AQA GCSE Chemistry: How to Help Students to Get Grades 7-9

Course Code:


This course, designed for all teachers of GCSE Chemistry is focused on meeting the demands of the higher-level marking bands. It will focus on exploring the characteristics of work produced by students working at the highest levels and examine a range of teaching materials designed to secure the best possible outcomes. The course will cover what is expected of high ability students and outline ways in order to successfully build on your own teaching practice and embed new methods of working. Using examples of pupils’ work and model answers throughout, the course will look at the common features of top-level work. The course will also demonstrate teaching approaches for the toughest topics, leading up to preparing pupils for the examinations.


  • Develop an understanding of the level descriptors and how pupils should apply them
  • Discuss sample answers at grade 7 – 9 to identify key characteristics, and the approach of the examiner
  • Increase awareness of why top students underachieve
  • Provide and discuss different ways of teaching a content-heavy course
  • Develop an understanding of the potential hazards students face when studying GCSE Chemistry


Focus on assessment demands for Grades 7-9, including feedback

10.00 – 11.00am
  • Examine the assessment demands of all components including the use of assessment objectives as a framework for assessment
  • Consider the most effective models for delivery of the course to ensure effective assessment practice across 2 years and in both components
  • Review characteristics of Grade 7-9 GCSE Chemistry students in the GCSE
  • Lessons learnt from the 2022 examination series – what students need to do to ensure that they achieve the highest grades in 2023


Morning Break

11.00 – 11.15am

Achieving top grades in Paper 1

11.15 – 12.30pm
  • Review example Paper 1 responses at Grades 7-9: what top level students do
  • Exploring the content of this paper that will particularly fire the imagination of very able students
  • Differentiated teaching approaches for Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes; and Energy changes which stretch and challenge the very able students
  • Characteristics of the most successful candidates in this component
  • Approaches to the open response questions – ways to develop the skills required
  • What examiners are looking for in questions on Paper 1
  • Examples of outstanding answers
  • What moves a student on from a grade 7 – to grades 8 and 9 on the exam



12.30 – 1.30pm

Aiming for grades 7-9 in Paper 2

1.30 – 2.30pm
  • Teaching to the key characteristics demonstrated by able students which examiners look for
  • Identifying and understanding question types on the rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources
  • Examining strong exemplar responses to the focussed extract questions for this section
  • What examiners are looking for in questions on Paper 2
  • What moves a student from Grade 7 to Grades 8 and 9 on the exam
  • How to support students in developing a top grade response


Afternoon break

2.30 – 2.40pm

Exams: Tactics for achieving the highest grades

2.40 – 3.15pm
  • What are the most common errors made by higher ability pupils?
  • Revision ideas to help pupils achieve the highest grades.
  • How to maximise the available time in the examination
  • Reviewing, marking and feeding back on specimen scripts
  • Giving good quality, specific feedback to students

Beyond the classroom: ideas for the most able GCSE Biologists

3.15 – 3.30pm
  • Different ideas to keep the pupils interested
  • Stretch and challenge without intimidation
  • Beyond the classroom and the curriculum: educational visits and trips
  • Looking ahead to Chemistry A-Level


London | Wednesday 29 November 2023
London | Thursday 29 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Wednesday 29 November 2023
London | Thursday 29 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.


Prish Narindar is currently Deputy head of Faculty and Science lead at Henry Cort College. With over 10 years’ experience in KS3 and KS4 science curriculum delivery in mainstream education and private tuition, she has led the local Science GCSE collaboration development group that partners with 8 schools and colleges. Prishilla has also successfully led active learning, cognitive load association and assessment workshops whilst coaching PGCE and ITT students for local partnerships. She has also successfully piloted the able students programme in collaboration with local secondary schools, and has worked with Hampshire HIAS group to develop and strengthen science curriculum delivery.


  • Heads of Science/Chemistry
  • Teachers of AQA GCSE Chemistry
  • Teachers aiming to boost the higher achievers


  • 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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