The focus of this exciting and interactive new course is on helping students achieve the very highest grades in their A-level mathematics exams. The course provides high level and proven classroom teaching and learning activities along with best practice guidance in revision and exam preparation to ensure that students develop the depth of understanding and necessary confidence to achieve at the very highest level. Presented by an internationally renowned mathematics expert and using feedback from 2018 examinations, you will receive the highest quality advice, guidance and models and excellent ideas and resources for ensuring students achieve A*.


  • Gain a full understanding of what students need to do to secure the highest A-level grades
  • Investigate key teaching and learning strategies for student to optimise their performance in the exam
  • Develop excellent teaching resources and ideas, which will allow high level students to work as independent learners and obtain excellent final results
  • Review excellent exam answers which demonstrate the very highest A-level Mathematics standard
  • Explore excellent strategies which enable A* students to make high level connections in depth across the specification content and assessments
COURSE DATE In-school only
  • Mathematics subject leads
  • Teachers with leadership responsibility for KS5 Mathematics
  • Teachers of A level mathematics
  • Prospective teachers of A-level Mathematics
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 – 10.30am: Introduction – establishing the standard

  • Feedback and reflections on A* and A grades in the 2018 examination results
  • The demands of A* A-level Mathematics and essentials for success, in both the exams and teaching throughout the A-level
  • Barriers to achievement/identification of issues – what differentiates the very highest levels
  • Establishing curriculum coverage, independent learning, use of calculator, exam preparation – what do A* students need to demonstrate in exams in order to attain the highest marks

10.30 – 1.00pm: Challenging topics

(Each of the Challenging topics sessions will include an overview of where the topics fit within the A -level course and numerous tips both for teaching and for answering examination questions).


10.30 – 11.15am: Teaching Functions and Graphs to the most able students

  • Explore teaching strategies which enable A* students to gain full understanding of functions and graphs
  • Teaching for a deep and connected understanding of polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric functions and graphs
  • Consideration of exam questions and model solutions – how to use these with A* students so that they understand the required standard and can work to it throughout the course

11.15 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break


11.30 – 12.30pm: Algebra and Calculus

  • Assessment for learning on algebra and calculus – making sure that students make progress throughout the entire course
  • Teaching and learning strategies for high level students on gradient functions, differential equations and integration
  • Explore example answers with commentaries: what must students do to obtain the very highest marks on algebra and calculus

12.30 – 1.00pm: Vectors and proof: obtaining the highest marks

  • Getting it right and getting the big picture: teaching vectors and proof to enable students to obtain A* grades
  • Moving from 2 to 3 dimensions. Methods of proof with multiple examples for teaching throughout the A-level course
  • Feedback on 2018: making sure A* students do not miss out on key marks and grades

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 – 3.00pm: Examination preparation and technique

  • Use of past papers, mark schemes and examiners reports to appreciate what is required at A-level for A*
  • How both teachers and students can make productive use of these to ensure the highest marks
  • Optimising every question with essential working: rigorous checking and review, habits developed throughout the course
  • Producing explanations and workings that gain full marks

3.00 – 3.15pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


3.15 – 3.40pm: Ensuring students achieve A*

  • Excellent teaching and resource usage to stretch and challenge top level students
  • Embedding and exploiting technology for A* students and creating motivated independent learners
  • Going further with AS Further Mathematics
  • What works well, where and why – proven techniques for pushing high ability students even further

3.40 – 3.45pm: Plenary, course evaluation and depart

Mick Blaylock

Mick is currently teaching part-time at Manchester Metropolitan University and working freelance in Mathematics education as researcher, consultant and trainer. He taught Mathematics for over 20 years in five different very different institutions, with subject leadership responsibilities in the last four before becoming an HMI in 2002. He has extensive examination experience and is currently Chair of examiners for international A-levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics. From 2014-16 he led the DfE funded Core Maths Support Programme (CMSP).

View all courses led by Mick Blaylock >