Online | Monday 19th April 2021
Online | Monday 28th June 2021

Code: 8193


Mathematics is an extremely significant component of A level Physics. Although strong GCSE  Maths grades are generally expected of students intending to study A level Physics, and most take A-level Maths alongside Physics, there are many students who are not entirely successful in applying mathematical techniques correctly to Physics problems. The webinar will suggest methods to enable students to make these links and maximise their performance problem-solving exam questions.


  • Identify the key mathematical skills needed to succeed in A level Physics
  • Develop strategies for improving the relevant mathematical skills
  • Identify common pitfalls in students’ mathematical methods
  • Build confidence in supporting students with mathematical shortcomings


The course might suit Physics teachers from non-mathematical science background (eg ex-Chem/Bio teachers). Otherwise, any teachers who have mixed ability groups with significant maths deficits.


4.00 – 4.05 pm Why are Maths skills so important in Physics? 

  • Identify the range of skills taught in GCSE Maths and how this matches the requirements of A level Physics students
  • Identify the differences between the maths for Physics and maths taught in Maths lessons

4.05-4.35 pm: What is the essential mathematical skill set for A level Physics?

  • Activity: Brainstorm the key mathematical skills
  • Summary of tool kit
  • Activity: Classify skills in terms of student confidence
  • Develop a priority list to address key weaknesses identified

4.35-5.00 pm: How can we effectively develop these skills in our students?

  • How to get students to layout their calculations in the optimum manner
  • How to increase understanding of basic numeracy – sig figs, standard form etc
  • How to develop algebraic and trigonometric fluency
  • How to help students make links between physics problems and mathematical solutions

5.00-5.15 pm: Supporting students with poor basic mathematical skills

  • Diagnostic testing of Physics students at start of course
  • Developing a remediation maths course tailored to Physics
  • Coordination with A-level Maths teachers to present a common approach

5.15-5.30 pm: Q and A session


Tony Dunn is a current examiner for OCR A-level Physics and has taught for over 30 years in secondary schools and sixth form colleges, mainly in inner city areas, specialising in A-level Physics. Since the new A-level curriculum was introduced, he has had 100% pass rates with all his A-level Physics groups, whilst working at an inclusive college in a deprived borough. He was a Head of Science for 12 years and also spent several years training Physics teachers in SE Asia.