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Reflecting on your professional development

Well done for reaching the final part of the course, where you’ll review your learning and record your professional development. This step focuses on your reflection grids and revisits your …

Success criteria and effective practicals

Expanding on the learning objectives (or intentions) by showing students ‘what success looks like’ can support students in making progress. John Hattie explains the importance of having success criteria, in …

Tricky topics

In my first year of teaching I remember having to teach the nitrogen cycle for the first time and wondering how to make it interesting. There are several diagrams of …

Food spoilage

This video is an example of practical work that has lots of opportunity for development. In this experiment we show you a practical exploring the rapid increase in microbial numbers …

Looking for contexts

It can sometimes be difficult to relate practical work to the lives and experiences of students. In this step we would like you to share where you get your ideas …

The ‘five-second rule’

A survey of 2000 people found that 79% would eat food that had been dropped on the floor. According to the ‘five second rule’, a western cultural theory, people believe …

Inhibition of bacterial growth

Later in the course we’ll be looking at planning for progression in technical skills and scientific understanding. Students need plenty of opportunities to practice the same skill several times throughout …

Relatable and realistic contexts

‘I like science, but I don’t want to be a scientist!’ Does this sound frustratingly familiar? Professor Louise Archer et al (2013) analysed over 18,000 student surveys in a five …

What do we mean by context?

This week we will look at how microbiology can bring practical work into a range of biology topics, and how using different contexts allows students to practice techniques. By the …

Practical work and subject knowledge

As teachers we spend a large proportion of our time in lessons on practical activities, because we know that good quality practical work can engage students and help them to …

Developing microscope skills

This video covers slide preparation and microscope operation. Feel free to download and use this video to support your students. Sometimes microscopes are parfocal, which means that when you switch …

Identifying required skills for practicals

In the previous video you identified the technical skills required to undertake a practical technique. In this step we’ll look at a complete practical and ask you to consider how …

Teaching practical skills

In this video we are looking at the technique of serial dilution. This is a skill which is used in microbiology to dilute samples down to allow us to estimate …

Experimental skills and strategies

For students to be able to work scientifically it is important that effective practical work is at the heart of our teaching. Incorporated into the programme of study for 14-16 …