This new course addresses ways to improve student understanding and outcomes on these two vital areas of the AQA specification, and will lead to more successful student performance in the examinations. This course looks at strategies specifically aimed at improving candidate outcomes in relation to the crucial areas of Applications (AO3) and Skills (AO4), with particular reference to fieldwork. You will learn how to embed these skills throughout your teaching, so that students at all levels become engaged learners who are fully prepared for their exams.


  • Find out more about strengths and weaknesses of candidates’ performances in 2018 in relation to the key assessment objectives of Applications and Skills
  • Gain an increased understanding of how to address these crucial skills in the classroom
  • Take away strategies for developing candidates’ understanding of examination questions testing these two key assessment objectives
  • Gain increased understanding of Issue Evaluation and fieldwork requirements, to ensure final success
  • Develop a greater understanding of applying mark schemes in relation to AO3 and AO4, to strengthen classroom teaching and learning and exam results
COURSE DATE London | Thursday 9 December 2021
  • 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 – 10.30am
Feedback the latest examinations

  • Feedback from 2018 – key messages for teachers about student performance and how to improve students’ confidence in the key areas of Applications and Skills
  • AO3 Application – candidates’ strengths and weaknesses on this skill across the papers and how to address it in the classroom
  • AO4 Skills – candidates’ strengths and weaknesses and how this affected final results

10.30 – 11.30am
Paper 1 – improving student understanding of exam requirements

  • Develop your understanding of how Application and skills are tested in the key areas:
  • The challenge of natural hazards
    • The living world
    • Physical landscapes in the UK
  • Where students struggled in 2018 in relation to AO3 and AO4 and why
  • Strategies for candidates to improve AO3 and AO4 outcomes in relation to physical geography units: how to embed the relevant knowledge and understanding for strong performance in your teaching.
  • Appropriate case studies and examples
  • Teaching of landforms
  • Using images and other resources to develop candidate understanding and examination performance
  • Methods and delivery to get students to understand transferrable skills

11.30 – 11.45am: Discussion P.1

11.45 – 12.45pm
Paper 2 – Improving Outcomes on Human Geography

  • Reviewing teaching and learning to improve student understanding of the key topics
  • Examine how Applications and Skills are examined for human geography in:
    • Urban issues and challenges
    • The changing economic world
    • The challenge of resource management
  • Classroom strategies for candidates to improve Application and Skills outcomes in relation to human geography units
  • Appropriate case studies and examples
  • Developing decision-making skills in relation to Paper 2 units

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch

1.45 – 2.45pm
Paper 3 – the key issues in this paper for students to know

  • What examiners expect to see for the Issue Evaluation and how to teach these techniques across the whole GCSE Geography course
  • Application and Skills requirements: teaching and learning methods to ensure student success
  • Develop your understanding of mark schemes in relation to Assessment Objective 3, Application, and Assessment Objective 4, Skills – crucial guidance from experience of the 2018 exams

2.45 – 3.00pm: Discussion P.2

3.00 – 3.45pm
Paper 3 – the importance of fieldwork

  • Fieldwork – the crucial skills students require for the exam and how to ensure understanding via the fieldwork visits and teaching
  • Getting high marks: teaching Applications and Skills in relation to candidates’ physical and human geography enquiries
  • How to increase understanding of fieldwork requirements; developing effective strategies to improve candidate performance in the final exams
  • Developing fieldwork experiences over Key Stages 3 and 4

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.