A final boost to ensure students succeed in their AQA A level History, this course focuses on how to progress students to the higher levels in all of the Assessment Objectives, with exemplars of response type at the grade boundaries. Progression through the levels will be considered for each type of question with clear guidance of best practice in teaching and how to encourage the most effective exam preparation from students.

The characteristics of excellent essays that move away from description at Level 2 and towards judgement of the higher levels will be illustrated with clear indication of what structure for AO1 works best. Achievement in AO2 and especially how to ensure that value is addressed appropriately will be discussed, with a clear indication of what constitutes a response at Levels 4 and 5. AO3 will be considered by looking at examples of high performing work, demonstrating how an interpretation is ‘convincing’ and how this is best argued to examiners.


  • Obtain teaching approaches which enable your students to complete all skills excellently
  • Develop methods for outstanding A-level source analysis
  • Acquire effective techniques that ensure students fully understand academic interpretations
  • Gain strategies for preparation which encourage depth and detail
COURSE DATES London Monday 29 April 2019
London Monday 22 January 2020
  • All teachers of AQA A Level History
  • Heads of Department for History
  • Teachers thinking of moving to AQA
  • Teachers responsible for delivering independent study skills
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 – 10.55am
The key messages from the 2018 examinations

  • A close examination of the specification and assessment requirements and where students produce weaker answers. The balance between evaluation on Paper 1 and analysis in an essay
  • A summary of the key issues that arose and pointers to what exactly held students at each level for each paper
  • Comparative performance between papers – lessons for revisions and management of the History specification as a whole. The difficulties with a breadth study, and the use of specific knowledge.

10.55 – 11.10am
Discussion: coffee break

11.10 – 12.30pm
Improving essay skills on both Depth and Breadth papers

  • The effective use of subject knowledge to provide a substantiated judgement as demanded at Level 4 and Level 5
  • Developing the best structure for essay responses. Moving away from narrative or assertion common at Level 2
  • Teaching tips for breaking down essay writing skills – how to assess this in the classroom
  • The different assessment criteria for depth and breadth and ensuring students understand these
  • The demands of balanced argument at Level 3 and above: what students must show the examiners

12.30 – 1.30pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.30pm
Raising achievement in source evaluation for Paper 2

  • Why A-level History students can struggle with this skill
  • Creating the most effective structural response. Avoiding the sequential and episodic.
  • Ensuring that the demands of a balanced assessment of value are addressed in the top levels
  • Devising a plan of skills revision to access Levels 4 and 5 in AO2
  • How to encourage students away from simple assessment of reliability, typicality and accuracy.
  • The highest level evaluation of provenance and its integration into analysis of content value

2.30 – 2.45pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

2.45 – 3.45pm
Raising achievement in the critique of interpretations in Paper 1

  • Time management and understanding the historians’ arguments: how to prove that the interpretation has been understood
  • New approaches to encourage students to identify opinion in extracts and evaluate these, avoiding the mistake of judgemental and ‘summary alone’ responses
  • How ‘convincing’ is assessed and awarded at the higher levels of AO3. Moving to a L4 standard.
  • The best method of supporting assertion with specific subject knowledge and quotation from extracts as demanded at Level 4 and Level 5.
  • Constructing effective skills based revision sessions in AO3: the optimal structure of response to ensure success
  • Independent reading activities which boost student understanding and attainment, and how to prove to an examiner that this has occurred.

Keith Milne

Keith has over 25 years teaching and examining experience. He is a Senior Moderator with a major exam board and has authored and advised on a series of popular books including those detailing how to succeed with the NEA. He leads a number of courses exploring the routes to success at A Level History.

View all courses led by Keith Milne