Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Learning to Fly

These are the skills and habits which outstanding students of Economics develop. Do as many of these as possible to become completely independent in the subject and to develop the skills and knowledge needed to attain 8/9 at GCSE and A* at A Level. Remember that just doing what your teacher tells you - in your lessons and beyond - is not enough to develop your full potential in the subject.

In your lessons

Contribute your ideas – don’t be afraid of getting the ‘wrong answer’ – top economists often come up with drastically different viewpoints when using the same data

Challenge the ideas of others – appreciating different viewpoints and being able to justify them is a crucial way of developing your evaluative skills

Be proactive in asking questions when something doesn’t make sense – this is completely normal in a subject where you are learning new theories every lesson and is a not a sign of weakness (students who frequently ask questions generally end up getting top grades)

Thinking about ways in which new theories relate to theories we’ve already studied – particularly important in macroeconomics


Between your lessons

Think about how our theories relate to the wider context of the UK and global economy – particularly at A2 by:

·         Regularly reviewing the economics section of The Guardian website

·         Reading and making notes on the ‘Thinking like an Economist’ section at the end of each           chapter

·         Subscribing to the Economist magazine

Reviewing the work of a lesson - making sure you know what you have or haven’t understood then addressing these areas with the support of your classmates or your teacher

At A2 keep a log of three big economics news stories per week

As you become more familiar with the course practice writing answers under time constraints


Beyond your lessons

Discuss big economics stories with classmates and your family – if you can use these terms fluently in conversation it will make it even easier to develop clear chains of reasoning when writing

Tutor2u and the Institute for Economic Affairs offer a range of free seminars and wider reading which will help to develop you as an economist – take advantage of these free resources

Visit the Bank of England museum for an hour or two – this is free and will give you an even greater insight into Monetary policy

Enter the Royal Economic Society’s annual essay competition.

Of course we recognise that our students have busy lives and that this level of engagement is not always possible all the time - but this is what you should aim for if you want to reach the highest level in the subject. You don’t need to do ALL of these things to improve - just doing one or two of them will have an impact. Decide on two or three to focus on to improve your skills.