Doing an ISA – Pre-Practical

20Feb13

There will be a second post in a few days, if I can fit it in between coughing, marking and spending time with my family. Please excuse the brevity, but it seems highly unlikely that my broadband connection – thank you Talk Talk – will last long enough for my usual wittering.

This is intended for those of us who teach GCSE Science with AQA, to help with the joy of an ISA. Of course we’ve no idea what format this will take once Gove’s messed around with it, but I can be fairly confident that even he couldn’t make it any worse. I’ve blogged before about the weaknesses I see with the current model, and what I’ve done to address them. Here’s the resources I’m currently using to try and help my classes. They should work, with tweaking of course, for any variant of the AQA Science courses. Click on the image for the presentation:

ISA preprac

I found that my students, despite having been shown the sample exam papers while they researched, struggled to include all relevant information on their Research Notes sheets. My solution was to produce an extra sheet with more detailed prompts, similar to those in the presentation above, which they could fill in. I had them keep the exam paper and markscheme open in an extra tab, and annotate their sheet with the linked question numbers for each fact. They then transferred their messy information to the official sheets, which of course acts as another rehearsal before the exam.

ISA preprac as .pdf

Please let me know what you think, good and bad. The ‘post-prac’ equivalents should be up by the end of halfterm, subject to the usual caveats.

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4 Responses to “Doing an ISA – Pre-Practical”

  1. 1 Bio_Joe

    A great resource, thanks. The Presentation will be very useful. I have blogged about my own preplanning sheet here http://wp.me/p1TSgB-7H I have added in a part where students need to think about two methods for their practical as that seems to be a thing in the biology ISAs

  2. Thanks for sharing your ideas on how to approach ISAs – really useful, and I do like your preplanning sheet which makes a whole lot more sense than the ‘official’ version. Funnily enough, I also tell my students to ‘imagine explaining the method to a younger student’ – it works!

  3. 3 Tracey

    Can I ask how much time should be allowed to complete the Physics ISA in total?


  1. 1 ISA Planning (AQA) | ifitsgreenitsbiology

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