Top Ten Resources To Support Remote Learning During Lockdown

Since COVID-19 has caused schools to only open for the children of keyworkers lots of students are now learning at home. So many teachers have stepped up their game and produced some fantastic resources which they have shared.

This blog is a way of keeping track of the brilliant resources colleagues from the country and world are putting together (and free other learning resources). This blog has a slight science bias.

In no particular order:

  1. The Oak National Academy

  2.  BBC Bitesize Lessons and Resources 

  3. for Kay Science. See links for the website and youtube

  4. The Greenshaw Learning Trust       and

  5.  Kerboodle – is free at the moment

  6.  Seneca Learning    and reasons why you should using it here.

  7. Lewis Matheson  and his youtube channel

  8. Kitt Betts-Masters and his youtube channel

  9. Primrose Kitten  and her youtube channel

  10. And Isaac Physics is brilliant

Let me know if you have more to add

Mapping the Physics GCSE Curriculum

I have started to think more and more about the Physics I offer at GCSE and how they fit together. I believe the cynics amongst you may believe this because of the OFSTED triple I’s – it has certainly been a positive push to make me think about the order and reason we teach topics and how we can use ‘research’ to inform our teaching and curriculum ( retrieval, spaced practice and interleaving)

I have lots more work on this and there is lots of great blogs out their – this is an excellent blog to start with

I have created this Physics curriculum map to help me in my first steps.

It physics curriculum map 2

It can be downloaded on TES here

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Why not read the following while you are here:

Assembly – Tackling Homophobic Language in schools.

14 Research Papers on Dual Coding

Get that job, interview success – a 3 minute quick read.

10 ways to embed retrieval practice into your lessons!

I first heard at retrieval practice when I heard the Learning Scientists present a keynote at through the

This was the first occasion, when the idea of evidence informed practice hit home. I felt inspired to read more and embed these ideas to make them common practice within my teaching. The three ideas from which I wanted to explore further were retrieval, interleaving and spaced practice.

This will be a short blog on some ideas on how I have and how you could easily plan for some retrieval in your next lesson. Retrieval, is just another way of saying ‘recalling some information’ however it is important students are allowed to think before they look anything up. I believe it is all about making this explicit in the classroom and that is our jobs as teachers. If you inform students what you are doing, it can only benefit them to understand the lesson and in terms of their personal revision at a later date. Like I have alluded to, teachers all for retrieval every lesson, but this not always planned for and at times may lack quality due to it lacking priority and being rushed.

Here are 10 ideas you could use tomorrow. [I stake no claim for these ideas, they are all ones I have used but most have been picked up and modified from other teachers and tweetchers.

1) Low stake assessment/multiple choice starter questions: This is simple to implement and the questions can be saved and used again and again (if answered poorly with the same class even). There are lots of ways of doing this but normally 4 to 9 questions that include questions on the prior lesson, previous topic and past topics. The last question could also be on a future topic, that way you can see progress and even allow it to inform your future planning. Students are trained to enter my lesson and to complete these questions in their BoBs (back of books)


2) Creating flashcards and mindmaps and allowing for students to revisit this information and self test each other.

3) Knowledge organisers and self quizzing. Everyone seems to be on the knowledge organiser trail at the minute. I use them in a couple of different ways. Using a knowledge organiser for self quizzing. A great example can be found here:

I have lots of science knowledge organisers on my TES resources – free to download.

4) Use of plickers. Plickers is a great formative assessment tool. I have blogged about how I have used this in further detail here:

5) Deep questioning. I am a big believer that we must constantly make links and ‘bridges’ between what we are currently learning and previous topics [and subjects]. As a science teacher there are lots of links and bridges between topics and I question students to make them think about these and make them explicit and the forefront of learning. I also have a cross curricular grid on my wall, this a small table like the one below – if a student can make a solid, educational link between what we are learning and another subject that subject is then crossed off. This can be played a little like bingo.

Biology Chemistry Physics
English Maths History
Geography Drama Food Tech

6) Knowledge rally: students are told a previous topic or theme and have to jot down in a group everything they remember about it. Groups can then join together and add to each others lists. A great why to incorporate self and peer assessment and of course the outcomes can inform future planning.

7) Lots of past paper questions either as a starter or embedded in the lesson.

8) Homelearning. I make sure my home learning for KS4 is always mostly past paper questions. These questions are often on topics studied in previous months and years. These can then self marked, I can take in scores and students can store in assessment folders.

9) Read and write: This is reading some text, covering it and then simply using your brain to rewrite it (in your own words). Revisit the text to check for misconceptions and repeat. Try and move away from copying all the time.

10) Student led: Get students to write their own questions on previous topics and to quiz each other.

I hope there is at least one idea you can take away here and use in your lessons. If you have used any more please let me know and I will add to the list (or create another 10).

Thanks for reading,

Teaching genetic variation, reproduction & cloning – my approach!

Students tend to  favour biology in preference to chemistry and physics. When asked why? Common responses from students claim it is because they can relate to it more or that it is easier. I completely disagree with the latter, and students often can feel smug after a biology paper, and after it has been marked feel dejected. A biology paper can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This is mainly due how much of the biology is theory based and requires the student to make point after point, often in a logical order whereas physics and chemistry questions are often black and white so you either know it or don’t. I tend to find as biology questions required more extended responses students tend to waffle and get confused, and miss the key marking criteria.

After having taught the AQA biology spec on DNA, genes, variation and cloning a number of times over the past 7 years – it has become clear it is one of the most wordy biology units and students often get confused between the topics inside it, such as the different types of cloning and even getting genetic engineering confused with cloning.

After watching ‘Jurassic World’ It became clear that the ‘Jurassic’ series would become a great hook to get students not only thinking about the content but also to get them interested and engaged with the Science. From Mr DNA to great genetic variation examples – the films could be used as a great educational tool.

The resource I made is free to download on TES however it needs adding to/altering and is a work in progress nonetheless thsuccesscrite foundations are there and it supports many lessons.

The idea of the resource is that it can support the usual practical experiments linked to this unit of work such as extracting DNA from fruit/onions, but it is all under the umbrella that they are to work for In-Gen in designing a new ‘Jurassic World’ and they must selectively breed raptors for behaviour traits, clone popular dinosaurs and know the pros and cons of this as well creating a  genetically engineered new I-Rex and describe the characteristics of each organisms and why they have chosen them.

I have used this with my bottom set AEN set, and they enjoyed the variation (no pun intended) within it. Students even wanted to discuss more and watch talks by Dr Jack Horner (they did so well we even watched Jurassic Park – and noted down every time a keyword/concept was mentioned)



Feel free to adapt, improve and share.