This course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in Physics A Level examinations. Led by our highly respected and successful presenter Howard Dodd, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for all key options which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from the most recent exams, 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 most challenging parts of the exams
  • Take away tried and tested approaches to extend your more able students
  • Mark schemes & examiners’ reports will be analysed to identify what marks out the top candidates
  • Sample answers at Grades A & A* will be analysed
  • Approaches will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the course in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
  • Explore the common mistakes made by high attainers in Physics examinations
DATES & LOCATION Online | Thursday 17 June 2021
  • A-level Physics teachers
  • Heads of Physics
  • Heads of Science
  • Teachers preparing science students to read Physics at University
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 – 10.45am
Identifying and challenging able students in physics

  • Topics which really differentiate between ability levels and what teachers should do as a result
  • Identifying the genuinely gifted physicists at A level
  • Characteristics of high attainers in physics
  • How to teach and challenge gifted students in mixed attainment groups
  • Developing skills for independent learning

10.45 – 11.00am: Discussion: coffee break

11.00 – 11.30am
Gaining Grades A & A* in A Level Physics: why do some able students miss the A/A*?

  • Feedback and grading analysis from the 2018 & 2019 papers – what is required for A/A*?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A grade?
  • What skills are needed to access the higher grades?
  • Ways to prepare your able students for all types of questions including those testing practical skills

11.30 – 12.45pm
Improving able students’ understanding of difficult physics concepts

  • Effective approaches to teaching the physics topics that able students miss marks on in exams
  • Using computer simulations to challenge and extend students’ understanding
  • Examples of experiments to stimulate thought and challenge ideas
  • Feedback and taking forward lessons from the previous examination
  • What A and A* students’ work looked like in previous examinations and what differentiated between them

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch and informal discussion

1.45 – 2.30pm
Higher Order Questioning

  • Problem solving contexts
  • Approaches to improve lateral thinking
  • Modelling in Physics
  • Thought provoking examples to challenge learners’ understanding

2.30 – 3.00pm
Extending the A/A* Students

  • Classroom and laboratory activities that encourage higher order thinking
  • Olympiad and other physics competitions
  • How to support your students with Russell Group interviews

3.00 – 3.45pm
Maximising marks in the examinations

  • Examples of mistakes often made by able students in physics examinations
  • Preparing for the exam papers in a logical and systematic way to maximise marks
  • A carefully planned revision campaign that leaves nothing to chance.

Afternoon tea will be available during the afternoon sessions

Howard Dodd

Howard Dodd has worked as an A-level Physics Principal Examiner (writing exam papers and supervising marking) for over twenty years being employed by OCR, AQA and Edexcel. He has a national reputation for providing high quality and helpful in-service training courses for secondary and post-16 teachers.