Achievement in AQA A Level Chemistry requires students to overcome some key challenges in order to secure a top grade. Students need to be able to recall a wealth of knowledge across the varied disciplines of chemistry study and apply this knowledge in familiar and unfamiliar situations.  Chemistry students have a variety of strengths and weaknesses so a range of techniques are needed to ensure they can achieve the best possible mark over the 3 main subject areas: physical, organic and inorganic chemistry; as well as the practical component.

This intensive new course will demonstrate how to guide your students to achieve their maximise possible grades in future AQA A Level Chemistry examinations. The course is designed for teachers of AQA A Level Chemistry, but would be of benefit to teachers of other exam boards.


  • Explore the key concepts in chemistry that underpin topic content to develop an integrated approach to chemistry study
  • Develop the use of retrieval practice to promote student recall, supporting the teaching of the most challenging A Level topics.
  • Increase awareness of what we should aim to achieve with the most able Chemists
  • Take away fresh ideas, approaches and methods that challenge A/A* students and support their further development
  • Develop greater understanding of the precision and detail that examiners are looking for in A/A* students
  • Find out more about the barriers to progress and ways to support highly able students to overcome them
COURSE DATE Online | Monday 15 November 2021

London | Tuesday 8 February 2022

  • Heads of Science
  • Heads of Chemistry
  • Teachers of AQA A-level Chemistry
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


10.00 – 10.15am: The ingredients for success in AQA A Level Chemistry

  • Identifying and highlighting the core concepts to build an integrated approach to teaching chemistry. What are the ‘first principles’ in chemistry that give students a solid foundation for A Level study?

10.15 – 11.00am: Structuring an excellent two-year linear teaching course

  • Planning the course with the end in mind
  • How to plan to present material in small steps across the two years of study to support students in developing their skills and knowledge required
  • Identifying foundational knowledge that supports teaching of the most challenging areas of the course
  • Sequencing topic content appropriately allowing opportunities to embed retrieval practice

11.00 – 11.15am: Break


11.15 – 12.15pm: Every Mark Matters: a look at some of the topics students find most challenging

  • Dealing with the maths – a look at some of the challenging areas of physical chemistry including: challenging titration questions, graphs and related questions, pH and buffers
  • Mechanisms – A look at the more challenging areas of organic chemistry and how to get students to identify the correct mechanism and then draw it accurately.
  • Memory and explanations – A look at some of the more challenging areas for inorganic chemistry
  • Avoiding potential hazards – what can cost a top student their A/A* grade?


12.15 – 1.00pm: Every Mark Matters: using the required practicals to promote understanding of the theory

  • How to integrate the practicals with the theoretical aspects of the course.
  • Explaining the practicals. Strategies to get the students to think about the methods rather than just blindly carrying them out.
  • Making the practicals real. Linking the practicals to the real world to promote engagement and understanding.
  • Where are marks lost? – what does an A Level Chemistry student need to do to obtain maximum marks on practical questions.
  • Integrating practical skills and theoretical content – evaluating conclusions made by other scientists – why students don’t seem to get it?

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch


2.00 – 2.45pm:  Preparing for challenging exam questions

  • Providing scaffolds to develop examination technique and build student confidence in answering trickier question types.
  • Strategies to help students excel when answering questions involving maths and graphs.
  • Modelling approaches to unfamiliar context questions
  • Example responses


2.45  – 3.30pm: Stretching and challenging A/A* Chemistry students

  • RSC Olympiad resources and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge – using questions over and above recommended reading, preparing for Oxbridge – signposting, pushing and probing
  • Embedding RSC Olympiad resources and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge resources into schemes of work and lessons to stretch the most able students in Chemistry.
  • Strategies for stretching A/A* students in a mixed-ability classroom and challenging complacent high-achievers. Embedding example Oxbridge interview questions in lessons to increase depth and breadth of student understanding.


3.30 – 3.40pm: Q&A, Evaluation and Close