Our Enhancing Teaching of Chemistry (ETCh) course is designed for science teachers who do not have a specialism in chemistry.

AvonTSA have designed this bespoke course in conjunction with Adfecto, our local Science Learning Partnership hub, and the University of Southampton. The course has been developed to meet the needs of teachers within our Alliance and across the region. Our course builds your skills and confidence in the key theories and concepts in chemistry. These fundamental ideas are developed from KS2 through KS3 and into GCSE and A level. The emphasis is on how you can use practical to deepen students’ understanding.

Why apply for this course?

Why Apply?

Are you:

  • A non-specialist teacher teaching Chemistry?
  • A non-specialist teacher who could potentially teach Chemistry in addition to your main subject?
  • A teacher wishing to return to the profession to teach Chemistry?

Our Enhancing Teaching of Chemistry course is designed and delivered by experienced teachers. The programme includes face-to-face sessions, gap tasks, practical activities and problem solving. Details can be found on the flyer.

Feedback from schools is that training has positively impacted on the confidence and effectiveness of non-specialist teachers. Other benefits include:


  • Increased subject knowledge and enthusiasm
  • Understanding and awareness of curriculum change
  • Better lesson planning
  • A greater range of teaching strategies developed and deployed

Feedback from previous delegates

This course has vastly improved my understanding of the techniques used to teach quantitative chemistry. I have been able to confidently teach topics in the new GCSE course such as electrolysis, something I previously feared. Back in school, I have been able to improve our faculty schemes of work and add in more exciting and informative demonstrations, as well as update practicals that are regularly carried out with new techniques that can be relied upon to work more consistently.

Katie – The Dean Academy

I have found the ETCh course incredibly helpful for my teaching. The tutors are very flexible as they are happy to spend longer on certain topics if needed and are very knowledgeable as we have delved into A-level Chemistry many times in order to further our understanding. I now feel more confident with teaching Chemistry up to triple science and will definitely take a different approach to teaching the required practicals and molar calculations since completing the four days.

Hayley – Malmesbury School


Dave Waistnidge

Dave has taught up chemistry up to A level and International Baccalaureate level for well over thirty years, being ‘Head of Chemistry’ for most of that time. He has co-authored several A level textbooks and revised/evaluated chemistry resources for Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and other publishers.

He has helped run the Salters Chemistry Club weeklong residential courses at both the University of Kent and the University of St Andrews and was honoured to be a finalist in the UK Chemistry teacher of the Year award back in the day!

He is also principal examiner for an exam board, writing A level chemistry papers. He recently retired from teaching and took on the role of chemistry consultant for STEM Learning and the RSC, working mainly in the South West, where he has facilitated several courses ranging from twilight sessions to four-day marathons.

His interests outside chemistry include geology, amateur dramatics, skiing and music (he sings and plays the saxophone – not at the same time!)

Steve Hacker Avon Teaching School Alliance
Steve Hacker

Having spent eighteen years in the science classroom, Steve became National Network Coordinator for Science with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust. Since 2011 he has used his experience as a senior leader, coupled with his science education background, to present and lead on regional and national science programmes. Steve currently manages the local Science Leaning Partnership for Gloucestershire, Swindon and North Wiltshire as part of a national network coordinated through STEM Learning designed to provide local professional learning in STEM subjects.

Steve is an approved trainer for the Royal Society of Chemistry, STEM Learning Ltd and as a Specialist Leader in Education is committed to the leadership and tuition of high quality professional learning to ensure impact on pupils via the teachers and technicians they meet.

John Coad Avon Teaching School Alliance
John Coad

John taught chemistry for over 20 years in the UK and S. E. Asia, rising to Head of Science in two schools. He became Science Adviser for Kent before moving on to manage the education programme for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. For the past 10 years, he has led science CPD for a number of organisations, organised large STEM events and written for three UK textbook publishers. His greatest professional pleasure now comes from sharing his expertise in teaching chemistry with inexperienced colleagues.

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