This NEW course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades 7-9 in future AQA GCSE Geography examinations. The course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from 2018’s first year of examinations on the new specifications, the course will explore what is expected of high ability students and outline ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades 7-9 and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • Mark schemes will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the highest levels.
  • Sample answers at Grades 7-9 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 17 November 2021

London | Thursday 27 January 2022

  • Heads of Department (Geography)
  • Lead Geography Teachers
  • Teachers leading trips for the first time
  • NQT’s
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 – 10.45am: Grades 8-9: what do they involve?

  • Structure of AQA GCSE Geography exams and what this requires of the best students
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the latest papers and what this tells us about the standards which top students are expected to meet
  • Analysis of the mark schemes – what were the examiners looking for?
  • Key attributes of Grade 7-9 students in the classroom

10.45 – 11.05am: Discussion

11.05 – 12.00pm: Teaching Paper 1: key challenges for Grade 7-9 students

  • Analysing the exam papers: where is a 7/9 achieved or lost?
  • Approaches to teaching, learning and testing subject content
  • The importance of the assessment objectives and command words
  • Revision strategies to ensure top level students succeed in the exams

12.00 – 1.00pm: Paper 2 – Stretching and Challenging Grades 7 and 9 Students

  • Strategies for candidates to improve understanding of the examination topics – how to incorporate high level thinking throughout the course
  • Urban issues and challenges, appropriate case studies and content required
  • The changing economic world, tackling the difficult concepts
  • The challenge of resource management, teaching the optional unit

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch

2.00 – 3.00pm: Paper 3: key challenges for Grades 7 and 9 students

  • Issue Evaluation strand; using the resource effectively
  • Skills requirements
  • Develop understanding of mark schemes in relation to addressing AO3: Application

3.00 – 3.45pm: Paper 3: providing appropriate fieldwork experiences

  • Developing fieldwork as a 5-year plan
  • Opportunities for delivering fieldwork skills through classroom enquiry
  • Planning appropriate human and physical fieldwork enquiries.
  • Preparing candidates for the challenging fieldwork questions

3.45pm: Plenary and depart

James Foster

James has been Head of Geography at Xaverian Sixth Form, Manchester College for over nine years. He has been a senior examiner since 2010 and worked on both the 2008 and the 2016 specifications, specifically the human and physical papers and AS Physical paper. He has been a Chartered Geographer since 2012 in recognition of his work and has written extensively for both Edexcel and GeoFactfsheet. Additionally, he is a reviewer on Routesjounal.org, an online journal which aims to showcase the best abilities of A-level and undergraduate students.