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Teaching AQA GCSE Physics for the First Time

Course Code:


This course, new for December 2022, is intended to provide teachers who are about to start or in their first couple of years teaching AQA GCSE Physics Higher Tier with all they need to teach their course effectively. It will equip delegates with the knowledge and skills needed to become an effective AQA GCSE Physics teacher, focusing on the core areas of Forces, Electricity and Energy both in terms of classroom teaching ideas and preparation for the terminal examinations in these skill areas.

The course leader Alessio Bernadelli brings a wealth of experience from the classroom and exam marking to provide delegates with tips on how to overcome students’ misconceptions and to guide students to optimise their examination performance. Examples will be drawn from the AQA exam board, but the course overall will also be of benefit to teachers of other exam boards.


  • Gain the latest understanding of the features of effective teaching and learning for AQA GCSE Physics.
  • Take away practical advice for enhanced teaching and learning in the classroom.
  • Examine methods to assess and maximise student progress through independence and confidence.
  • Develop students’ study skills through effective retrieval techniques and independent learning.
  • Address the challenges faced by students when answering difficult exam questions (including QERs) and develop engaging ways to bridge the gaps.
  • Increase student confidence in the examination.
  • Build supportive scaffolding and progressively remove it to develop students’ confidence and competence in answering exam questions.


Overview of AQA GCSE Physics

10.00 – 10.20am
  • Explanation of the content of the course, looking at key pressure points and how they can be overcome.
  • Developing knowledge regarding the sequencing of topics in the Physics specification
  • Assessing the correct starting point for your students based on their prior knowledge and experiences
  • Recognising which areas will be the most challenging and preparing for these

Paper 1: The complexities and challenges

10.20 – 10.50am
  • Planning and teaching for Paper 1
  • Making complicated concepts easy
  • Teaching ideas, related questions and supporting resources to help improve student understanding
  • Designing assessment and feedback through focused teaching approaches

Morning Break

10.50 – 11.05am

How to teach Energy effectively

11.05 – 12.00pm
  • Develop effective language and strategies to teach energy stores and energy transfers.
  • Explore effective ways to generate meaningful cognitive constructs (schema) to support the use of energy calculations.
  • Understand the demands of the required practicals and how to support your students through the effective use of equipment
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of challenging energy exam questions

Effectively Teaching Electricity

12.00 – 1.00pm
  • Practical advice and effective strategies to teach challenging key concepts, like potential difference, resistance and current.
  • Explore effective tools and demonstrations to develop a firm understanding of the difference between series and parallel circuits.
  • Gain confidence in the use of effective models to explain how charges flow through circuits and understand the limitations of these models
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of challenging circuits exam questions


1.00 – 2.00pm

The Complexities and Challenges

2.00 – 2.20pm
  • Why is Paper 2 so challenging for many students? Forces Waves, Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Planning for success on Paper 2, teaching approaches
  • Getting students involved and engaged in their learning

Tackling The Challenging Content of Forces

2.20 – 3.10pm
  • Planning for success – teaching approaches and methods
  • Gain understanding of common pitfalls in students’ understanding of forces and how to avoid them.
  • How to prepare students effectively from the start
  • Practical advice and effective strategies to teach Newton’s laws, including the links between momentum and Newton’s 2nd law of motion.
  • Principles of Cognitive Load Theory in the teaching and learning of Forces at GCSE to maximise understanding and retention.
  • Demands of the different types of questions, with examples, so you can help students access all available marks

Afternoon Break

3.10 – 3.15pm

Attain excellent exam results

3.15 – 3.45pm
  • Understand the demands of Physics exam questions, including the importance of recognising the difference between command words
  • Effective and engaging ways to answer QER questions (6 marks) and tips to maximise students’ marks
  • Gain insights on the expectations of practical elements of exam questions
  • Understand how to tackle the most challenging numerical questions through the use of problem-solving frameworks
  • How to gain maximum marks from questions requiring higher order thinking explanations
  • Marking and assessment strategies: supporting students to access the higher grades


London | Wednesday 07 December 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.


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.


  • Newly appointed Heads of Science
  • Aspiring leaders in Science
  • Newly appointed subject leaders in Science
  • Newly appointed key stage leaders in Science
  • TLR holders in Science
  • Heads of Science Faculties


  • 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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