Keynote Educational


AQA A Level Photography – Achieving Grades A/A*

Course Code:


This updated course is aimed for all A Level Photography teachers looking to expand their range of approaches with inspiring, high quality practical strategies to achieve the very highest results in their students. The course will also focus on how to ‘unlock’ student pathways to the top mark bands without over-directing each student! There will be structured creative risk taking strategies to take away and apply to your students. The greatest focus will be on how to ensure skills and techniques provide sufficient evidence of learning to reach to top level of assessment and this title’s own grade boundaries. Focus will also be on how to ensure students work efficiently, with purpose and relevance; how to deliver an outstanding 1st year of a two year A level which builds confidence in how students make the correct choices about the direction of their work. We will build an intervention structure which ensures students take ownership of the assessment objectives as a launch pad for both The Personal Investigation.


  • Expand your range of teaching approaches and techniques with inspiring new strategies
  • Hit exam board requirements for reaching A*/A and the top mark band descriptors addressing Photography’s own higher grade boundaries.
  • Take away practical strategies for creative risk taking which leads to highest results
  • Learn how to ‘sell the meaning of the assessment objectives’ to your students
  • Explore strategies for dealing with students of all abilities, including the weak student
  • Take away essential strategies to build an effective curriculum structure for the two year course

Challenging our most able A/A* Photography students

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Identifying ‘gifted’, ‘talented’ and ‘able’ mean in Photography & how must student work demonstrate this?
  • What does an A/A* component of student work look like?
  • Practical strategies to challenge the A/A*

How are A/A* grades achieved?

10.30 – 11.15am
  • Feedback from previous exam series- What did examiners look for at the top levels?
  • Identifying the key characteristics in students’ work that demonstrate and A or A* – AO2 ability to review and refine and AO4 present personal responses that realise intentions.
  • Strategies to address missing out on the A/A* grades: common mistakes and key issues
  • Workshop – Personal student choices through the development of ideas – AO1
  • Exploring examples of A/A* students’ work in detail


11.15 – 11.30am

Shaping a well structured course for A level Photography

11.30 – 12.00pm
  • Methods to ensure that students make the correct choices about the direction of their investigations – AO2 reviewing and refining ideas.
  • Developing relevant camera craft linked to clear intentions and personal response strategy AO4, to ensure outcomes in both written and practical work for component 1.

Creative risk taking and personal choices

12.00 – 12.30pm
  • Ways to select a successful area of study for The Personal Investigation that ensure scope & depth.
  • Ways to avoid the digital ‘seductive’ image an ensure students select the best of their work and make it better.
  • Workshop – Practical strategies and approaches to take away for creative risk taking which leads to high end results – Explore non over direction strategies embracing AO2 & AO4


12.30 – 1.15pm

Developing A/A* AO1 and AO2 Skills to go beyond

1.15 – 2.30pm
  • Ways to support students in demonstrating a balance of knowledge & understanding and skills and techniques – ‘skill and idea’
  • Strategies to pinpoint intellectual rigour through AO1 critical and analytical understanding
  • Reviewing & refining AO2 as a key element to the highest order thinking and making
  • Workshop – Exploiting the imagination through photography and annotation

Afternoon break Developing A/A* in AO3 and AO 4 Skills

2.30 – 2.45pm
  • Selling the purpose of each task ensuring students’ work leaps beyond the expectations of AO1 and AO4 – identifying ‘red hot’ strategies & avoiding ‘ice colds’ in students’ learning evidence.
  • Build confidence with the ‘student expert’ – their strengths identified and utilised within their work and through peer work
  • Workshop – Bringing students ‘on board’ their own choices of in depth investigation


London | Tuesday 08 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.


Mark Coombe is an experienced Art & Design teacher of 25 years who has taught all areas of Art & Design.  He is renowned as a CPD leader, trainer and presenter across all disciplines of Art & Design.  He is a practising artist, in particular in animal portraiture – livestock & rare breeds – and his current portfolio is supplying The National Trust in Norfolk, Suffolk and other regions.


  • All experienced teachers of A level Art & Design titles Fine Art, Graphics, Textiles & 3D design
  • Heads of department


  • 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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