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Aiming for A/A* in OCR A-Level Chemistry

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This new course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in future OCR A-level Chemistry examinations. The course will explore the characteristics of A/A* students identified in research and why and how we must challenge our most able Chemistry students. Focused extensively on evidence-based teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the most recent exams, you will leave with a vast range of resources and practical strategies that will enable you to meet the needs of your most able students and ultimately increase A and A* grade attainment. Finally, we will look beyond the course to focus on preparing these students to continue studying Chemistry at university. The course is designed for teachers of OCR A-Level Chemistry, but would be of benefit to teachers of other exam boards as well.


  • Understand how applying current pedagogy regarding flipped learning and metacognition will transform your teaching of more able students
  • Develop the use of mental models to promote student recall, supporting the teaching of the most challenging A-Level topics
  • Develop greater understanding of the precision and detail that examiners are looking for in A/A* students
  • Find out more about the barriers to progression and ways to support highly able students to overcome them
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions and how to prepare students to answer then effectively
  • Take away a range of innovative teaching ideas and electronic resources to help advance your most able students


Focus on the pedagogy; how can it unlock the potential of A/A* students?

10.00 – 11.15am
  • Mental models, metacognition and flipped learning; how can they be practically applied and what benefits will they deliver
  • Review characteristics of A and A* A-Level students
  • How are A/A* Grades achieved?



11.15 – 11.30am

The Exams – Techniques and Tactics

11.30 – 1.00pm
  • The key topics A/A* students find most challenging and how to scaffold Techniques for memory retrieval and recall and application to examination questions
  • Dissecting examination questions- vocabulary & command words
  • Strategies to improve responses to exam questions and signposting
  • Dealing with the maths; a look at some of the challenging areas of physical chemistry including: challenging titration questions, graphs and related questions, pH and buffers
  • Mechanisms; how to embed the academic rigour required to maximise marks
  • Avoiding potential hazards – what can cost a top student their A/A* grade?



1.00 – 2.00pm

The key challenges for A/A* students in the Papers

2.00 – 3.00pm
  • Developing a deep understanding of core Chemistry concepts
  • Practical questions; supporting students to write top level response questions every time
  • Developing a personalised approach to note taking to support recall
  • Activating prior knowledge to improve retention of key topic areas


Afternoon Break

3.00 – 3.15pm

Stretching and Challenging the most able students

3.15 – 3.45pm
  • Moving on from GCSE approaches – highlighting the teaching differences from the start of the A level course
  • What makes a strong A-Level response? How can we build up to this?
  • Using wider reading to prepare for exams
  • RSC Olympiad resources and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge – using questions over and above recommended reading, preparing for Oxbridge
  • Embedding RSC Olympiad resources and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge resources into schemes of work and lessons to stretch the most able students in Chemistry.
  • Strategies for stretching A/A* students in a mixed-ability classroom and challenging complacent high-achievers


London | Wednesday 29 November 2023
London | Wednesday 13 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Wednesday 29 November 2023
London | Wednesday 13 March 2024

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.


Dee Martin is Head of Chemistry & STEM at Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham, an Academy with a non-selective intake. She is an experienced AQA A level Chemistry examiner and currently delivers revision courses to many schools across the country guiding teachers in preparing for exams and helping to raise student grades.


  • Teachers of OCR A-Level Chemistry
  • Heads of Chemistry/Science
  • Aspiring Heads of Chemistry/Science
  • Teachers with responsibility for A-Level Chemistry


  • 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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