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GCSE Physics: Aiming for Grades 7-9

Course Code:


This course, designed for all teachers of GCSE Physics 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 Physics


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 Physics 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 Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and atomic structure 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 Forces; Waves; Magnetism and Electromagnetism; and Space Physics
  • 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 Physicists

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 Physics A-Levels


London | Friday 24 November 2023
Thursday 21 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 24 November 2023
London | Thursday 21 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.


Alessio Bernardelli has over 18 years of teaching experience and has worked as Head of KS3 Science and Head of Physics. He also worked as Science Subject Lead at TSL Education (TES) and as National Support Programme Partner in Wales with CfBT. He has recently completed an MSc in Teacher Education at the University of Oxford, he is a Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) and a Chartered Physicist (CPhys), as well as a Senior Facilitator with STEM Learning.


  • Heads of Science/Physics
  • Teachers of AQA GCSE Physics
  • 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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