Salters-Nuffield Advanced Biology 2005

Directors: Michael Reiss, Angela Hall, and Anne Scott

SNAB has a context-led approach. Topics are based on a storyline or contemporary issue such as risk and cardiovascular disease, rather than being based on themes like ‘cell structure’.  Biological principles are introduced when required to aid understanding of the context.

Breeding reebops at Esher College in 2002

The relevance of learning is immediately obvious. Students find this motivating, and so exhibit greater enthusiasm and confidence. The context-led approach of the course also encourages students to recognise links between different areas of biology.

Topics include ‘Lifestyle, health and risk’, ‘Biodiversity and natural resources’, and ‘Infection, immunity and forensics’.

Nature of the course

Activities include practical work, interactive animations, debates and discussions, research and role plays. Employing a wide range of teaching and learning styles, activities introduce content, skills, and experimental techniques.

Skills include data analysis, critical evaluation of information, communication and collaborative work. Developing these types of skills is an integral part of the SNAB course. Independent learning is an important ability which students will develop as a result of doing the activities.

Reebops, Esher College, 2002.

This does not mean that students should be left to get on alone; instead they learn to work things out for themselves, make links between ideas, draw on existing knowledge, apply this knowledge to new situations, and take responsibility for their own learning. Collaboration is an important element in independent learning.


Student activity sheets and teachers & technicians’ notes, animations and other electronic resources are available online. These are complemented by student textbooks.