This full day course considers both content and assessment of Unit One, providing plenty of tips for teaching, motivating and stretching students. Some of the more challenging aspects of course content on physical geography will be covered, focusing on carbon and water cycles, hazards, and coastal and glacial systems and landscapes.

Emphasis will be placed on identifying and improving the skills needed for students to attain an A/A* in Unit One (Physical Geography).  AQA assessment requirements will be analysed, providing an overview of AOs, command words and levels marking. Different question types will be deconstructed and examples provided of the latest teaching ideas which allow students to approach Paper 1 with confidence.


  • Receive comprehensive feedback on the second series of assessments for the AQA A Level Geography specification
  • Receive classroom-ready techniques on ways to improve exam performance in physical geography
  • Hear guidance on how to build tasks into teaching that challenge top-achieving students
  • Find out how students should show off their skills and knowledge across the range of examination question types
  • Understand the demands of data response, data stimulus, 9-mark and 20-mark questions
  • Gain a better understanding of what an A/A* looks like, in terms of examination performance
  • Use the understanding gained to inform delivery of the course and improve student outcomes.
  • Heads of Geography
  • Teachers of A Level and AS Level Geography
  • Curriculum Leaders in Humanities
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 – 11.00am
Student Performance on Paper 1 in 2019

  • Discussion of the challenges experienced by all students in the first year of the course
  • How to engage students in the content Strengths and weaknesses of student performance
  • Grades A and A* – what do they involve?
  • Understanding the assessment objectives and how questions are structured
  • Performance on different question types l What differentiates student performance at Grades C, A and A*

11.00 – 11.20am
Discussion: coffee break

11.20 – 12.40pm
Teaching Paper 1 Section A: Water and Carbon Cycles

  • Energy exploitation and use, linked to the carbon cycle concept
  • Teaching approaches and methods which link assessment with real learning
  • Addressing questions and questions types on water and carbon cycles: why do students write such mediocre responses, and how can we help them to improve?
  • Tackling the 9 and 20 mark questions l Assessment of key qualitative and quantitative skills

12.40 – 1.40pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.40 – 2.40pm
Driving up Attainment Paper 1 Hazards and Coastal Systems and Landscapes

  • Approaches and strategies to reinforce and extend students’ understanding of hazards, coastal systems and landscapes
  • Helping students to apply knowledge to unfamiliar contexts
  • Tackling extended writing questions in hazards, coastal systems and landscapes
  • Analysing examples of student answers, with examples of responses at different levels

2.40 – 2.45pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

2.45 – 3.45pm
Boosting exam technique and achieving top grades in Paper 1

  • Improving exam technique through practical tips and examples and avoiding the common pitfalls
  • Varying your practice to stretch the most able
  • Working up to full essay questions
  • Revision ideas to help students produce high grade essays
  • Guidance for improving grades for every question type


Steve Durman

Steve is a Chief Examiner and Senior Moderator for a major awarding body and played a leading role in the GCSE and A-level reform process. He was Director of Geography in the first humanities college in Cornwall, and has over 35 years’ experience of geography teaching and leadership. He also works as a consultant, speaker, and trainer, and has written textbooks, revision booklets and examination aids for GCSE and A-level.