Students with low prior attainment frequently struggle in A Level Chemistry and do not make as much progress as middle and higher attainers.

This NEW course is for all teachers looking for effective approaches, strategies and methods to set the scene for low ability students and build through the course to give students the best approaches for them to accumulate learning, understanding, build on this and ultimately achieve their best in assessment.

Emphasis will be particularly on planning, setting the positions, mapping the route for students of low ability, areas that sometimes get missed. This then lays the foundation for students to be able to grasp more effectively those areas of challenge and to ensure students maximise their potential in these more difficult areas.

The course is designed for teachers of all examination boards. Teachers will take away a range of effective approaches in teaching lower ability students


  • Focussed on counter-acting the effects of low prior attainment
  • Equip you with strategies to support students and accelerate their progress
  • Take away approaches that excite and motivate students
  • Take away approaches that cultivate a deeper understanding and raise grades in exams
  • Examine techniques and methodologies to allow students to develop a can-do mindset and demonstrate independent practise and personal academic development
COURSE DATE London | Wednesday 8 December 2021
  • Heads of Science
  • Heads of Chemistry
  • A Level Chemistry teachers
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 – 10.40am: Focus on Counter-acting the Effects of Low Prior Attainers

  • Ensuring the induction programme celebrates and supports new learners
  • Planning, setting the positions, mapping the route for students of low ability, including areas that sometimes get missed.
  • Low stakes Assessment – what do they really know? How to find the gaps in a non-threatening manner
  • Identifying a range of indicators that reveal the needs of weaker students

10.40  – 11.00am – Morning Break


11.00 – 12.00pm:  The Crucial First Half term: supporting students as they adjust to the new pace

  • Raising the pace – how to help chemistry students adjust to the pace and complexity of the course
  • Building connections – The use of scaffolding in problem solving
  • Using practical activities to build confidence and how to assess progress


12.00 – 12.45pm: Approaches and Techniques to Cement Chemistry Learning with Low Ability Students

  • Teaching students to deconstruct multi stage calculations and answer them to maximize performance
  • Ways to build students’ learning in the fundamental concepts
  • Supporting non-mathematicians in Chemistry
  • Identifying the key difficulties that lower ability students have with practical based questions
  • Examples taken from specific topics which cause most difficulties for students
  • Take away approaches that excite and motivate low ability students

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch


1.45 – 2.15pm Progress, Intervention and Teaching in Context 

  • Monitoring and intervention – keeping tabs on progress and how to intervene with nominated groups
  • Strategies to support students and accelerate student progress
  • The return of context based learning to engage, challenge and enhance your teaching
  • Examples taken from specific topic areas

2.15 – 3.00pm : Effective Learning Routines appropriate for A level Chemistry

  • Practice, practice, practice – how to get chemistry students into effective learning routines
  • Putting it all together – summary, reflection and next steps
  • Effective revision – tips and techniques for low attainers to practice their physics understanding

3.00 – 3.05pm: Afternoon Tea & informal discussion


3.05 – 3.35pm: Giving students proven strategies to boost exam performance

  • A consideration of the different types of questions, tasks, skills and assessment demands – through the eyes of the lower ability chemist
  • Ways to effectively embed the challenges of practical –based exam question in your teaching, preparing lower ability students to respond well in questions
  • Dealing with the examination papers – practical suggestions to improve result

3.35pm: Depart

Paul Yardley

Paul has taught AQA A Level Chemistry for 9 years and leads a highly-successful Chemistry team, supporting students to achieve outstanding value added scores. Taking students from a range of backgrounds, over 60% achieve a high grade, with most of those student continuing to study a degree at a Russell group University, many in a chemistry-related field.  Paul is a member of the Association of Colleges’ College A Level Subject Excellence Network, identifying and sharing good practice with other practitioners that has contributed to their significantly positive value added scores.