Lessons Learnt 2019-20

I have been on maternity leave so my lessons learnt are more limited this year but I have been lucky enough to have some based on some excellent colleagues over at Tutor2U and exam marking.

Top Things to Address

  1. In research methods so many students cannot make sensible and appropriate suggestions when it comes to design. This seems to stem from students (and maybe teachers) focusing on KNOWING WHAT rather than UNDERSTANDING HOW. I think I am going to focus my teaching on pulling out questions which are similar to each other in terms of spec area but require a different approach based on knowledge and understanding. Then get students to brainstorm the differences / have a go at writing the mark schemes. They need to see these side by side to get a true appreciation
  2. In methods there is still a good chunk either missing or not understanding the requirement for “in this study”. I think I am going to go hard line with this and give zero for any context question which is not explicitly applied.
  3. I have noticed an increasing number of two part questions in the A Level papers, especially in methods. This seems to be tripping students up as they are not picking up where the marks will come from.  Sometimes they are overwriting the first part, especially if this is “identify” and sometimes they are completely forgetting the second part.
  4. PSY1 seems to be much trickier than students think it is in terms of question wording.  The  A Level questions really require a depth of understanding which is missing, seemingly due to learning the information at the start of their course and then simply revising it rather than improving the understanding of it. I think I am going to make a point of revisiting parts of the spec for a “reteach” rather than a “revise” and really highlight to students the fact their knowledge of those areas need to step up, especially in AO3 – diamond 9s will probably feature heavily.
  5. There is definitely a need to extend the depth of understanding in several section of the spec. There are some concepts whch are quite basic on the surface (statistical infrequency) which the exam board actually want to see a better understanding of from A Level students. I need to teach more on these traditionally AS/easier parts.
  6. Finally need to address generic evaluation. There is a place for this with some struggling students but most of them really need to step up the revision of their AO3 to step away from bland, rote learnt, generic AO3.  This is going to be about extending the work I do on line of argument to include more of my students.

What are your take homes, lessons learnt and even better ifs for 2019-2020?

Hope you have a good summer, and happy planning!


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