This course is a complete guide to teaching OCR  A level Chemistry. It covers an overview of content, the most challenging areas to teach, and preparing for the assessment. There will advice about how to conduct practicals successfully and how to use these opportunities to prepare students for the practical linked element in paper 3. The course will include a variety of teaching resources and explore how to use retrieval practice, interleaving and dual coding to more effectively teach the subject.


  • Explore the key challenges of teaching OCR  A level Chemistry for the first time
  • Develop mathematical skills in your students through tried and tested methods
  • Understand how to approach topics that learners find difficult, from the mole to organic reaction mechanisms
  • Consider strategies to boost performance in practical assessment, both in the lab and in written exams
  • Take advantage of the opportunities to share teaching approaches with colleagues in similar situations
  • Understand how to structure the content and use cutting edge idea from cognitive science to maximise student learning and exam performance
COURSE DATES London | Monday 13 December 2021
  • All teachers new to teaching OCR A level chemistry
  • Heads of Chemistry Department
  • Heads of Science
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 – 10.30am: The key strands in OCR  A level Chemistry

  • A brief overview of the content of the A level, including how topics are linked and possible sequences of teaching
  • Link with content from GCSE and highlight traditional areas that students struggle with especially in light of impact of Covid 19
  • Using assessment to identify prior learning and consequences to your teaching the course


10.30 – 11.30am:  Developing mathematical fluency

  • Structures and lessons from the Maths classroom to improve teaching of mathematical skills in Chemistry. The importance of modelling answers and using questioning effectively
  • Developing strategies to boost student confidence
  • Emphasising the meaning of the numbers, helping students to answer exam questions better
  • Topics where the Maths is vital – calculating the mole etc
  • Value of quick low stakes assessment and feedback loops to check understanding

11.30 – 11.45 am – Break


11.45 – 1.00 pm: Fundamental concepts

  • Key topics – atomic structure to periodic groups
  • Energy changes, reaction rates and equilibria
  • How to run a successful practical, including looking forward to how practical technqiues will be assessed in paper 3
  • Using retrieval practise and interleaving to improve recall and long term learning

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 – 2.50pm: Organic chemistry

  • Overview of topic and highlighting where student go wrong (misconceptions and common mistakes)
  • How to use dual coding to build strong conceptual understanding
  • Problem solving approaches to learning key concepts
  • Teaching analytical techniques

2.50 – 3.40pm: Preparing students for the OCR  exam – a short cut to success

  • Making the most of multiple choice
  • Preparing for extended questions and looking at ‘Levels of Response’.
  • Synoptic thinking how to bring things together at the end by considering how you teach each topic from the beginning – embedding exam skills as you go along
  • Lessons from previous exams – how to use exemplar responses and past papers throughout the course