This intensive course is designed for all teachers of A level History, regardless of examination board. Together we will look at the skills that students need to attain high grades in A level History, as well as providing new ideas and practical strategies to challenge and extend learners, and in particular your top end History students. We will also interrogate the examiner’s reports, look at samples of students work, with emphasises on practical approaches to get the best results for students of high ability.


  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in Grade A/A* students
  • Consider strategies to support students in attaining A/A* for essays and source work
  • Develop your teaching keeping a clear focus on the exam
  • Take away approaches to challenge all learners and particularly those at the top end
  • Opportunity to be in the position of the learner and utilise innovative ideas
COURSE DATES London Wednesday 12 June 2019
  • All teachers of History
  • Heads of History
  • Directors of Teaching and Learning
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
4 Key Issues

  • Feedback: looking back at the summer exams: what went well? What did examiners look for?
  • Exploring the big challenges for students at A Level
    •  sustaining engagement over two years
    •  making the transition from GCSE to A Level
    •  to do AS or not?
  • Unpicking the second order concepts. How do we get students to understand and apply them?

10.30 – 11.30am
Outstanding A/A* Essays

  • What makes a good answer? An examiners view
  • The fundamental principles – what are valid criteria and how do we get students to use them to reach judgements?
  • What does an A/A* essay look like?
  • How to support students in accessing the high grades

11.30 – 11.45am
Discussion: coffee break

11.45 – 12.45pm
Solving the source puzzle

  • Exploring approaches to using sources effectively for exam success – interpreting sources; assessing usefulness and provenance
  • Improving the quality of responses
  • Developing A* behaviours – how do we move students beyond basic assumptions?

12.45 – 1.45pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.45 – 2.45pm
Historical debate – Getting students to be part of the debate

  • What makes an A* answer?
  • Opportunities and challenges of interpretations – moving beyond the narrative approach; understanding historiography
  • Encouraging students to challenge the view point

2.45 – 3.30pm
Keeping the exam in mind

  • Understanding how papers are marked – applying the criteria to ensure success
  • Helping learners to interpret the questions and produce concise answers
  • Different questions – common mistakes and strategies for improvement
  • What does an A* look like? Identifying qualities of an A* response

Dr Robin Bunce

With more than ten years’ teaching experience, Dr Robin Bunce 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.

View all courses led by Dr Robin Bunce >