A Level Chemistry
Exam Board: AQA Chemistry A Level
The course is taught as the A Level only. The course is divided into Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry.
The Physical Chemistry in the course will cover areas including the following: chemical calculations, thermodynamics, energetics, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells together with pH calculations of weak and strong acids.
The Inorganic Chemistry across the course will cover in detail the chemistry of Group 2 and 7 together with an in-depth study of the transition metal group and the elements of Period 3.
The Organic Chemistry will include the familiar chemistry of alkanes, alkenes and move on to look at the reactions of alcohols, carbonyls, amines and further functional groups which require organic analysis. Also, within the organic section, spectroscopic methods as well as nuclear magnetic resonance are studied.
Practical work will be embedded in all three sections of chemistry allowing the students to be familiar with a wide range of techniques and apparatus.
Exams and Assessment
The final examinations will consist of three written papers all two hours in length.
- Paper 1 examines the Physical and Inorganic Chemistry – 35% of the marks.
- Paper 2 examines Physical and Organic Chemistry – 35% of the marks.
- Paper 3 – 30% of the marks – is synoptic but focused on the practical skills gained in the course.
There is also the practical endorsement which is a pass/fail qualification. The experiments covered in the lessons qualify the students to develop the necessary skills in order to pass this, which is the anticipated outcome with our students.
A good practical understanding is a vital part of the course and examined extensively in the written papers.
Teachers and Teaching
Lessons take place in the chemistry laboratories and involve the teaching of theory and fundamental chemical principles balanced with a high level of experimental work, necessary to develop skills for the practical endorsement and in preparation for a practical degree course. Investigative work and research work form part of the endorsement together with a significant proportion of calculation work within the physical chemistry topics.
The course is taught by highly qualified specialist chemists and biochemists: Mrs Anne Stanford, Mrs Claire Wilesmith and Mr Paul Butlin.
University Courses and Careers
Students who take chemistry pursue a variety of courses besides the most typical physical and biological sciences. Chemistry is vital when applying for medicine, veterinary medicine and pharmacy. Students do combine chemistry with a number of arts and humanities subjects and may continue after school to read law, philosophy, geography or environmental sciences amongst many subjects.
Chemistry A Level is a qualification which trains candidates to acquire not only high levels of numeracy and logic but also analytical and practical skills which can be very versatile in a number of fields. The qualities developed during this course make successful students highly attractive to a range of employers, not just within the scientific sector but across all areas such as the financial, legal and academic worlds, to name but a few. In short, chemistry will open many doors and will always keep the options open.