This course will focus on teaching approaches designed to enhance the performance of your able chemistry students, so that they are motivated to maximise their potential at A level and challenged to attain grade A*.


  • Develop teaching strategies that lead to deep learning and the capacity to boost performance to attain A*
  • Apply some of the latest research to build learning power in your students
  • Explore how different approaches to problem solving lead to effective ways of tackling unfamiliar questions
  • Enhance laboratory learning through innovative activities in the classroom.
  • Build advanced skills in planning, analysis and evaluation
  • Gain insights into approaches that ensure the 6 marks in ‘levels of response’ questions
  • Embed synoptic learning using active learning methods
  • Heads of chemistry and experienced teachers of chemistry looking for new approaches and practical methods to enhance teaching and learning to inspire able students to attain the A* grade.
  • Newer teachers of A level chemistry who want to explore innovative ways of encouraging deeper learning of their subject.
DATES Online | Thursday 18 November 2021
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder 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
Bridging the gap to A* – an overview

  • What makes an A* student?
  • Analysing the ‘Reports on the Examinations’ to help students perform to their potential and garner maximum marks through understanding the different exam techniques required
  • Rising to the different assessment challenges from objective questions to extended calculations and from ‘levels of response’ questions to those on practical procedures
  • Understanding the role and weighting of assessment objectives and why this is particularly relevant to the able student

10.45 – 11.45am
Encouraging higher order thinking skills (HOTS) throughout the course

  • HOTS not MOTS (more of the same) – activities to stretch, challenge and motivate
  • Applying HOTS to analytical techniques such as NMR
  • Approaches to improve lateral thinking
  • Explaining electrode potentials and predicting redox reactions

11.45am – 12.00pm
Coffee break and informal discussion

12.00 – 1.00pm
Problem solving contexts for A* students

  • Principles and processes of building successful learning
  • Scaffolding approaches to mole calculations
  • Finding routes through calculations
  • Building advanced skills in data analysis using targeted exercises focused on rate equations and the Arrhenius equation
  • Problem solving techniques in organic chemistry

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 2.30pm
Embedding synoptic learning

  • Laying the foundations for synoptic learning from the outset of your course
  • Developing activities to promote linking from simple starters to devising questions
  • Interconnecting chemistry topics for high level performance

2.30 – 3.45pm
Boosting examination performance to attain A*

  • Command words and what an examiner wants to see in response
  • Common high level student failings and how to avoid them
  • Maximising marks on ‘levels of response’ questions
  • Making the most of multiple choice questions
  • From the classroom to laboratory practical work and back again – ideas to build understanding that leads to a high performance in questions on practical chemistry
  • Strategies for answering questions set in unfamiliar contexts


Chris Conoley

Chris is a highly experienced teacher of Chemistry, Head of Science and latterly a College Principal. He is the author of numerous educational textbooks, including the much praised Collins Advanced Science Chemistry, now in its third edition. As a Senior A Level Examiner, he understands how important it is that students acquire and develop the science skills necessary for success. He leads training courses for teachers both in the UK and overseas and is passionate about making science relevant, accessible and fun.

View all courses led by Chris Conoley >