A Level Chemistry Revision Courses: Easter 2024

With just 13 weeks until A Levels start, many students will be hoping to catch up with some much-needed revision over the Easter holidays. It’s a great time to get organised with notes, get serious with your organic chemistry knowledge and, with most (or all) topics covered in school by this time you can make better use of those lovely past paper questions.

It can also feel a little isolated if you don’t have any support. It’s not fair to expect teachers to answer questions over emails during their much-needed holiday, and unfortunately the time you finally sit down to cover all the topics again is the time you come up with all those questions you wish you’d asked in class!

The good news is, there are lots of A Level chemistry ‘crash courses’ or ‘revision boosters’ available during school holidays.  These can be a relatively affordable way to make huge progress in your chemistry revision and set you up for the next few months feeling more confident and able to tackle those challenging past papers. Since I’ll be offering A Level chemistry revision courses during Easter 2024 for AQA, OCR A and Edexcel exam boards, I thought it might be useful to answer a few common questions so you can compare what you get with a CK Chemistry course with other competitors, and make the right choice if you plan to invest in a revision course yourself.

What are A Level Chemistry Bootcamps?

A Level Chemistry revision bootcamps are short, relatively intense revision courses designed to target difficult topics, build confidence, and improve exam technique. They are online courses held during the day in the Easter (and May half term) holidays.

Who are the revision courses for?

The courses are suitable for students taking their A Level chemistry exams in summer 2024 – including mature students and those who are retaking their exams. Because the class sizes are small and you have time to go over the support materials in your own time (see information below about the resource package provided), the revision courses are suitable for any student aiming for A*-C grades in A Level chemistry. The courses are especially suited for students who are working hard to obtain the A/A* grades but need some more support to improve their application and exam technique.

How many students are in a group?

Because  the courses are designed to accelerate progress and offer more personalised support, the group sizes will be around 3-4 students, with an absolute maximum of 6. You will be in the same group of students throughout the course.

How do you cater for different needs of students?

Before the course you will be asked to identify the topics you most want to work on. The sessions will be grouped into themes such as chemical calculations, organic chemistry, practical work etc, but within these sessions I will focus on those topics or skills identified as priorities by students. I will also check in with students about any topics they haven’t covered yet and therefore might not want to go over!

Does it matter what exam board I do?

There are three courses available, one for each of the major exam boards – AQA, OCR A and Edexcel. If you are taking international A Levels or WJEC then you would also be able to join the Edexcel course – just let me know you are with a different board so I can allow for this.

What dates are the courses?

The OCR A course runs from Wednesday April 3rd to Friday April 5th 2024. The AQA course runs from Monday April 8th to Wednesday April 10th, and the Edexcel course runs from Thursday April 11th to Saturday April 13th.

How long are the courses?

The live group sessions are spread over three days during the Easter holidays. There are two 1.5 hour lessons each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These revision courses are deliberately designed so that you can make use of the other course materials and practice questions, and to give you enough time and breathing space between the lessons to think of other questions – or just to rest!

Who are they delivered by?

All courses are delivered by me, Claire CK. I don’t employ other teachers, tutors or undergraduates to deliver courses, so you know you are getting a fully qualified teacher with 20 years of experience in teaching, tutoring, examining and resource development for A Level chemistry.

What content do you cover?

There are six sessions in total; the first five sessions are divided into general areas of chemistry: calculations, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and practical chemistry. As mentioned above, the specific topics covered depends on the needs and requests from students on the course. The final session will be for feedback and support from the practice exam papers provided.

What extra materials are provided?

All students signed up will get full access to the materials from my weekly programme of A Level masterclasses – this includes topic checklists, practice questions and recorded exam technique lessons from 20 different topic areas. A full set of practice papers will also be provided as well as my extended response booklet to help practice six-mark questions. In total this adds up to £70 worth of extra materials, which are all available for you to use for as long as you need to. Any extra materials used in the live lessons will also be provided, such as slides or whiteboard notes.

How long do I have access to the materials?

You will be able to access the masterclass materials through the website as soon as you sign up, and can continue to use these for as long as you need. The practice papers will be provided at least one week before your course starts.

Do I need any special equipment?

All A Level chemistry bootcamp lessons are delivered via Zoom. Therefore, you need a device that you can access Zoom on – preferably a laptop or tablet with a reasonably large screen so you can see the shared materials more clearly. A webcam and microphone will improve your experience (see below) but are not essential. You’ll need an internet connection that can handle Zoom, and I recommend you use the Zoom app rather than the browser option. Some students find it easier to join on two devices, for example using their mobile phone for the mic and camera and a tablet to see the screen.

Do I have to have my camera/microphone on?

These are small, friendly group sessions and designed to be interactive in the same way that a one to one session would be. Therefore, most students will get the best experience by having their camera and microphone on during the lessons. However, I understand that there are many reasons you might prefer your privacy, or that you may have internet issues with having your camera on all the time. It is therefore your choice – however you can expect me to check in with you on the chat if you are silent for a long time!

Are the sessions recorded?

These sessions are not recorded, because I want them to have more of a one to one feel with microphones and cameras on as mentioned above. You will still have access to all the materials we use after the lessons, so you won’t need to write everything down!

How much are the courses?

The courses are £225 if you book before midnight on 17th March. I believe this is excellent value – it works out as just £25 per hour for the live lessons alone, plus you get access to all the masterclass materials and practice papers included (worth around £70 on its own). After March 17th the price increases to £275.

Can I pay a deposit to secure my place?

Yes – if you pay a £50 deposit before 17th March I can secure your place and also lock in the early bird discount. This option is not available through the website booking, but you can email me to arrange it. The full balance will then be due 7 days before the course start date. The deposit is non-refundable, but if for any reason you are unable to attend the course or change your mind you will still be able to access the Masterclass materials on the website as a goodwill gesture.

What if I need to cancel?

If you change your mind and realise you no longer wish to take part in the course, you may request a full refund up to 14 days after your booking date. You will receive a refund minus a £15 fee, which covers my administration costs and transaction handling fees. If you cannot attend due to illness or other commitments, you can request to change the date to a different course if available, or receive a refund minus £50 and retain access to all the other website materials as above.

Other providers offer cheaper courses. How is yours different?

There are a few ways my A Level chemistry revision courses are different to those offered by larger providers. Lessons are held in very small groups so they are fully interactive and not just lectures. The additional materials I provide through masterclass recordings and practice papers are unique and give students a comprehensive, detailed revision package that lasts right up until exams. Finally, the course is spread over the course of three days, with space and time between sessions to allow practice, consolidation and for students to actually think of questions! I prefer this model myself as I know students often draw a blank during a class, only to come up with a question later. I also find this model suits students who, like me, are neurodiverse and may struggle to cope with a whole day of back to back online lessons!

I can’t afford it! Do you offer any other revision help?

I understand not everyone is in the position to pay for small group courses. You can access all the materials and recordings to my A Level masterclasses for just £50 for twenty lessons, which is a great value way to go through topics and improve your exam technique in more detail. You can also check out my practice and predicted paper materials, and if you aren’t already signed up to my mailing list, make sure you do as I send out free revision materials and often give larger group classes for free.

Claire Costello-Kelly

Claire Costello-Kelly

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