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What’s Your Favourite Mnemonic?

What’s Your Favourite Mnemonic?

We asked and you delivered! We had some fantastic mnemonics sent in for our competition, here are some of our favourites to inspire and educate, including our winning one from Melanie Curd at St Clere’s School –  a great mnemonic and highlighting technicians…


  • SAM and CID: Variables in experiments: Same = Control, Adjust = Independent, Measure = Dependent – NEW!

This has been invaluable at our school for helping our students learn the variables and was invented by one of our science teachers Mr Andrew Tweddell. If this wins a pin badge I will award it to him!

Kim Vale, The Homesdale School

  • A Technician Great Consultant: adenine (A) and thymine (T) pair together, and cytosine (C) and guanine (G) pair together – NEW!

Raises technicians’ profiles and is easy to remember.

Melanie Curd, St Clere’s School

  • GET ENE KC: Eight Energy Stores – Gravitational potential, Elastic potential, Thermal, Electromagnetic, Nuclear, Electrostatic, Kinetic, Chemical – NEW!

Note how the three Es are in alphabetical order!

  • Since then we have worked on HERM for the energy transfers – it works as it is therm without the t! – Heating, Electrical working, Radiation, Mechanical working – NEW!

This was invented by a student last year when he was in year 7 – if this wins a pin badge I will award it to him! It is so simple as it is said “get any KC” and folk think about KfC, it has also really helped me as talk about energy stores and transfers has changed several times in the 33 years that I’ve been teaching. We used to refer to electrical energy for example.

Kim Vale, The Homesdale School.

  • The Strong Man’s Triceps Explode: Earth’s atmospheres – Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere – NEW!

Its probably one of the funniest I’ve ever come across.

Owain Hunt, Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen.

  • Harry, He Likes Beer By Cupfuls, Not Over Frothy, Never Nasty Mugs Allowed. Since Past Six Closing, Are Kegs Cancelled?

    (H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar, K, Ca.) Such an easy way to remember the first 20 elements.

Elizabeth James, Amery Hill School.

  • Katy Perry Calls Obama For Great Sex: Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species – NEW!

Was told it by my GCSE Biology teacher and the class proceeded to cackle for ten minutes and just always stuck in my memory!

Eoin Dunne, The Bolsover School.

  • Keep Penis Clean Or Forget Good Sex: Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species – NEW!

My biology teacher taught me the mnemonic Keep Penis Clean Or Forget Good Sex to remember the levels of classification back in the late 90s and I have never forgotten Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species!

Alex Craig, The Castle School.

  • Keep Playing Chess Or Face Gorman’s Slap: Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species – NEW!

I still use this teaching classification. In 2006, a Year 7 student came up with it, Will Gorman, the English teacher ran chess club. Locked in now.

Jon Hale, Beaulieu Convent School.

  • Does It Always Run Rather Horribly Over Each Ankle? – NEW!

You’ll never forget how to spell diarrhoea ever again! 🙂

Katrina Cornell, UTC Oxfordshire.

  • Real Men Inevitably Visit Ugly eX Girlfriends

I heard it once, many years ago and have never been able to forget it. I have no issues in remembering the Electromagnetic spectrum now!

Caroline Robinson, King Edward VI Academy.

  • OIL RIG – Oxidation Is Losing electrons, Reduction Is Gaining electrons – NEW!

This is the first mnemonic I was taught.

Lisa Alford, Tonbridge School

  • PANIC – Positive is Anode, Negative is Cathode And that Cations are purrsitive – NEW!

Nice and simple and the second part helps with pronunciation.

Bob Morgan, Magdalen College School Brackley.

  • Go Sally, Go! make Children! – Cell cycle: Growth, Synthetic, Growth 2, Mitosis, Cytokenisis – NEW!

It’s funny and relates to the subject.

Chloe Akery, Don Valley Academy.

  • Camels Often Sit Down Carefully Perhaps Their Joints Creak – Cambrian/Ordovician/Silurian/Devonian/Carboniferous/Permian/Triassic/Jurassic/Cretaceous – NEW!

Fond memories of my Geology teacher Dr Sego at St John Rigby 6th Form College, Orrell.

Kevin Fitzpatrick, St Wilfrids High School and 6th Form College.

  • ACE IT! – Active Recall, Chunking, Elaboration, Interleaving,  Time Management

It’s simple, a great study tool and covers lots of study techniques 🙂

Joseph Buta, Sheffield Hallam.

  • Have No Fear Of Ice Cold Beer – Hydrogen Nitrogen Fluorine Oxygen Iodine Chlorine Bromine – NEW!

I only discovered it this year – astounded that I’ve been on the planet 50 years and had never heard this!

Denz Fernandes, The Leys, Cambridge.

  • Many Elephants Prefer Bigger Peanuts (meth-, eth-, pro-, but-, pent-)

It distinguished between the pro- and pent- and is easy to remember.

Suzanne Northwood, Norwich High School for Girls.

  • MRS GREN: Movement, Respiration, Sensation, Growth, Reproduction, Excretion, Nutrition – NEW!

It is one that I learnt 30 or so years ago when doing my Al levels and it still has a place in my brain.

Kevin Straw, The Carlton Academy.

  • MRS NERG: Movement, Respiration, Sensitivity, Nutrition, Excretion, Reproduction, Growth

I did my GCSE’s in 2000 and can still remember this 23 years later!

Cheryl Miller, St John Henry Newman School.

  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune – NEW!

I like nachos.

George Robins, The Marsh Academy.

  • My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune – NEW!

I can picture myself being that excited mother, serving nachos to my children – they would think it was real treat!

Valerie Kerr, Parkside Community College.

  • My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas – NEW!

I wish I knew it at school – I was in my 40s when I borrowed this from a science teacher.

Karen Donald, DSTC.

  • My Veins Eat Marshmallow Jam, Sitting Under Nigel’s Pants: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

I know this isn’t a well known one but we had to make one up at primary school to remember the planets. I had to sit next to a boy called Nigel who had too left legs and was always my country dancing partner, he was annoying! I’m 50 now and this still makes me chuckle (the mnemonic not the country dancing).

Emma Dent, St John Henry Newmam Catholic School.

  • TURD and LURD

So useful for students to learn how thermistors and LDRs behave as the temperature changes: Temp Up Resistance Down for thermistors and Light Up Resistance Down for LDRs 🙂

Dan Jones, Monmouth School for Boys.

  • My – mutation, Very – variation, Smelly – survival, Brown – breed, Poo – pass on alleles

It fits with any biological topic and the importance of survival.

Sarah Cooper, Meden School.

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