This course is designed for all teachers of A Level History, regardless of examination board, and will demonstrate how to enhance and extend the skills of your most able students to secure Grades A & A*. Using examiners’ reports and exemplar responses, we will evaluate what is expected of students operating at the top levels and further develop ways to build your teaching practice around this. We will focus on the skills necessitated by the effective handling of historical concepts and themes. This course will also offer a range of strategies and methods to ensure your students perform to the best of their ability during examinations.


  • Analyse exemplar responses at Grades A & A* to develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for at the higher levels
  • Explore relevant higher order thinking skills which students need to access the top grades
  • Obtain strategies to support high achieving students which will be of immediate practical benefit
  • Consider examination technique and how to avoid the potential pitfalls most often evident in the work of more able students
COURSE DATE London | Monday 22 June 2020
* Please note, this course will be held online on the designated date if it’s not possible to run in venues.
  • All teachers of A-Level History
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
Higher Order thinking for grades A & A*

  • Exploration of the key attributes of Grade A/A* students
  • Approaches to improving historical thinking with higher order questioning
  • Extending A/A* students: activities to enhance thinking at the higher level
  • Promoting motivation: creating enthusiasm in the classroom

10.45 – 11.05am
Discussion: coffee break

11.05 – 11.55am
Teaching Breadth and Depth: key challenges for A/A* students

  • Why top students should understand the Assessment Objectives and the importance of integrating this into classroom practice
  • Embedding understanding of the requirements of breadth and depth questions
  • Incorporating the concepts which underpin AO1 and applying these to breadth and depth essay questions

11.55 – 12.45pm
Sources and Interpretations: stretching and challenging able students

  • Dealing with sources and interpretations at a higher level – strategies to encourage intelligent reading and careful analysis
  • Debating the argument: corroborating and challenging a point of view
  • Avoiding formula – how to ensure thoughtful evaluation of source material without resorting to a tick list approach
  • The most effective methods of utilising contextual knowledge – how much knowledge is required?

12.45 – 1.45pm
Lunch and informal discussion  

1.45 – 2.40pm
Exemplars of A/A* responses

  • Feedback from 2019 exams, demonstrating the characteristics of A/A* candidates
  • Review of specimen scripts and mark schemes – What do full mark answers look like?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these? l Consideration of how and when to utilise historiography

2.40 – 3.00pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.00 – 3.45pm
History exams: tactics for achieving the highest grades

  • Avoiding potential hazards: where able students can fail under exam conditions
  • Understanding the full demands of the question
  • Effective planning in an examination situation: helping able students to produce highly effective introductions and conclusions
  • Appropriate selection of precise and specific supporting knowledge
  • Revision tips to ensure top level students perform to the best of their ability in the exams

Plenary, discussion and depart

Denise Morris

Denise has over 20 years teaching and examining experience. She is a former Head of History Department and is currently a Senior Examiner with a major examination board. She also moderates and advises on A Level History coursework and has marked with multiple examination boards. She has acted as a Teacher Trainer since 2017.