These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

CPD taster - Maths for A level biology

This is a CPD taster created to give teachers a better understanding of what to expect when joining one of our secondary mathematics in science courses. Below you will find a video and a task for you to do in your own time. Once you have done the activity, book on Maths for A level biology (NY284).

How confident are you when teaching the mathematical content at A level biology such as the chi-squared test, Student’s t test and Spearman’s rank correlation?

As a result of the increased mathematical demand in the science specifications, many biology teachers now wish to improve their own understanding of the mathematics required in order for their students to be successful in biology. The Maths for A level biology course provides strategies for meeting this demand. The course explores teaching methods and activities that can be used to support A level biology students.

In this video, Michael Anderson, Mathematics Subject Specialist at STEM Learning, explains more about what you’ll learn on the course. You will find a short task below that will help you to start thinking about how you can develop more ways of supporting students with their mathematics.


Logarithmic scales are used in many areas of science. Students may have heard of the pH scale and the Reitcher scale, but are unaware that these scales are logarithmic. Logarithms is not a topic covered in mathematics at GCSE level, so if your students are not studying A level maths they are unlikely to know what they are. This is where you, as their biology teacher, will be required to step in. Students will be required to read off values from a logarithmic scale on a graph.

Concept cartoons can be a great way to promote discussion in lessons. This concept cartoon could be used  to assess students’ prior knowledge and expose any misconceptions. 

Take a look at the example below. 

Consider each of the student’s statements in turn and think about how you may use this to generate discussion in your lesson. With which statements do you agree? How would you explain what is wrong with the statements with which you disagree? 

Concept cartoon of 5 students responses to a question. Accessible version linked below.

Accessible version of concept cartoon. Larger version.

Next steps

In the summary video, Michael explains what you can expect from attending the Maths for A level biology course.

Book your place on Maths for A level biology (NY284).

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