time this year.

A Level Biology 2015 – Edexcel B

It looks like mrexham.com will be specifically making resources for the Edexcel Biology B course starting in 2015. Many of the courses have overlapping topics so many of the resources will be relevant for other courses as well. For now please enjoy this useful outline I have made for the Edexcel Biology B course.

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IGCSE Revision Diagrams

One of the most important parts of IGCSE Biology is to be familiar with the key diagrams. I have therefore created a great revision PowerPoint that contains the 25 most important diagrams on individual easy print slides. Also included are all the answers. If you are a teacher these are great for testing your class, if you are a student you can print multiple copies and try them until you get them all right. Click on the image below to purchase this new resource:

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You can download a free diagram of the heart by clicking this link.

Included in the presentation are diagrams for: the kidney, urinary system, digestive system, reproductive system, the leaf, the eye, a motor neurone, the circulatory system, plant cell, animal cell, sperm cell, menstrual cycle, nitrogen cycle and many more.

 

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.

New TEDEd Lesson

I have just uploaded a new video and TEDEd lesson on the digestive system which I have been putting together for a while. I am also planning on updating my older video resources to bring them more up to date.

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I will be posting a Christmas Special video in the next few days so subscribe on YouTube to see it first.

Mr Exham – Past, Present and Future

I have been meaning to write this post for a while in order to let you know what the plans are going forward for mrexham.com, and this week seemed like as good a time as any with the GCSE results coming out and a new academic year starting.

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has used the website in the last year, I have received some great emails and tweets and I am really glad that it’s been useful to so many people. I’ve now decided to take mrexham.com in a few different directions. Firstly I am making some of my key resources, which take the most time and effort to make, available to purchase through sellfy.com. This has meant spending more time on these resources to make them as clear and informative as possible, and it has also given me the impetus to make more of them! There will soon be a PowerPoint for each section of the IGCSE course along with revision quizzes.

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I will continue to make free resources as well, including Quizlets, revision sheets, YouTube dissections, practical demonstrations, worksheets and I also intend to write Socrative quizzes for teachers.

Given that there will be a new A-Level starting in 2015 (read the Ofqual announcement here) I will no longer be adding to the current A-Level pages and resources. Instead I will focus on making new resources ready for the launch of the new linear A-Level next year. I will also be blogging about the various courses and exam boards offering Biology A-Level as my department make their decision about which to choose.

Thank you once again for all the positive feedback and please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see on mrexham.com!

Mr Exham

The final 3 IGCSE revision tests

The last three revision tests for IGCSE have now been uploaded to the IGCSE revision page. Download them from SlideShare, complete them, use the textbook to mark them, write out anything you get wrong on the revision tracker, and then repeat the test every couple of days until you are getting close to full marks!

Click here to find a test for Section A: Organisms and Life Processes.

Click here to find a test for Section E: Variation and Selection

Click here to find a test for Section F: Microorganisms and Genetic Engineering

As always these tests have been created using the relevant textbooks so the answers should be easy to find. However, if you’d like the answers for any of the tests available on mrexham.com just send me an email.

New IGCSE Revision Test

Here is the latest IGCSE Revision Quiz on Section D: Ecology and the Environment. With the first IGCSE Biology paper being only 9 days away a test like this can really reveal your weaker topics. The ecology and the environment section can often be overlooked as many students think it’s easy and there is not much to learn. However, it’s clear from the test that there are still many facts that you need to commit to memory.

This test along with the others for IGCSE can be found on the IGCSE revision page.

Keep checking mrexham.com for the next test on Section E: Variation and Selection, which will be posted in a few days time.

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