Engaging Pupils in Biology


For all Science teachers who want to refresh and/or enhance their subject knowledge.

Biology Class Lab Equipment

Currently, with an emphasis on developing scientific skills using core practical tasks, GCSE science teachers have an even greater opportunity to motivate young people in the science classroom; a majority of GCSE students report that they would like to do more practical activities in science lessons (Leevers, 2017). But, delivering effective, practical focused science lessons is not straightforward. Practical work can be considered to be “misunderstood and badly used” (Osborne, 2015:16). As a non-specialist, developing confidence and self-efficacy in this area, can be daunting. For biologists, developing a pedagogy that promotes deep learning for pupils also presents its own challenges.

In this series of CPD sessions, we will explore six of the core practical tasks from GCSE specifications. Each session will consider how the core practical might be delivered successfully and safely in the GCSE classroom. We will reflect on how each task might be used not just as a stand-alone activity that pupils have to complete for their GCSE science portfolio but how the task may be modified to promote pupil cognition as well as how the task might form the basis for deeper learning and mastery. We will consider the idea of learning progressions; how does the scientific idea, that the practical task addresses, progress from GCSE to an advanced level; should these practical tasks at GCSE and A’ level ‘talk to each other’?

The course is split into six sessions focusing on the following areas of the biology curriculum

Biology 1 - Enzymes
Biology 2 - Testing Foods
Biology 3 - Respirometry
Biology 4 - Microbiology
Biology 5 - Photosynthesis
Biology 6 – Ecology/Sampling

This course is not currently running but if you have specific questions please contact the Teachers' Centre