So, if you are in a Northern Hemisphere school or a May Examination school then you will have (literally) finished your course.

I guess the first question was how it? Did it go as you thought it would when you picked up that subject guide a couple of years ago? Or, as is often the case, did things evolve and in the end, did you find it was different to how you imagined? Was it a good or bad experience?

Every school is different; every teacher is different; every student is different so we will all have our own idea of when something best works but I thought it was worth posting a few structured (scaffolded[!]) questions to help guide you in your reflections:

Firstly, the timing of the topics:

  • Which order did you teach them in? Did this work?
  • When did you teach organic chemistry?
  • When did you teach the option(s) [after organic I hope!] and which option did you choose?


  • How well did you include it in your lessons?
  • Do you feel more comfortable with the NOS aspects than you did a couple of years ago?
  • Do you think your students could make (and understand) the links between NOS and the syllabus content?


  • Did you teach all of the mandatory lab skills (there are plenty of previous blogs on this topic)?
  • What about your expectations of the students? Did they write the reports up? Did you challenge them and ask them questions on the method employed?
  • Did you use this as a chance to scaffold the IA?
  • The group 4 project? When is best to do it? How do you do it?
  • The ICT criteria – did you hit all five targets? Were you able to include these with the mandatory labs or with other labs that you teach?


  • Did the timing of it work? If not, when would be a better time to do it?
  • Did you liaise with other group 4 departments (and other non group 4 departments)
  • Did you spend too long on it or not long enough?
  • How well did you teach the criteria – did the students ‘get it’?
  • Do you need to spend time scaffolding labs so that the students have had some practice / exposure to the criteria?


  • How were they?
  • As you imagined or different?
  • Anything catch your eye?

Overall, I do hope the experience was a positive one. Naturally, there will be times when it does not seem to be working as it should but on the whole I do think the changes made have been very positive and have refreshed and moved chemistry on a step or two. The course is certainly more exciting and varied than it was, both to the student and teacher.

What are your feelings? I’d love to hear them, so please do post them below.