This advanced course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in future A-Level Chemistry examinations.  The course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for physical, organic, inorganic and practical chemistry which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from 2019’s examinations on the specifications, the course will outline what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A & A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions across the three A level papers
  • Mark schemes will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the highest levels
  • Sample answers at Grades A & A* will be discussed and marked
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the content effectively in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
COURSE DATE Online | Wednesday 16 June 2021
  • A level Chemistry teachers
  • Heads of Chemistry
  • Heads of Science
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


The A/A* grade – what do they involve?

  • The structure of the specification and using it to plan for success for the top end students
  • 2019 Feedback: what does it tell us about the standards set for the top learners? How can we teach to this effectively? Using eAQA to inform teaching practice.
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Key attributes of Grade A & A* students in the classroom and how to identify these students Helping students make the links throughout the whole specification and inspiring the A* Chemist
  • Building vocabulary and developing high end skills – spotting the key command words

 Physical Chemistry – the key challenges for A/A* learners

  • Non-mathematicians – teaching approaches to get them the A*
  • Application and problem solving for the A and A* student
  • Tackling ‘acids, bases and buffers’ with the top grades
  • Tackling ‘transition metals and titrations’ for A and A*
  • Achieving A and A* on questions with graphs (Applying y=mx+c to Chemistry)


Organic Chemistry – the key challenges for A/A* learners

  • Coping with organic synthesis – where is the A/A* lost?
  • Going beyond – more challenging synthesis problems.
  • Tackling the volume of content in Organic Chemistry – building up to it for an A/A*
  • The practical aspect – making the links and achieving the A*
  • Strategies for achieving top grades in the exam

Inorganic Chemistry – the key challenges for A/A* learners

  • Remembering all the equations and observations – where the A/A* is lost
  • Periodicity – understanding the trends not just recall
  • Applying the observations – separation techniques
  • Strategies for teaching Group 7 Chemistry


Practical Chemistry – the key challenges for A/A* learners

  • Relating the practicals to the exam – achieving all the marks for 6 mark methods
  • What would happen if – accurately explaining changes in the practicals
  • Drawing the apparatus – how to avoid dropping marks
  • Strategies for revising the practical content for the exam

Chemistry Exams: Tactics for achieving the highest grades

  • What are the biggest challenges of the linear course for the A/A* learner?
  • A/A* revision – are they being effective?
  • In the exam – tactics for hitting the top grades
  • Working to the standard – completing, marking, reviewing and evaluating exam papers for the A/A*
  • Revision tips to ensure top level students succeed in the exams
  • Avoiding potential hazards; what can cost the top student their A grade?

Plenary and depart


Paul Yardley

Paul has taught AQA A Level Chemistry for 9 years and leads a highly-successful Chemistry team, supporting students to achieve outstanding value added scores. Taking students from a range of backgrounds, over 60% achieve a high grade, with most of those student continuing to study a degree at a Russell group University, many in a chemistry-related field.  Paul is a member of the Association of Colleges’ College A Level Subject Excellence Network, identifying and sharing good practice with other practitioners that has contributed to their significantly positive value added scores.