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Teaching Pearson/Edexcel A-Level History For the First Time

Course Code:


This course is intended to provide teachers who are about to start or in their first couple of years teaching Edexcel A Level History, with all they need to teach their course effectively. It will equip delegates with the knowledge and skills needed to become an effective A level History teacher, focusing on the core areas of engaging students and developing the essential exam skills of interpretation and analysis both in terms of classroom teaching ideas and preparation for the terminal examinations in these skill areas. This course brings a wealth of experience from the classroom and exam marking to provide delegates with tips on how to overcome issues in the classroom and to guide students to optimise their examination performance. The course will reflect current challenges and any modifications to the exam system.


  • Provide teachers of A-level History the material and confidence to teach effectively to all ability ranges
  • Understand 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

Knowing where to start

10.00 – 10.45am
  • What does success look like in A level history?
  • Consideration of the particular implications of the Linear 2-year course.
  • Dealing with features, issues and concepts and enabling students to become critical and reflective thinkers.
  • Effective differentiation: facilitating access for all students to sources and interpretations, with particular emphasis on Section A examination technique.
  • Ensuring understanding of the key concepts of breadth and depth



10.45 – 11.00am

Incorporating skills from day one

11.00 – 11.20am
  • The key concepts of AO1: cause, consequence, change, continuity, similarity, difference and significance.
  • Getting the questioning right: higher order questioning techniques.
  • Developing an appreciation of the key themes of a unit.
  • Building vocabulary; the use of appropriate terminology.

Key Ideas for teaching essay writing Skills with Students across Papers 1, 2 and 3

11.20 – 12.20pm
  • What are the key components of an A Level History essay? What needs to be in the introduction?
  • Planning for success, teaching methodologies
  • What do examiners expect to see in higher level responses in both breadth and depth essays
  • Examples of good and less good responses
  • How to develop judgments and include historical content without being descriptive
  • Understanding how to differentiate using scaffold and stretch strategies for essay writing
  • Using binaries to help develop strong judgements, thinking about historical significance
  • The questions, getting students to identify the second order concepts and plan the answer

The Exams – what is expected

12.20 – 1.00pm
  • The exam structure and how the exams are marked, exploring the mark scheme and how to use them to assess your students
  • What are the standards involved to gain a top grade? Where are the key pitfalls where students can fall down.
  • How do we award for content, analysis and judgements in each answer
  • How to embed the ‘endgame’ into your teaching
  • Being the examiner- what does a strong answer look like? Taking a look at the essay, the source and the interpretation questions and what excellence looks like in each one



1.00 – 2.00pm

Effectively Teaching Source Skills with students

2.00 – 2.45pm
  • Paper 2 – how to get students to use the sources “together” to investigate the enquiry, what do we mean by together?
  • Thinking about Nature, Origin and Purpose and making sure that students can meaningfully include it in their answers for paper 2 and paper 3
  • How to incorporate the historical knowledge without losing focus on the source, keeping a focus on key dates, futures and events
  • Paper 3- how to get students to look at the two enquiries in the question and use the source to answer both enquiries in the exam



2.45 – 2.50pm

The historical investigation- how to complete the coursework

2.50 – 3.30pm
  • Where to start with the coursework- what are the requirements and how to select the interpretations
  • How much teaching to do to support students with their enquiries
  • The resource record- what to do so it is a meaningful document


London | Thursday 09 November 2023
London | Wednesday 06 March 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Wednesday 06 March 2024
London | Thursday 09 November 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.


Robin Bunce, with more than ten years’ teaching experience, he has been leader of History at Long Road Sixth Form College, and a senior examiner for a major exam board. Robin is also the author of a number of History text books for publishers including Hodder and Pearson. Beyond A Level, Robin has contributed to the Runnymede Trust’s initiatives to diversify the curriculum, and he is pursuing historical research at Homerton College, University of Cambridge.


  • ECTs in History both in year 1 and year 2 of their careers
  • Teachers lacking in confidence in the qualification may also benefit
  • Heads of History


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

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