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How Headington School uses Need to Know Economics to teach effectively

Headington School

Head of Economics, Headington School, Oxfordshire

"Need to Know fills the gap [...] It reminds them of what they don’t know and reinforces the things that they do need to know!"

I’m in an independent school and I’ve got lots of students who are aiming for A and A * grades. I know there are books on that, but they are exam technique books rather than content books.

I think the students like Need to Know because it’s organised by specification point, and they love that. If you are revising bullet point 3. 1. 2, you can go straight into that book and find the content on 3. 1. 2. Textbooks can go out of date quickly, and ultimately you can find a lot of the actual theory online for free. When it comes to revision, Need to Know is just a very easy resource for the students to go to.

For the last few years, I’ve bought it for all of them to say, ‘You’ve finished the course now, we’ve got two and a half months before your exam. This is the book you need now to jog your memory.’ If they think, ‘I’ve forgotten about this specification point,’ then there are the salient points, and that will either trigger a response of ‘I remember it’ or ‘I’ve forgotten it, and therefore I need to revise it.’ I’d call it an aide-memoire. That probably doesn’t do it justice because it’s a bit more than that, but it’s just very good at focusing minds onto the specific task at hand.

I’m confident that my students have very good notes from their class, and I’m also very confident that they are savvy enough to go online. Need to Know fills the gap between them. It reminds them of what they don’t know and reinforces the things that they do need to know!

Sometimes students forget the technical nature of economics or forget the relationship between revenue curves and cost curves and how they’re all linked together. In development economics, there’s a lot of different types of branches and it’s very easy to forget specific development strategies, so it’s a very good book to remind you of the technical, specific parts of the specification. The key terms are very useful for our international students.

I think what students find the most useful about the Need to Know guides is the way they’re laid out. They like the illustrations, they like the bullet points. My problem with a lot of revision guides is that some of them are three hundred pages long, and that’s not a revision guide. I think the title is exactly right – understand these salient points and you’ll be fine.


What resources do Headington School use to teach AQA A-level Economics?

Need to Know: AQA A-level Economics >

Need to Know Series >