The course is aimed at teachers looking for more guidance and new ideas for teaching the key practical skills required for A-level Physics and those in charge of monitoring student progress in the practical element. It will demonstrate techniques for delivering the required practicals, approaches for teaching practical skills so that students really understand what they are learning, how to monitor student progress in the practical element and what students need to learn for the unfamiliar practical contexts they will face in paper 3. Led by a highly experienced examiner and classroom teacher, you will gain new ideas and approaches that encourage student success in the examinations.


  • Focus on how to ensure all students understand and can apply the key practical skills
  • Develop teaching techniques and methodologies for the A level Physics practical skills
  • Take away successful ideas and strategies that ensure students succeed in the examinations in questions on the practical skills
COURSE DATES London | Friday 5 July 2019

London | Friday 8 November 2019

  • All teachers of A level Physics
  • Heads of Department for Physics
  • Heads of Science
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- 10.30 am
The practical skills

  • What the CPAC competencies are and how to assess them
  • Key challenges in teaching the practical skills
  • What are the AT skills and which practicals contain them

Successful teaching methods for the A level required practicals

  • Analyse student task sheets for all the required practicals that ensure full understanding and success
  • Best practice techniques for utilised the methods and equipment requirements, so that students can utilise their knowledge in the examinations
  • Teaching with the end in mind

11.20 – 11.40am
Break and informal discussion

11.40 – 12.40pm
Monitoring and recording student competencies

  • In-class monitoring techniques and strategies; a proforma is provided and its use discussed
  • A spread sheet to record student CPAC competencies is given and how to use it as a simple, quick and effective tool to record student progress
  • Analysing student performance and developing your teaching to ensure all are making progress

12.40 – 1.40pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.40 – 2.40pm
Applying practical knowledge to the examinations

In this session past papers will be used

  • Key practical methods to learn (reading micrometers, finding vertical heights, using measuring cylinders, timing oscillations)
  • Key methods for accuracy (large measurements for small percentage uncertainty, repeats and means to reduce random error, method to eliminate systematic errors)
  • How to write an experimental method to gain all the marks
  • Plotting an analysing of graphs of the type y = mx+c (choosing appropriate scales, plotting points, adding line of best fit, calculating gradient and calculating intercepts)
  • Use of appropriate numbers of significant figures

Break and informal discussion

2.55 – 3.40pm
Applying practical knowledge to Paper 3

Analysis of results: use of log – linear graphs (for decay constants in exponential decay) and log-log graphs (to find unknown powers in equations)

Sarah Battams

Sarah has been teaching Physics at KS3, GCSE and A level for the last 20 years. She is an outstanding practitioner with consistently excellent examination results and value added at GCSE and A level. She delivers Physics lessons that are fun, varied and equip students with the skills necessary to confidently tackle examinations. This year she received outstanding feedback from the A-level Practical monitoring visit. Sarah is a Physics Examiner and Team Leader at A level and GCSE. She writes and edits for the online resource GCSE Pod and is an author of high-quality Physics resources on TES.

View all courses led by Sarah Battams >

A-level physics