This intensive one-day course will focus on raising the attainment of lower attaining students in AQA GCSE Design and Technology. We will focus on building exam skills, particularly in the areas lower attaining students tend to struggle; how to gain vital additional marks in key questions; developing students’ literacy skills for the written elements of controlled assessment and the exam; effective strategies to monitor and track progress, interventions for further support. There will also be a strong focus on outstanding teaching and learning techniques for raising motivation and overall attainment with an emphasis on Resistant Materials, Product Design and Graphic Products.

The course will be delivered by a high performing teacher who has consistently delivered exceptional value added over the last 10 years, including as head of department in one of the most challenging schools in the country.


  • Understand the barriers to success for lower attaining students in D&T and how these can be overcome
  • Utilise techniques to quickly identify underperforming students and implement strategies to effectively support and motivate them
  • Utilise strategies to encourage independent learning and improve exam performance
  • Develop effective techniques to help lower ability learners to retain knowledge, understand concepts and develop skills
  • Embed the teaching of exam techniques to enhance the performance of lower ability students for linear exams


COURSE DATE In-school only
  • Heads of Design and technology
  • All teachers of design and technology
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 – 10.20am: Understanding the big picture with lower ability learners

  • Understanding the factors that limit the success of lower attaining students in D&T
  • How to adapt the classroom experience to remove barriers to attainment
  • Using data to identify strategies to remove the barriers to attainment

10.20 – 11.10am: Effective teaching approaches for raising the results of lower ability students

  • Exploring the key teaching and learning approaches that work best with lower attaining students to increase understanding and engagement
  • Supporting the development of subject literacy with literacy-weak students
  • Practical ways to support students in retaining knowledge for assessment
  • Using practical activities to develop increased attainment
  • Using high quality resources to accelerate results with lower ability students
  • Supporting lower ability students with independent learning through AfL and peer assessment

11.10 – 11.30am: Discussion: coffee break


11.30 – 1.00pm: Raising attainment in the examination: Unit 1

  • Identifying the barriers to success for lower attainment students: an examiner’s view
  • Practical strategies for building students’ ability to qualify responses and answer questions effectively
  • Planning and delivering key exam and revision skills to support struggling students
  • Alternative teaching strategies and approaches to take away and use immediately with lower attaining students to raise achievement in unit 1

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 – 2.45pm: Improving performance in the controlled assessments: Unit 2

  • Alternative course structures to raise attainment and support the less able students
  • Effective ‘joined-up’ teaching strategies: making connections and links in your teaching to use the controlled assessment to improve exam performance of lower attaining students
  • How to give students the skills they need to raise results in the Controlled Assessments including effective annotations to add detail and writing in a concise manner
  • Fresh ideas to use with struggling students to reinvigorate teaching in each section of the controlled assessment

2.45 – 3.40pm: Tracking, monitoring and intervention strategies to ensure the sustained progress of lower attaining students

  • Effective strategies for monitoring progress and early identification of underachievement
  • How to ensure well-timed, and accurate, support and interventions
  • Developing an action plan to support improved attainment
  • Preparing for the new GCSE Design & Technology specification – what can we do now for lower ability students in KS3 to ensure they are best prepared, and motivated, for the challenges of the new specification?

3.40 – 3.50pm: Afternoon tea, discussion and depart

Paul Anderson

Paul works as a teacher and consultant, specialising in Design & Technology and Engineering. His students have consistently achieved outstanding value added, typically exceeding their targets by 1.5 to 2 grades, both in his roles as a teacher and when he was Head of Technology in one of the most challenging schools in the country. Paul was awarded a Gatsby fellowship for his work implementing Assessment for Learning in D&T and is an alumni member of the JDF Innovation Group. He has had several senior examiner roles for two exam boards and is a teacher adviser to the IET and Discovery Science. He has also written or co-authored nine Design & Technology textbooks, along with over 100 published teaching resources.

View all courses led by Paul Anderson >