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Teaching AQA A-Level Psychology for the First Time

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An in depth course exploring high impact strategies that raise attainment and support students to access top marks in examinations. Harriet 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 Psychology at degree level.


  • Provide teachers of A-level Psychology the material and confidence to teach effectively to all ability ranges
  • Obtain exceptional understanding of the key challenge areas and how to teach them
  • Gain insight into the content, the exam structure and the how exams are marked.
  • Leave with a set of resources and scheme of work for the full 2 year course
  • Understanding of how to differentiate using scaffold and stretch strategies for essay writing


Setting firm foundations – what methods can be used to enhance performance from the start?

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Ensuring students and teachers hit the ground running in September – introducing the scheme of work and baseline assessment
  • Recognising which areas will be most challenging for you and how to address these issues
  • Identifying your support network and making the most of it – particularly in a small department or single teacher department.
  • Ensuring topic areas which create the foundation for success – incorporating them into every lesson.


Coffee break

10.30 – 10.45am

How to effectively teach Biopsychology

10.45 – 12.00am
  • Planning for success, teaching methodologies and using retrieval practise to boost student performance
  • Structuring the learning through tailored booklets, and use of exam questions and model answers to highlight success criteria and expected standards to students.
  • Designing formative assessment and feedback through focussed starters and plenaries into your teaching
  • How to use assessment, to identify success and areas for development to track student progress in relation to the AQA AO criteria
  • Methodologies that boost student attainment: how to improve students by one grade, targeting top grades (A-A*).
  • Teaching Biopsychology to a mixed ability range of pupils.
  • Exam questions and model answers, looking at what success looks like, and marking to the AQA specification

Key ideas for teaching the content knowledge from Paper 1

12.05 – 12.45pm
  • Pitfalls and easy wins when teaching Social Influence, Memory, Attachment and Psychopathology
  • Teaching for success; how to support students to remember key concepts and begin to apply them – interleaving and retrieval strategies
  • Teaching across the ability range; how to ensure top students are challenged, while not leaving lower ability students behind.
  • Lessons from the examboards and how to implement them in the classroom.


Lunch and informal discussion

12.45 – 1.45pm

Research methods

1.45 – 2.45pm
  • Introduction to teaching research methods at A-level
  • Interleaving topic or specialist focus, a discussion of how to incorporate into the curricululm and implication for how it effects teaching of other content
  • Resources and examples of what works in teaching research methods, how and when to use practicals.
  • Exam focus on tricky question; how to help students use and describe statistics


Afternoon break

2.45 – 2.55pm

Planning and structuring

2.55 – 3.30pm
  • Curriculum issues – Intent, Implementation and assessing Impact
  • Milestones for success, what should students have mastered by the end of year 12
  • Assessment time tables, when, what and how and how to balance this with whole school assessment schedules
  • Time management – how to plan so that you can mark efficiently and effectively; use of peer assessment

The exams – what is expected

3.30 – 4.00pm
  • Overview of all three papers by AQA, what are they looking for?
  • Teaching towards the ’endgame’, what language to use, ensure you are marking ‘like the examiner’ and secure grading
  • Focus on essay structure in exams, how to pick up easy marks, and what top grade responses look like





London | Tuesday 17 October 2023
London | Monday 18 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Tuesday 17 October 2023
London | Monday 18 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.


Harriet Ennis is an experienced teacher with over 15 years of leading a Psychology department. She is a ‘Lead Teacher’ co-ordinating ‘stretch and challenge’ in her current school and has been an external examiner for AQA.


  • NQT’s in Psychology
  • Teachers just entering their second year of teaching A level Psychology
  • Teachers lacking in confidence in the qualification may also benefit


  • 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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