3rd June 2011 at 01:00


A-level core concepts

Fun ways to tackle difficult subjects

According to TES resources maths adviser Craig Barton, the jump between maths GCSE and A-level is the greatest out of all the subjects, so it is useful to draw on resources to help students bridge that gap. This collection he has compiled of core concepts from the A-level maths syllabus should help teachers do just that.

A fun way to tackle difficult concepts might be nottcl's mathematical treasure hunt, which looks at implicit differentiation, parametric differentiation, factor theorem, remainder theorem, vectors and converting parametrics to Cartesian form. Teachers stick the cards around the room and give different starting points to pupils, who must solve problems along the way.

A good starter activity is a matching task on binomial expansion, uploaded by angles2. Make cards for the students to match up co-efficients with their numerical equivalents.

There are a number of links to videos from the popular Autograph maths resource site, including a simple visual introduction to calculus and a 3D look at calculating volumes of revolution.



Movement, choreography and history

This collection of resources focuses on many different aspects of dance, movement and expression. Start by inspiring pupils with images of various dance movements, uploaded by Tizabella.

To get them started on movement, lisabowron88 has supplied a handout with letters of the alphabet in different squares in a "dance cube". Pupils move from one letter to another according to the first four letters of their name, or spell a word related to dance. They then turn these movements into a dance.

If you are beginning to look at choreography, miss type has uploaded a helpful worksheet that looks at key elements such as choosing music, developing a motif and how different actions can express different things.

A good revision resource, again from Tizabella, covers the four areas of Laban's movement analysis - action, space, dynamics and relationships. Each sheet includes key words for each area, which can be used to inspire discussion.

Janet Edwards has uploaded a background resource looking at different styles of dance and the broad categories they belong to.

If you want to focus specifically on Bollywood dance, AndSJ has put together a history of the movement, plus a few introductory dance steps, in a PowerPoint document. There are a number of resources available on jazz, including an assignment brief for BTEC Jazz (ally25) and a task on the relationship between jazz dance and music (miss-dancey-pants).


Product design

Sustainability, analysis and specifications

Spencer Herbert, head of DT at Ravens Wood School for Boys in Bromley, Kent (username Spencer_DT), has compiled a collection of resources focusing on product design for key stage 4.

The collection includes resources and activities that look at sustainability and product analysis, the writing of specifications and how to annotate ideas effectively.

A good place to start is with a simple product analysis, uploaded by pmsims. Pupils have just five minutes to pick one of the products from a selection of iconic items, such as a Coca-Cola bottle, and list five things they like and five things they don't about it.

Cjcort has uploaded a PowerPoint incorporating four activities on sustainable design. Topics covered include how our consumption in the Western world affects countries in the third world.

Drawing up specifications is a core aspect of product design, and nickinooski has uploaded a worksheet to print out and use in class. Pupils can use it to write their own specifications, and they can then use it as a framework when it comes to developing their product.

For ideas on products to develop, Mr Herbert has picked out a resource where pupils can come up with an eco-friendly garden product, such as a bird feeder (wiggs2010), and a step-by-step guide to running a project where pupils design and make their own acrylic jewellery (littlemissraw).

Finally, a useful revision resource has been supplied by doodle_dt, where questions and answers can be edited depending on what topic you are focusing on.


Democracy days

A charity set up to promote classics in schools has launched a series of workshops on democracy. The Iris Project sessions will feature a recreation of the Athenian assembly of the 5th century BC.

Write for woods

Education contractor BAM Construct is launching a poetry competition to highlight the value of our woodlands in celebration of World Environment Day. The closing date for entries is 30 September.

Revision tips

Award-winning teachers are sharing their revision tips through an education website. The five teachers have all been chosen after uploading video lessons to the O2 Learn site. Their tips are available at

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