VIth Form Biologists were joined by pupils from George Abbott School for a study skills day on Friday March14th. Affectionately (and respectfully) known to Cranleigh biologists as “Uncle Bill”, Mr. Bill Indge (prolific author of text books, 35 years an Examiner – latterly Chief Examiner – and major contributor to Biological Sciences Review) masterminded four one-hour study skills sessions in the ALT.
Using powerpoint and a marvelously animated speaking style he worked hard to show candidates how to get as many marks for their knowledge as possible. Serious technical points were skillfully supported by light touches of humour and the occasional burst of audience participation; the time flew by. The sessions were neatly and extensively illustrated with quotes from past papers, candidates’ responses (good and bad!) and some additional questions devised purely to illustrate a particular detail. He stressed that some of the marks are easy to earn (they are supposed to be) and some are very hard; there will be unfamiliar material present (he used diving in seals to illustrate this) so he stressed the importance of keeping on top of the biological principles listed, by unit, in the specification. He made much of the command phrases with which questions are littered, he provided a splendidly sensible strategy for tackling the EMPA, and data analysis questions and, finally, of course, the synoptic essay. It was generally agreed that the sessions were incredibly useful and I have already been asked if he can be invited back next year.