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A-Level Physics: Aiming for A/A* and Beyond

Course Code:


This refreshed and reinvigorated course will focus on how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A and A* in the upcoming examinations, stretching and challenging them to ensure their success beyond A-Level Physics.

Led by our highly respected and successful presenter Howard Dodd and focussing on advanced, high-end, top-level teaching and learning ideas for all key options, this course will provide refreshed approaches and methods that will stretch and challenge the most able students and develop their higher-level skills.

Using key messages from the 2022 exams, the course will focus what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this. This course will be of benefit to teachers of all exam boards.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A and A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions across the most challenging parts of the exams
  • Take away tried and tested approaches to extend your more able students
  • Mark schemes & examiners’ reports will be analysed to identify what marks out the top candidates
  • Sample answers at Grades A and A* will be analysed
  • Approaches will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the course in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
  • Explore the common mistakes made by high attainers in Physics examinations


Identifying and Challenging Able Students in A-Level Physics

10.00 – 10.45am
  • Identifying the genuinely highly able physicists at A-Level
  • Characteristics of high attainers in Physics
  • How to teach and challenge A/A* students in mixed attainment groups
  • Developing skills for independent learning in A/A* students
  • Topics which really differentiate between ability levels and what teachers should do as a result

Discussion: coffee break

10.45 – 11.00am

Gaining Grades A & A* in A-Level Physics: why do some able students miss the A/A*?

11.00 – 11.45am
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the 2022 papers – what is required for A/A*?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A grade?
  • What skills are needed to access the higher grades?
  • Ways to prepare your able students for all types of questions including those testing practical skills

Improving Highly Able Students’ Success in Difficult Physics Concepts

11.45 – 1.00pm
  • Advanced approaches to teaching the physics topics that able students miss marks on in exams
  • Using computer simulations to challenge and extend students’ understanding
  • Examples of top-level experiments to stimulate thought and challenge ideas
  • Analysing sample answers at Grades A/A*
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions across the most challenging parts of the exams
  • Tried and tested approaches to extend your more able students in the different topics
  • Ensuring grades don’t drop – squeezing out the last marks in the exam

Lunch and informal discussion

1.00 – 2.00pm

Higher Order Questioning – Extending the A/A* Students

2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Problem solving contexts
  • Approaches to improve lateral thinking
  • Modelling in Physics
  • Thought provoking examples to challenge learners’ understanding
  • Classroom and laboratory activities that encourage higher order thinking
  • Olympiad and other Physics competitions – using questions over and above recommended reading, preparing for Oxbridge – signposting, pushing and probing
  • How to support your students with Russell Group interviews

Afternoon break

3.00 – 3.05pm

Preparing for the Exam – Techniques and Tactics

3.05 – 3.45pm
  • Examples of mistakes often made by able students in Physics examinations
  • Preparing for the exam papers in a logical and systematic way to maximise marks – promoting effective study habits
  • A carefully planned revision campaign that leaves nothing to chance.
  • Develop the ‘A*/A Grade’ skills – analysis, evaluation and application
  • Techniques for memory retrieval and recall and application to examination questions
  • Dissecting examination questions- vocabulary & command words


London | Wednesday 23 November 2022

Please select your preferred date

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Howard Dodd has worked as an A-level Physics Principal Examiner (writing exam papers and supervising marking) for over twenty years being employed by OCR, AQA and Edexcel. He has a national reputation for providing high quality and helpful in-service training courses for secondary and post-16 teachers.


  • A-Level Physics teachers
  • Heads of Physics
  • Heads of Science
  • Teachers preparing science students to read Physics at University


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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