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Teaching OCR A-Level History for the First Time

Course Code:


This course offers an introduction and overview to teaching the OCR A-Level History course for anyone in their first 3 years of teaching the course, or for anyone lacking confidence in delivering the course effectively. The sessions are designed to improve delegate’s understanding of the OCR specification and ensure that students have the best opportunity to maximise their potential grades. Teachers will take away new teaching approaches as well as key practical guidance in how to develop examination and techniques in OCR A-Level History to maximise students’ success when delivering the course.


  • Fully understand the complexities of the OCR A-Level History specification
  • Examine how to maximise success in the Topic Based Essay
  • Develop your teaching in specific topic areas to raise standards
  • Examine lots of ideas to stimulate classroom delivery
  • Example extended A-Level questions: how to prepare students to get the most possible marks

Introduction and the Assessment Criteria

10.00 – 11.15am
  • Overview of the specification and how the course is organised
  • Key lessons from the 2023 results and incorporating them into your teaching
  • Analysing the assessment criteria and looking how to incorporate AO1, AO2 and AO3 in your lessons
  • Teaching for the different types of questions, with examples, so that you can help students access all the available marks
  • Creating a culture of learning that motivates pupils to enjoy their learning and to flourish


11.15– 11.30am

Tackling the Difference between Knowledge and Understanding

11.30 – 12.3opm
  • Planning and teaching knowledge linked to evidence of evaluation, especially in Historical Interpretation
  • Teaching ideas, related questions and supporting resources to help improve student understanding
  • Methods and approaches to establish highly ambitious subject and pedagogical knowledge, to promote deep knowledge and understanding across the specification content
  • Developing a skills-based curriculum and an appreciation of the p


12.30 – 1.30pm

Essay Skills for all Papers

1.30 – 2.15pm
  • Why are these so challenging for many students?
  • Creating a first-rate teaching and learning education with ideas focused on methodology
  • Getting students involved in their learning – making theory ‘practical’ especially in relation to the application of knowledge
  • Encouraging students to appreciate the common demands of substantiated judgement, balanced argument and the effective expression of academic opinion

Afternoon Break

2.15– 2.30pm

Managing the Topic Based Essay

2.30 – 3.15pm
  • Planning: what you have to teach and what the students have to do
  • The OCR standard at different grades and getting your students to reach it
  • How to structure a programme of practical teaching and assessment that helps your students gain the best marks
  • Techniques to help students construct excellent written coursework: where and why they can struggle in A-Level with this skill
  • Research skills and the integration of historiographical understanding in a high-quality response
  • Finding opportunities to extend student thinking and understanding beyond the structure and assessment of examination requirements

Tackling Source Analysis

3.15 – 3.45pm
  • How to approach teaching A-Level source skills with confidence
  • Marking and assessment strategies: supporting students to access the higher level grades
  • Perfecting evaluation: ideas for development and challenging the able towards the highest grades

Final tips and plenary



London | Tuesday 05 December 2023
London | Friday 22 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 22 March 2024
London | Tuesday 05 December 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.


Keith Milne has over 25 years teaching and examining experience. He is Chief Moderator with a major exam board and has authored and advised on a series of popular books including those detailing how to succeed with the NEA. He is an experienced Head of History and leads a number of courses exploring the routes to success at A-Level History.


  • Teachers of OCR A-Level History
  • Heads of department
  • Heads of Humanties


  • All teachers of AQA A Level History
  • Teachers looking to improve exam results
  • Heads of History
  • Heads of Humanities

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