This updated course is for all teachers of A level Physics looking to develop new strategies for extending their very able students hoping to achieve A/A* and possibly go on to read Physics, or related disciplines at degree level.

The course will provide guidance on getting the best out of A/A* candidates and on preparing them for the examinations. Delegates will take way a range of ideas, approaches and tried and tested strategies for teaching top end students, the principles of which would also work across other A level sciences.


  • Develop your teaching approaches to extend your more able students
  • Challenge your students with problem solving and questioning to stretch students’ thinking processes
  • Find out how to reliably identify high attaining Physics students (not just those with 8 and 9 at GCSE)
  • Explore the common mistakes made by high attainers in Physics examinations
DATE & LOCATION Online | Monday 20 January 2021
  • A-level Physics teachers
  • Heads of Physics
  • Heads of Science
  • Teachers preparing science students to read Physics at University
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


10.00 – 10. 45am: Identifying and challenging able students in physics

  • Identifying the genuinely gifted physicists at A level
  • Characteristics of high attainers in physics
  • How to teach and challenge gifted students in mixed attainment groups
  • Developing skills for independent learning


11.00 – 11.45 am: Dealing with the problems created by the Covid-19 lockdown

  • Strategies for catching up on the specification content normally taught in the Summer term of Y12.
  • Possible changes to the 2021 exams as authorised by Ofqual and implemented by AQA to compensate for ‘lost teaching time” in Y12.
  • Incorporating some of the best aspects of online teaching, learning and assessment into routine lessons.

11.45 – 12.45pm: Improving able students’ understanding of difficult physics concepts.

  • Effective approaches to teaching the physics topics that able students miss marks on in exams
  • Using computer simulations to challenge and extend students’ understanding
  • Examples of experiments to stimulate thought and challenge ideas


1.45– 2.30pm: Higher Order Questioning

  • Problem solving contexts
  • Approaches to improve lateral thinking
  • Modelling in Physics
  • Thought provoking examples to challenge learners’ understanding

2.30 – 3.00pm: Extending the A/A* Students

  • Classroom and laboratory activities that encourage higher order thinking
  • Olympiad and other physics competitions
  • How to support your students with Russell Group interviews

3.00 – 3.45 pm: Maximising marks in the examinations

  • Examples of mistakes often made by able students in physics examinations
  • Preparing for the exam papers in a logical and systematic way to maximise marks
  • A carefully planned revision campaign that leaves nothing to chance.

AFTERNOON TEA will be available during the afternoon sessions

Howard Dodd

Howard has worked as an A-level Physics Principal Examiner (writing exam papers and supervising marking) for over twenty years being employed by OCR, AQA and Edexcel. He has taught A-level physics in a number of secondary schools, maintained and independent, and has extensive experience of leading very successful physics and science departments. Before becoming an educational consultant he lectured in Science and Physics Education for fifteen years at the University of Exeter.  He is a qualified Ofsted inspector and continues to train and assess ITT trainees on the School Direct QTS training programmes. He has a national reputation for providing high quality and helpful in-service training courses for secondary and post-16 teachers.

View all courses led by Howard Dodd >