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Outstanding GCSE Chemistry: Tackling the Toughest Topics

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This brand-new course will explore the more difficult to teach topics in AQA GCSE Chemistry and is designed for all teachers who wish to ensure their students maximise their potential. By providing a range of fresh and innovative teaching approaches to help students achieve a greater depth of understanding in these areas, the course aims to help teachers foster outstanding teaching, learning and achievement and raise the overall attainment of their classes. Emphasis is placed on the content students (and occasionally teachers) often struggle with, the tough topics and strategies and approaches needed to teach them more successfully, how to wrestle with the challenges of the synoptic nature of the course and skills students need for successful exam performance. Focused extensively on evidence-based teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the most recent exams, you will leave with a vast range of resources and practical strategies that will enable you to meet the needs of your students and ultimately increase grade attainment.


  • Focus on an area you teach and learn how to make synoptic links to other areas
  • Receive informed lesson ideas and resources to make delivery easier and more effective
  • Focus on key errors and mistakes that are commonly made
  • Learn from previous marks schemes/ average scores attained and how issues can be addressed
  • Network with fellow professionals
  • Clarify any misconceptions in depth and theoretical application
  • Gain an Examiner’s insight into the common mistakes made for these key topics


Using Metacognition techniques to tackle the tricky content

10.00 – 11.30am
  • Activating prior knowledge to improve retention of key topic areas
  • Understanding how current pedagogy can be embedded into teaching to reduce the misconceptions and increase the confidence in the classroom
  • Simplifying the GCSE exam to utilise mental models techniques to scaffold student responses
  • Effectively teaching practical skills and comprehension so that students can maximise marks in levelled questions

Discussion: Coffee Break

11:30 – 11:45am

Aiming for top grades in Paper 1; Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table, Bonding and Structure, Calculations including Titrations, Chemical changes including OILRIG and half equations

11.45 – 12.45am
  • Scaffold calculations to provide a fool-proof method for students to follow
  • How can mental models and long-term memory help access the hardest calculation questions?
  • Teaching for success; both challenging more able students and supporting lower attainment students to ensure they all achieve their potential

Lunch and informal discussion

12.45 – 1.30pm

Aiming for top grades in Paper 2; Rates and Le Chatelier, Organic Chemistry and Polymers, Identifying Ions, The Atmosphere, Using Resources including the Haber Process

1.30 – 2.30pm
  • How to simplify teaching of these topics with mental models to facilitate understanding
  • Levelled questions; how are they marked and how can you help your students succeed
  • Avoiding potential hazards – what can cost a top student their grade 9?

Exam technique skills that make the difference

2.30 – 3.30pm
  • Dissecting examination questions- vocabulary & command words
  • Strategies to improve responses to exam questions and signposting
  • How to bring all the content together to prepare for the exam; Revision strategies ….that work!
  • Understand from an Examiner the common mistakes that students make and how can you ensure that this does not impact on their exam



London | Wednesday 12 June 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.


Dee Martin is Head of Chemistry & STEM at Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham, an Academy with a non-selective intake. She is an experienced AQA A-Level Chemistry examiner and currently delivers revision courses to many schools across the country guiding teachers in preparing for exams and helping to raise student grades.


  • Non-specialist Teachers of GCSE Chemistry
  • New and Experienced Teachers of GCSE Chemistry
  • Heads of Chemistry
  • Heads of Science


  • 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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