Different ways teachers can use the project

Teachers can decide for themselves how they want to use Decipher my data! Flu!  in their school.  Below are some ideas from teachers we’ve been speaking to, on how they will be using the project…

1. Sixth Form students

Teachers may wish to delegate the project to a group of responsible sixth form students, who can use their experiences to about something exciting in their UCAS applications, personal statements and interviews. This page gives students a list of resources they can use throughout the project.

Case Study: Teacher 1

I’ll be using the project with a group of my year 12 students, many of whom will be going on to study medicine. They’re a focused bunch and will be running the project from start to finish. The students are seeking permission from the head and will be contacting the attendance officer. They will be uploading the data each week and writing their own submissions without input from the teacher. They are booked in to give an assembly on the project to year 8 and will be leaving a questionnaire on the school’s VLE for students in Year 8 to complete (with instructions for those whose parents declined permission not to complete it).

2. KS3 Assessing Pupil’s Progress (APP)

Teachers can use the students’ lablogs and peer reviews for levelling evidence in APP (the criteria for which are supplied in the lesson plans) for AF5.  For those schools not using APP, the levels can be used to help students focus on data analysis and peer review appropriate to the level they are working at.

3. ISA training

Teachers can also use the project as ISA preparation and the lesson plans give opportunities for students to practice the following in each section of an ISA paper:

  • Section 1 identifying and using types of variable, what kind of graphs are required to represent them as well as issues with experimental design (bias, variation, sources of error etc.)
  • Section 2 to identify conflicts and other interpretations of results as well as issues with experimental design (bias, variation, sources of error etc.)

 4. A level Biology (EDEXCEL) Issue report

Teachers may wish to suggest students use the Flu! project for their EDEXCEL Issue report, as Flu surveillance is an important and relevant biological issue. See the table below for ideas on how to link the project to the criteria.

Issue Report Criteria Flu! Project
Describe a relevant biological issue Flu surveillance
Describe the current methods involved in producing data Describe current Flu surveillance, e.g. using National Flu data from Health Protection Agency
Describe solutions to the problems with current methods based on new methods Describe the method of Flu surveillance being investigated in the Flu! project
Explain how the methods are appropriate for producing both valid and reliable data, using graphs that are appropriate, relevant and integrated with the report Evaluating the methods of the Flu! project using graphs from data analysis
Identify two implications (ethical, social, environmental or economic) encountered within the context of the issue Ethical concerns for data collection in schools
Evaluate benefits and risks to humans, other organisms and the environment as appropriate, of the implications of the applied biology being studied or identified Benefits for improving Flu surveillance for improving Flu interventions.
Discuss alternative solutions for implications of the biology encountered within the context of the issue Alternative methods of Flu surveillance
Use information or arguments obtained from three or more sources (including at least one web based and one non web based) when researching the issue. Clearly identify any quotes from sources. Provide information about the source, author and date of three or more references used in the visit or issue report. Link references to the appropriate text in the visit or issue report Dr Rob’s blog posts and other resources provided on the Decipher my data! site

5. STEM Club

The Flu! project is perfect for STEM clubs, who may may have more time to complete the additional and bonus tasks. These include students presenting a project proposal to a school “ethics committee”, which will give them an insight into the ethics behind research.

6. Math Teachers

A few Math’s teachers have contacted us rather excited and keen to join in. Whilst we won’t be supplying resources specifically catered for maths, GCSE and A-level statistics teachers have been telling us how they want to …


  • work with the linear regression data, looking at the equation for the straight line and extrapolating from it, using a Spearman analysis to describe the quality of the fit.
  • look at the spread of the data on the xy scattergrams and describing it in terms of how closely it fits a normal distribution, what its standard deviation is and how skewed it is.

At A-level …

  • use the time trend analysis as a context for hypothesis testing

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