GCSE AQA History: Ensuring Grade 8-9

Course Code:


This course is for all teachers of AQA GCSE History wanting to help students reach the highest grades. It offers new and innovative ways of tacking content and answering questions. The course will take account of the most recent grade boundaries and will focus on strategies aimed at helping students achieve the highest grades. Teachers will take away materials that can be used in class immediately.


  • The course aims to provide as many ideas for teaching history as possible
  • The course will focus on ways of improving the teaching of GCSE History in the classroom
  • Course materials will be directly relevant to the needs of teachers and students
  • The course pack will be usable immediately in the classroom.


Grades 8-9: What do they involve?

10.00 – 11.15am
  • Structure of AQA GCSE History and what is required of the best students
  • Feedback and grading from the most recent exams – what this tells us about the standards high ability students are expected to meet
  • Key attributes of Grades 8-9 students in the classroom
  • Grades 7-9: what are the differences between these?
  • Analysis of the mark schemes: what are the examiners looking for
  • How to encourage top level students to ‘move up’ further and become independent learners
  • Getting top level students to produce the right amount in exam conditions in extended writing
  • Approaches to using sources with higher ability GCSE students


Morning Break

11.15 – 11.35am

Extended writing for Grades 8-9

11.35 – 12.30pm
  • Detailed analysis of the AQA questions: what are examiners looking for from the very best answers?
  • Dealing with terminology
  • Special focus on the ‘account’ question and how to ensure successful answers to it
  • Analysis of content for levels in the mark scheme: what makes an excellent answer?
  • Dealing with the depth of content
  • Activities for use in class and for teaching key topics to high end students
  • Reviewing and marking specimen scripts
  • Revision that works



12.30 – 1.30pm

Source and Interpretations questions

1.30 – 2.10pm
  • Detailed analysis of the questions and what the AQA examiners are looking for
  • Special focus on the ‘interpretation’ question: how to produce excellent answers
  • Analysis of content for levels in the mark scheme
  • Dealing with the depth of content in your teaching
  • Ideas for lessons to tackle areas of controversy
  • Activities for use in class to stretch the most able
  • Working to the standard: reviewing and marking specimen scripts
  • Revision that works


Afternoon Break

2.10 – 2.20pm

Strategies for tackling the Thematic Study

2.20 – 3.00pm
  • Approaches to tackling the Thematic Study with the best students
  • Covering the content to ensure high level thinking
  • Detailed analysis of the exam questions
  • Tackling the source questions with Grade 8 / 9 students
  • Analysis of content for levels in the mark scheme
  • Activities for use in class to stretch the top end
  • Revision tips to ensure top level students succeed in the exams
  • Reviewing and marking specimen scripts to see the necessary standard


London | Friday 17 November 2023
London | Tuesday 05 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 17 November 2023

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.


Malcolm Chandler was Chief Examiner for GCSE History for twenty years and has been leading courses for teachers and students since 1998, throughout England and Wales, but also in Europe and Dubai. He aims to simplify the demands of GCSE History for both teachers and students by avoiding ‘jargon’ and using straightforward terminology. He believes that the best way of teaching history and improving results is to set clear, manageable targets for students and to enable them to feel ‘part of the process’. Many schools that have adopted the approaches and techniques that he recommends have seen significant improvements in examination grades in relatively short spaces of time.


  • Heads of Department
  • All teachers of AQA GCSE History


  • 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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