Category Archives: Inspection


Is there a difference between teaching and learning?

This question is brought into sharper focus by how imminent your next inspection is. Ours is guaranteed at some point this year, so everyone is being asked to ensure an Excellence of learning in all lessons.

But how do you assess your students’ learning within a lesson? Especially if you’re busy teaching them?

Answer, don’t teach them!


On the old AQA GCSE course, students were expected to understand that viruses and bacteria can both make you ill, but that viruses do so by infecting cells, and bacteria do so by releasing toxins.

One way of covering this is to tell them. Fill in a summary table. Draw it on the board and talk them through it. Tick. Done, filed, covered, move on to the next shovel-load of information. So efficient! So quick! Isn’t that how you do it?

Or try this.

Infectious Disease introduction

All your work goes into the planning. Book the ICT suite or the laptops or the Chromebook. Design/modify the exercise and photocopy it.


Then let them do all the work.

Look at the inspection criteria for lesson observation. Look at how many boxes you’ll tick with this approach. More important, look at your students learning

Learning by doing doesn’t have to be practical work.

Follow it up with little virus models…

virus model

designed for a particular, original, designer disease. My favourite from a few years ago remains the virus covered in little stalks with pictures of Justin Bieber at the end of each antigen. Of course. The virus that causes Bieber Fever….

Encourage use of glitter and tinsel and dangle them from the ceiling of your lab for a splendid pathogenic yuletide mobile.