This new course is aimed for all A Level Photography teachers looking to expand their range of approaches with inspiring, high quality practical strategies to achieve the very highest results in their students.

This in depth, excellent course includes a range of practical strategies which have been graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and which can be adapted and integrated into your teaching approaches to suit your students groups. They can also be tailored for online learning, which will be demonstrated during the course.

The course will also focus on how to ‘unlock’ student pathways to the top mark bands without over-directing each student! There will be structured creative risk taking strategies to take away and apply to your students. The greatest focus will be on how to ensure skills and techniques provide sufficient evidence of learning to reach to top level of assessment and this title’s own grade boundaries.

Focus will also be on how to ensure students work efficiently, with purpose and relevance; how to deliver
an outstanding 1st year of a two year A level which builds confidence in how students make the correct choices about the direction of their work. We will build an intervention structure which ensures students take ownership of the assessment objectives as a launch pad for both The Personal Investigation & The Externally Set Assignment.



  • Expand your range of teaching approaches and techniques with inspiring new strategies
  • Hit exam board requirements for reaching A*/A and the
    top mark band descriptors addressing Photography’s own higher grade boundaries.
  • Take away practical strategies for creative risk taking which leads to highest results
  • Learn how to ‘sell the meaning of the assessment objectives’ to your students
  • Explore strategies for dealing with students of all abilities, including the weak student
  • Take away essential strategies to build an effective curriculum structure for the two year course

COURSE DATE Online | Tuesday 16 November 2021

London | Tuesday 18 January 2022

  • Heads of department
  • All teachers of A level Art & Design – Photography
  • Non specialists Art Teachers responsible for Photography
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 – 10.30am: Challenging our most able A/A* Photography students

  • What do ‘gifted’, ‘talented’ and ‘able’ mean in Photography & how must student work demonstrate this?
  • What does an A/A* component of student work look like?
    Why do we have to challenge our most able students?
  • How should we be challenging them?

10.30 – 11.15am: How are A/A* grades achieved?

  • Feedback: looking back at the summer exams: What went well? What did examiners look for at the top levels?
    Identifying the key characteristics in students’ work that demonstrate and A or A* – AO2 ability to review and refine and AO4 present personal responses that realise intentions.
    Missing out on the A/A* grades: common mistakes and key issues
    Workshop – Personal student choices through the development of ideas – AO1 l Exploring examples of A/A* students’ work in detail

11.15 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12.00pm: Shaping a well structured course for A level Photography

  • How students make the correct choices about the direction of their investigations – AO2 reviewing and refining ideas.
  • Relevant camera craft linked to clear intentions and personal response strategy AO4, to ensure outcomes in both written and practical work for component 1

12.00 – 12.30pm: Creative risk taking and personal choices

  • How to select a successful area of study for The Personal Investigation that ensure scope & depth. Ways to avoid the digital ‘seductive’ image an ensure students select the best of their work and make it better.
  • Workshop – Practical strategies and approaches to take away for creative risk taking which leads to high end results – Explore non over direction strategies embracing AO2 & AO4

12.30 – 1.15pm: Lunch and informal discussion

1.15 – 2.30pm: Developing A/A* AO1 and AO2 Skills to go beyond

  • How to support students in demonstrating a balance of knowledge & understanding and skills and techniques – ‘skill and idea’
  • Pinpointing intellectual rigour through AO1 critical and analytical understanding
  • Reviewing & refining AO2 as a key element to the highest order thinking and making l Workshop – Exploiting the imagination through photography and annotation

2.30 – 2.45pm: Discussion: afternoon tea

2.45 – 3.40pm: Developing A/A* in AO3 and AO4 skills

  • Selling the purpose of each task ensuring students’ work leaps beyond the expectations of AO1 and AO4 – identifying ‘red hot’ strategies & avoiding ‘ice colds’ in students’ learning evidence.
  • Build confidence with the ‘student expert’ – their strengths identified and utilised within their work and through peer work
  • Workshop – Bringing students ‘on board’ their own choices of in depth investigation

Mark Coombe

Mark Coombe is an experienced Art & Design teacher of 25 years who has taught all areas of Art & Design. He is renowned as a CPD leader, trainer and presenter across all disciplines of Art & Design. He is a practising artist, in particular in animal portraiture – livestock & rare breeds – and his current portfolio is supplying The National Trust in Norfolk, Suffolk and other regions.