Chemistry is sometimes known as the ‘central science’ because it helps to connect physical sciences, like maths and physics, with applied sciences, like biology, medicine and engineering. It helps you to develop research, problem solving and analytical skills. It helps you to challenge ideas and show how you worked things out through logic and step-by-step reasoning. Chemistry often requires teamwork and communication skills too, which is great for project management.
Chemistry opens the doors to many careers and courses. A Level Chemistry is essential for a degree in medicine. Qualifications in chemistry will help you get ahead in most STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) careers and more besides. It is an important subject for careers in medicine, environmental science, engineering, toxicology, metallurgy (studying how metals behave), space exploration, developing perfumes and cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, science writing, research and many more.
In Years 12 and 13 students follow the OCR Chemistry A Specification. This develops many of the ideas and theories studied at GCSE such as Quantitative Chemistry, Energy, Organic Chemistry, Rates of Reaction and Analysis of compounds. The course consists of 6 taught modules and 12 Practical Endorsement Activities. Students are encouraged to read around the subject outside of class and to be aware of current scientific developments. Click on the links for more detailed content.
The course is taught by 2 teachers with modules split between them. We start with Foundations in Chemistry because the ideas revisit GCSE chemistry and they are continuously referenced throughout the two-year course as they link to all the subsequent topics.
The PAG investigations are an integral part of the course and link to each topic, providing opportunities to develop practical skills and problem-solving techniques.
Towards the end of Year 12, students sit an assessment based on the AS papers internally to check their progress. At the start of Year 13, students sit another assessment. This is to consolidate the ideas covered in Year 12 and help students build upon them as they embark the second year of study which revisits some of the concepts covered previously but adds much greater detail.
In Year 13 students will have opportunities to complete mocks assessments of all three papers in Chemistry before starting a comprehensive revision programme.
Autumn Term 1
Autumn Term 2
A-level Chemistry Assessment
Two x 2 hour 15min exams (Paper 1: Modules 1, 2, 3 & 5, Paper 2: Modules 1,2,4 & 6)
One x 1 hour 30min exam (Unifying Concepts – more problem-solving and application of Chemistry that comprise content from all modules covered)
In addition to the exams each student must complete 12 practical endorsement activities, which although not assessed, are a compulsory component of the course. Questions based on these investigations are assessed in the written question papers.