This intensive new course is designed for all teachers of A level Psychology, regardless of examination board. Together we will investigate the skills that high ability students need to attain high grades and learn new practical strategies to challenge and extend talented psychology students. We will also analyse the summer exam feedback and student responses so that delegates leave with a range of effective teaching techniques to increase A*/A attainment. Finally, we will look beyond the course to focus on preparing talented psychology students for university.


  • Increase awareness of what teachers should aim to achieve with the most able Psychologists
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in Grade A/A* responses and take away a range of innovative ideas and resources to help students reach these levels
  • Give students the key AO2 skills and exam techniques to apply their knowledge to novel situation questions and the AO3 evaluation element of essays
  • Tools for engaging high ability students with the exam criteria to understand what is needed in A* answers, and for embedding high level thinking throughout the A-level course
  • Learn how to cultivate a growth mind set and develop resilience so that high ability and talented psychology students achieve their A/A* potential
COURSE DATES London Monday 17 June 2019
London Tuesday 26 November 2019
  • All teachers of Psychology looking for innovative teaching ideas and resources
  • Heads of Department
  • New teachers of Psychology
  • Non Specialist teachers
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
Going beyond target grades; what does research evidence tell us?

  • What do ‘gifted’, ‘talented’ and ‘able’ mean?
  • Why do we have to challenge our most able students?
  • How should we be challenging them? Methods to maintain thinking and progress at the highest levels

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?
  • Missing out on the A/A* grades: common mistakes and key issues
  • Work 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 exam feedback, to improve A-A* attainment within your cohort

11.15 – 11.30am
Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 12.15pm
Evidence-based practice; 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 in linking knowledge from across the Psychology specification and produce excellent responses
  • Helping learners to interpret the questions and produce concise answers

12.15 – 1.15pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.15 – 2.00pm
Evidence-based practice; developing A/A* AO3 evaluation and analysis skills

  • What does evaluation in a top level essay look like?
  • Strategies and resources to develop AO3 evaluation as a skill and to ensure students get the high grades
  • Evaluating theories Vs approaches Vs studies Vs treatments: the key links and differences

2.00 – 3.00pm
Exploring and solving the 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 resilience and a growth mind set in order to support the transition from GCSE to A Level and prepare for Higher Education

3.00 – 3.30pm
Sustaining learning

  • Reflecting on learning
  • Action planning to apply evidence-based practice in own setting
  • Evaluations

3.30 – 3.45pm
Final Top Tips, questions and depart

Emma Shakespeare

Emma has been teaching and achieving consistently Sig+ outcomes in Psychology at both GCSE and A Level for over 10 years. She is currently Assistant Headteacher in charge of School Improvement at The McAuley Catholic High School. A BPS Chartered teaching and Research Psychologist and Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for a Teaching School Alliance, Emma delivers CPD in her own school, local authority and has previously delivered on behalf of the ATP and NSLC. She is an enthusiastic presenter who loves developing new resources and has previous experience as an examiner for AQA.

View all courses led by Emma Shakespeare >