The course will demonstrate successful classroom strategies that will enable non-specialists to confidently teach the A-level Chemistry. Led by our highly experienced A Level Chemistry teacher and nationally recognised speaker John Coad, the course will explore the key challenging topics and areas in A-level Chemistry and demonstrate how to teach these well.  Fundamental principles, patterns, concepts and models that students need to understand to succeed at A-level Chemistry will be analysed and explored, along with key strategies for successful teaching of the Compulsory Chemistry Practicals and expert guidance on preparing students for A-level examinations.


  • Building the ‘big picture’ of A-level Chemistry
  • Take away successful approaches to the most challenging A level Chemistry topics
  • The Required Chemistry Practicals – getting the most from them
  • Where students succeed and struggle in A level Chemistry exams
COURSE DATES London Wednesday 13 November 2019
  • Heads of Science Faculties & Departments
  • Heads of Chemistry
  • Heads of Staffing
  • Specialist teachers in subjects other than A level Chemistry
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 11.00am
A level Chemistry – Key Messages and Overview for starting teaching

  • Getting started at A level – what students have to cover for A level Chemistry
  • Building a ‘big picture’ of Chemistry – the fundamental principles needed for A Level Chemistry
  • The Required Practicals and how to effectively incorporate them into teaching
  • The most important messages from external examination feedback and integrating these into your teaching
  • Maths and data analysis – ensuring that students understand their importance and how to utilise these skills effectively

11.00 – 11.15am
Discussion: coffee break

11.15 – 1.00pm
Successful approaches to the most challenging A level Chemistry topics

Practical strategies, ideas and approaches to teach the following topics

  • Quantitative Chemistry:
    • The mole concept and its use in calculations. Empirical formulae, reacting masses, gas calculations and titrations.
  • The Periodic Table:
    • Making the most of this tool. Clarifying the patterns that are displayed and making Chemistry coherent.
  • Energy Changes:
    • Energy level diagrams and Hess’ Law. Born Haber cycles and bond energies.
  • Acids, Bases and pH:
    • The mathematical basis of the pH scale. Dynamic equilibria in weak acids and bases. Buffer solutions and pH changes during titrations.
  • Organic Chemistry:
    • Identifying and emphasising the key principles and patterns
      Encouraging and ensuring synoptic thinking

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 3.00pm
The Required Chemistry Practicals – getting the most from them

  • The significance of the practical activities and integrating them into students’ learning effectively
  • Teaching the practical activities: ensuring student competence and wider understanding
  • Effective evaluation of A level Chemistry practical activities – what you need to be aware of
  • New approaches for preparing Chemistry students for the practical skills examination questions

3.00 – 3.05pm
Discussion, afternoon tea

3.05 – 3.45pm
Improving students’ performance in the examinations

  • Where students succeed and struggle in A level Chemistry exams
  • Strategies for teaching the different styles of exam question: what do the different Assessment Objectives mean in terms of student answers?
  • Teaching methods to ensure students interpret and answer A level Chemistry questions correctly
  • Developing and encouraging independent learning skills to boost student performance
  • Maximising attainment: the key points which Chemistry students need to focus upon to ensure success in the final exams

John Coad

John is a highly experienced A Level and IB Chemistry teacher who still teaches today.  He led Chemistry Departments in two schools and whole Science Departments in two others. He has worked as a Science Advisor in England’s largest Local Authority, supporting both primary and secondary teachers of science. In recent years he has worked as an independent consultant, promoting science education in a wide variety of ways. He has led many professional development courses for teachers, written resources for publishers and staged large science enrichment events. His enthusiasm for science is evident in all he does but sharing his experience with chemistry teachers gives him the greatest satisfaction.

View all courses led by John Coad >