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What do you think is most important in ensuring good results for A-level students in Chemistry?

Discussion in 'Science' started by londinium, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. londinium

    londinium New commenter

    Of the things below which do you believe is the most important in ensuring good outcomes?



    A) Well planned lessons

    B) Knowledgable staff

    C) Exam practice

    D) Revision sessions

    E) Homework complete and chased up on if not.

    F) Prior ability of students

    G) Contact with home



    I'm sure there are lots of other aspects but I'm keen to know what others think is the priority. Also, what do you, as Chemistry teachers find are the biggest threats to sucsess in Chemistry. Are these any different to other subjects.

    What has worked for you and how have you avoided pitfalls.
     
  2. Thejumpingjew

    Thejumpingjew New commenter

    At A level say that B is the most essential first of all closely followed by A.

    The prior ability of students is not an issue unless you are aiming for particular grades. As long as they have a C in Science and Maths, I can allow them to get a pass grade, but if they want an A they are unlikely to get it, but a D or C is easily achievable.

    C is of course an issue towards the end of the course, but only due to the silly examination system in this country. D and E while useful and important are not priorities compared to A and B.

    Biggest threats to success are a teacher who is lazy and lacks full knowledge, students who achieve A/stars at GCSE and presume they will automatically achieve similar levels at A level.

    Finally the biggest threat like with all students is a lack of understanding that Hard Work is essential!
     
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I agree that the biggest factor is hard work from the students.

    I disagree about GCSE grades. Grade C at GCSE means they scored less than 50% in the exam.

    Knowledgeable teachers who can convert that knowledge into a good scheme of work and good learning activities are important.
     
  4. Ssn77

    Ssn77 New commenter

    Biggest threat to success is lazy students. It is ok being able to follow work in class, it is much much harder tackling an exam paper when you have to work out what knowledge/method to apply to each question.

    Priorities for me are knowledgeable teacher, particularly for A2, and rigorous homework.
     
  5. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Whilst B is very important, A must come first. We have all had or seen teachers who were very knowledgeable in their subject but had no idea how to communicate it with a class.

    Prior ability is probably next - whilst students can make stunning progress between GCSE and A level, if they are coming in with a C grade, they will lack the necessary understanding of the fundamental concepts of Chemistry and they will not have the foundations necessary to build upon
     
  6. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Yes but what does that mean?

    Most places I've taught would see that as meaning a 4 page document indicating precisely which kids have EAL, who is on the SEN register, what their "learning styles" are and a detailed breakdown with timings of all the 'activities' that will ensure the 'learning objectives' are met together with how this is being assessed and how the learners will demonstrate their progress.

    Which is why I'd never say "A well planned lesson" is, frankly, any use to anyone.

    Because what I'd mean by it is utterly different from what any management types reading a forum like this will take from it.
     
  7. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    "Most places I've taught would see that as meaning a 4 page document indicating precisely which kids have EAL, who is on the SEN register, what their "learning styles" are and a detailed breakdown with timings of all the 'activities' that will ensure the 'learning objectives' are met together with how this is being assessed and how the learners will demonstrate their progress."

    PaulDG - I agree that this is not going to be useful in getting students through their Chemistry A level. I think that a well planned lesson is one that covers the necessary content in a way to enhance the understanding of the students. If that covers a wide range of activities then all to the good but if it is fairly didactic then so be it.

    To be fair, it is hard to have a well planned lesson without a large dollop of subject knowledge but equally knowledge of teaching and the specification are just as important
     
  8. peterdevon

    peterdevon New commenter

    Quality of teachers is by far the most important. That doesn't mean 'knowledgable'. It means good teachers. This is true at all levels, in all subjects.
     

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