Hi everyone and welcome to my page!

I teach at Weydon, a seconday school upto GCSE with a double science status. My passion lately has been 'Levels' and how we can make students and parents aware of what they are; making Biology lessons more engaging and simple and thus improving results at GCSE; increasing awareness on HSW at KS3 and KS4. I am at the moment focusing on a difficult group in set 4 most of whom have achieved 'C' in their core exams but because each student is different, can be challenging to get everyone engaged sometimes. I plan to do a case study on this group.
Here are a couple of lessons that I have tried and tested.

The Menstrual cycle: How do I get the boys engaged?

One of the topics in AQA B1a is the Menstrual Cycle. I had been thinking of ways that I could make this topic engaging so that students remember the hormones and glands involved in the menstrual cycle. I came up with the idea of role playing. I decided to try it on my lower set first.
Using A4 cards I wrote the keys words: pituitary galnd, FSH, LH, oestrogen, progesterone, ovary,uterus,egg
After a brief introduction on the menstrual cycle, I announced that we will be role playing the menstrual cycle. All the boys wanted to take a part in the role play. We had to decide which part of the lab was going to be the pituitory gland, which the ovary and uterus. Once decided, the hormones linked to the glands went to stand alongside the glands. the egg crouched next to the ovary. the students were made aware that I would make three announcements, 'Start of menstrual cycle', '14th day', 'egg not fertilised' at different stages of the menstrual cycle. To show how the FSH stimulated the ovary to release oestrogen, the ovary(student)would start shaking in his seat. He would then touch the oestrogen and progestrone so that they would walk to the ovary. On the release of the LH, the crouched egg would stand up to show it was maturing and start moving to the ovary after the 14th day. End of the cycle was the egg dying along with the lining of the menstrual cycle and oestrogen and progesterone also leaving the stage
The first attempt required a lot of prompts. Repititon improved their performance. One student was impatient to become the sperm. So we repeated the menstrual cycle with a fertilised egg. The lesson went so fast!
As the plenary, students had to make a flow diagram to show the stages of the menstrual cycle. It was interesting to note how they linked the stages with who was doing what.after the success with the lower set, I repeated this activity with the middle and top sets too.
Next lesson was on 'What if there is no/less FSH? What if the women did not want a baby? We had to select someone to be a doctor, so a doctor's surgery was created!