AQA A-Level Biology: High Impact Strategies to Access Top Marks

Course Code:


This new in-depth course will explore high impact strategies that raise attainment and support students to access top marks in their AQA A-Level Biology examinations. The course will share ideas and accompanying materials that you can take-away and use immediately in the classroom. You will leave equipped with knowledge of the latest evidence-informed teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the most recent exams. In addition, the course includes access to a 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. The course will also place the students’ learning in the context of the next step with suggestions of how to engage the most able by opening the door on to further studying History at degree level. Although aimed at teachers of AQA A-Level Biology, the course will benefit those following other major exam boards.


  • Increase awareness of what success looks like for the most able Biology students
  • Gain the latest evidence-informed practice that challenges A/A* students
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in Grade A/A* responses
  • Challenge your students with problem solving, modelling and questioning to stretch pupils’ thinking processes
  • Take away a range of innovative teaching ideas and resources to impact your pupils’ learning immediately
  • Deepen your understanding of assessment criteria and mark schemes
  • Bring back concrete strategies and ideas to share with other A-Level Biology teachers
  • Explore how to maximise success levels for your students in the examination
  • Learn how to develop resilience so that talented Biology students achieve their A/A* potential


Key A/A* Skills: Mastery and Metacognition

10.00 – 11.15am
  • Strategies to construct outstanding exam responses, looking at example A/A* exam responses
  • How to tackle the tough exam questions and gain top marks
  • Creating room for success: Training students to ‘Mentally Step Back’ and to develop ‘Head Space’ for clearer thinking under pressure
  • Strategies to boost efficiency. Some of the most able students often ‘overwrite’, these strategies will help them ‘zone in’ to maximise top marks, with minimum effort



11.15 – 11.30am

Key A/A* Teacher Skills: Feedback and Feedforward

11.30 – 12.30pm
  • Scaffolding as a key element of high-quality instruction, even the most able need to have clear structures.
  • Providing higher order skills practice and model responses for students. Showing A/A* students what top mark exam responses look like, how to develop their own answers.
  • Addressing key impact factors – ‘Teacher Credibility’ and ‘Student Expectations’ – research evidence suggests these are vital – top tips on how to address these.



12.30 – 1.30pm

Key A/A* Characteristics: Resilience and Wellbeing

1.30 – 2.15pm
  • How to support students with high expectations from falling backwards under the pressure – new research on perfectionism and healthy striving
  • Strategies to support mental health and motivation
  • Strategies to build grit and resilience
  • How to use practical mindfulness training to promote awareness and wellbeing, whilst teaching key concepts at the same time: practical session

Key A/A* Exam Skills: Getting top marks in A02/A03 questions

2.15 – 2.45pm
  • What does an A* AO2/3 response look like?
  • Strategies to improve application skills for essays
  • What does evaluation in an A/A* essay look like?



2.45 – 3.00pm

Key Curriculum Insights for A/A*: Less is More strategies

3.00 – 3.45pm
  • Avoiding misconceptions by re-routing student expression
  • Use of ‘Threshold concepts’ and ‘Hinge questions’ – a way to challenge top end students and mid/lower end ability simultaneously
  • Teaching research methods in context for depth of understanding – preparation for ongoing research at university and into their career
  • How to deal with the large content in AQA A-Level Biology – selectivity and re-cycling top tips for overlap key-studies that high end students can re-signpost across topics


London | Friday 17 November 2023
London | Tuesday 27 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 17 November 2023
London | Tuesday 27 February 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.


Dr Harjit K Singh is an experienced teacher and senior examiner for A level Biology. She has taught and examined A Level Biology for over 25 years, IB Biology for 8 years as well as BTEC Applied Science. She is a published author of the Key Skills and Knowledge Booster Biology and co-author of Key Skills and Knowledge Booster BTEC Science Applied and Vocational courses. She has presented many biology courses for teachers, student revision conferences and online web conferences. She is also involved in presenting international IB student revision courses.


  • Teachers of AQA A-Level Biology
  • Heads of History departments
  • Heads of Humanities departments


  • 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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