Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 and 11)

What is the content of the Course and what skills will be taught?

Students who study separate sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) have the opportunity to develop their scientific understanding in depth.  Students who study separate sciences develop a systematic knowledge of science and the skills needed to apply this knowledge to new and changing situations.

Students plan and carry out a range of investigations, evaluating critically their own data and that obtained from other sources, and using ICT where appropriate.  They also learn to evaluate in terms of their scientific knowledge and understanding, the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments, including those related to the environment, personal health and quality of life, alongside the ethical issues which may arise.

Broad areas of study:

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitive chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Examination (100% of total marks)

Two papers that are 1 hour 45 minutes each (100%)

What skills will be developed?

During both these course you will develop skills that will enable you to:

  • Present or process a set of data in such a manner as to bring out any patterns that are present.
  • State conclusions based on these patterns.
  • Relate your conclusions to scientific theories or understanding.
  • Carry out research into a scientific topic that is currently in the news.
  • Make informed decisions about the topic you research.
  • Plan investigations.
  • Analyse and evaluate data and methods.

Key Stage 5 (Years 12 and 13)

Course Description

The course offers an in-depth study of modern chemistry and provides a sound foundation for university courses in chemistry, medicine, pharmacology and chemical engineering, among many others.

Practical laboratory work is an integral part of the course and includes: planning, implementing, analysis evidence and drawing conclusions, evaluating evidence and procedures.

Students with enquiring minds and an interest in practical investigation will especially enjoy the subject.

Course Outline


Paper 1: Core and Inorganic Chemistry (Written Paper 2 hours, 35% of the A Level marks)

Physical chemistry, Atomic structure, Amount of substance, Bonding, Energetics, Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle, Oxidation, reduction and redox equations, Thermodynamics, Equilibrium constant Kc for homogeneous systems, Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, Acids and bases, Periodicity, Group 2 – the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) – the halogens, Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, Transition metals and Reactions of ions in aqueous solution.

A Level

Paper 2: Core and Organic Chemistry (Written Paper 2 hours, 35% of the A Level marks)

Amount of substance, Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle, Rate equations, Introduction to organic chemistry, Alkanes, Halogenoalkanes, Alkenes, Alcohols, Organic analysis, Optical isomerism, Aldehydes and ketones, Carboxylic acids and derivatives, Aromatic chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Amino acids, proteins and DNA, Organic synthesis, and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Paper 3: Practical Skills and Synoptic Paper (Written Paper 2 hours, 30% of the A Level marks)

This paper will draw on any content studied as part of Paper 1 or Paper 2. It will all cover all of the practical skills covered throughout the course. It will consist of questions on practical techniques and data analysis as well as questions from across the specification. 30 marks are available as multiple choice questions.

You are also assessed on your practical skills. This is done over the 2 year course in school and will give you a separate practical skills endorsement. It does not go towards your A Level grade.

Career Opportunities

University courses in Medicine and Veterinary Science require a qualification in chemistry, as do some other science courses.  Any career that requires specific scientific thought including forensic science and research and even accountancy and law can be accessed with a chemistry qualification.

Progression to University

This course contains some overlap with A Level Biology in the areas of biochemistry, and microbiology – it is essential for medical and veterinary related degrees where the highest possible grade is necessary and any chemistry based degrees.

Entry Requirements

You will need to have achieved at least grade ‘B’ in ‘Core’ and ‘Additional’ Science or in Chemistry and a grade ‘B’ in Maths to study Chemistry advanced level courses.

Head of Department: Mrs E Kingston


Spiritual Development Within Science

  • STEM Cell Research – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Drug Testing – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Animal Rights – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Environmental Industrial Impact – KS4 Science.
  • Genetic Modification – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Biotechnology – KS4.
  • Ramifications Of Atomic Energy – KS4.
  • Miller-Urey Experiment On Formation Of Life – KS4.

Moral Development Within Science

  • Science Week Assembly – All years.
  • STEM Cell Research – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Drug Testing – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Animal Rights – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Environmental Industrial Impact – KS4 Science.
  • Genetic Modification – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Biotechnology – KS4.
  • Use Of Biodegradable Materials – KS4.
  • Implications Of Energy Policy – KS4.

Social Development Within Science

  • Fertilisation And Child Development – KS3 Biology.
  • Lifestyle – KS3, KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Diet – KS3, KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Energy Efficiency – KS4.
  • Global Warming – KS4.
  • Alternative Fuels – KS4.

Cultural Development Within Science

  • Development Of Scientific Ideas – KS3, KS4 & KS5 Science.
  • Speciation – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • Evolution – KS4 & KS5 Biology.
  • The Big Bang – KS4.
  • The Shape And Composition Of The Solar System – KS3 & KS4.

British Values

In Chemistry we actively seek to thoughtfully promote British Values alongside our SMSC responsibilities wherever possible, including the following:

  • Democracy, lawfulness, respect, tolerance and freedom
  • Critical evaluation of controversial issues, including the way they are represented in the media and recognising bias
  • Knowledge of current affairs and geo-religious and socio-political topics
  • Sensitively explore and encounter opinions, identities and issues of diversity
  • Develop as global citizens who can relate to, appreciate, and debate difference in others
  • Participate to engage and improve knowledge, awareness, and tolerance; and challenge ignorance and extremism