Join Emma, as she explores the characteristics of ‘gifted’, ‘talented’ and ‘able’ identified in research and why and how we have to challenge our most able psychology students. Focused extensively on evidence-based teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the summer exams, you will leave with a vast range of electronic resources and practical strategies that will enable you to meet the needs of your most able students and ultimately increase A and A* grade attainment.  Finally, we will look beyond the course to focus on preparing these students to continue studying psychology at university.


  • Increase awareness of what teacher should aim to achieve with the most able Psychologists
  • Gain the latest evidence-based practice that challenges A/A* students
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in Grade A/A* responses
  • Take away a range of innovative teaching ideas and electronic resources for your most able students
  • Learn how to develop resilience so that talented psychology students achieve their A/A* potential
  • Challenges in supporting high ability students in current landscape
COURSE DATE Online | Monday 20 June 2022
  • Heads of Social Science
  • Heads of Psychology
  • Teachers of A level Psychology
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  Welcome

10.00 – 10:30 am: Challenging our most able students 

  • What do ‘gifted’, ‘talented’ and ‘able’ mean?
  • Why do we have to challenge our most able students?
  • How should we be challenging them?
  • Motivation and resilience in context of disruption due to Coronavirus

10:30-11:15 am: 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?
  • Missing out on the A/A* grades: Common mistakes and key issues
  • Working through A/A* responses and those that are not A/A*
  • Candidate style answers and commentaries with a focus on developing high quality responses
  • Curriculum and teaching and learning adaptations in response to the lessons learnt to improve A-A* attainment

11.15 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12:00 noon: Evidence-based practice; memorising psychology content in the long term

  • Exploring recent Psychology research findings
  • Embedding retrieval practice
  • Developing metacognition with A and A* Psychologists
  • Using blended learning effectively to support top students remotely

12:00-12:30: Developing A/A* AO2 application skills

  • What does an A* AO2 response look like?
  • Strategies to improve AO2 application skills for topic areas and designing research questions
  • Developing synopticity to support students to link knowledge from across the psychology specification
  • Helping learners to interpret the questions and produce concise answers

12.30– 1.15pm: Lunch

1.15 – 2.00pm: Developing A/A* AO3 evaluation and analysis skills

  • What does evaluation in an A/A* essay look like?
  • Strategies and resources to develop AO3 evaluation as a skill rather than encouraging revision of listed points
  • Evaluating theories Vs approaches Vs studies Vs treatments; the key links and differences

2.00– 3.00pm: Exploring and solving the big challenges for A/A* psychology students

  • Differentiating for A/A* students in a mixed ability psychology class
  • Sustaining engagement over two years both within and outside the classroom
  • Balancing exam technique and specification requirements whilst fostering passion for psychology
  • Building character strengths and growth mind set order to support the transition from GCSE to A Level and prepare for Higher Education

3.00 – 3.30 pm: Sustaining learning 

  • Reflecting on learning
  • Action planning to apply evidence-based practice in own setting
  • Stopping A and A* students slipping

Emma Shakespeare

Emma Shakespeare is a highly experienced and innovative classroom practitioner, with over 10 years in leading departments and faculties. She is currently an assistant principal in a sixth form college, an SLE and a Chartered Teaching and Research Psychologist. Emma has presented for the Association of Teaching Psychology, National Science Learning Centre and is a very popular Course Leader for Keynote. She combines her wealth of experience or both teaching and leadership with cutting edge research to deliver high quality training for educators.

View all courses led by Emma Shakespeare >