Update: Success of the Spiral Curriculum!

The spiral curriculum approach to teaching Unit 3 AQA was a resounding success!

Not only did the students report finding the approach enjoyable but I also found that revision towards the end of the unit felt less arduous and teacher driven. In previous years I have found revision lessons frustrating and fruitless because the students often leave their “cramming style” revision until the last minute so frequently failed to get the most out of revision activities I had planned because they couldn’t recall earlier learning well enough. As each topic area was much fresher in their memories – due to revisiting each topic in carefully planned out layers of content and use of material – the final revision layer was much more productive.

Ultimately the proof of the pudding is in the results so I was delighted when I analysed the January unit results for the cohort. Of 28 students sitting this unit in January 21 (75%) received A grades in this unit (82% received A and B grades). It is also worth pointing out that nearly half of these A grades were 90+ UMS marks, leaving most of these students on target for A* grades once they have sat Unit 4 in the summer.

Bearing in mind that most of these students are not expected to achieve at this level based on their target predictions (ALIS) it is worth using this strategy again and investigating its use for other units. Clearly data based on only one cohort in one setting does not provide proof of this strategy working, but I strongly feel that this success is largely due to the fact that there was much more opportunity for lessons to have a specific focus on writing about Psychology and using knowledge and analytical points effectively, as the content felt much less overwhelming.


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