A GCE Biology course developed in partnership with the University of York

West Midlands, Oxford, Beds and Berks

Reports from pilot centres (various dates)

Wycombe High School
Queensbury School, Bedfordshire

Oxford & Cherwell College

Sibford School

Exhall Grange School, Coventry


Report from a pilot centre in July 2005: Wycombe High School

Students enjoyed the activities, both experiments and on-line.

SNAB topics were very useful for interviews for medicine etc. Students who completed the A2 have gone on to university to study medicine, dentistry, biological sciences, among other things.

We found encouraging enough independent learning challenging.

Penny Priestley


Report from a pilot centre in July 2005: Queensbury School, Bedfordshire

Students most enjoyed the interactive ICT activities and the zoo visit.

We found the projects stressful for our technician.

Students who completed the A2 have gone on to medicine and biological sciences.

Paul Rose


Report from a pilot centre in June 2004: Oxford & Cherwell College

What students most liked about the SNAB A2 is the range of interactive support material. Most (though not all) students continued to appreciate the context-led approach. This course has led us to take a much more student-centred approach to the teaching.

The greatest challenge has been the adaptation of teaching styles, familiarisation with new topics, and getting the IT working.

Students who have done the SNAB A2 are going on to medicine, biology, anthropology, sports science, and a variety of others including dance!

Having worked through SNAB, we are trying to transfer some of the ideas to our adult 'access to science' courses.

Mark Colyer


Report from a pilot centre in June 2004: Sibford School, Oxfordshire

What students liked most about the SNAB A2 are:

  • forensic science
  • the textbooks
  • subjects set in a relevant context, with up-to-date examples
  • the good range of assessment methods used, well spaced out through the course
  • field work
  • many students liked the model-making and similar activities.

The greatest challenge has been integrating the interactive activities and web-links into the work in a way that encourages the students to take them as seriously as the material in the textbooks. We've also found it a challenge to manage with no past exam papers this year, other than one set of samples.

Students who have done the SNAB A2 are going on to medical school, psychology, teaching, and art history.

Andy Newbold


Report from a pilot centre: Exhall Grange School

Dissection 2
Students at Exhall Grange School, Coventry have been working on Topic 1 'Lifestyle, health and risk'. Teacher John Dunkerton says: 'Here's some photos of my crowd dissecting a heart - no simulations here. Hope these are of interest, we all think the course is fine.'

Dissection1
Keith (a blind student) said: 'It was very interesting because I got to see for myself what a heart actually felt like and was able to examine the inside of it in great detail. It was like cutting through tough chicken, the texture was tougher than raw chicken.'

Dissection 3
The next day Victoria told Hannah what to look for.