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Chemistry

A-level Chemistry attempts to answer the big question ‘what is the world made of’ and it is the search for this answer that makes this subject so fascinating. From investigating how one substance can be changed drastically into another, to researching a new wonder drug to save millions of lives, the opportunities that chemistry provides are endless. 

Over the course we encourage students to develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods. Students become more competent and confident in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem-solving skills. They will understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society. Students will understand how to use theories, models and ideas to develop scientific explanations. By the end of the course they can use knowledge and understanding to pose scientific questions, define scientific problems, present scientific arguments and scientific ideas.

Year 12 Year 13

Term 1 & 2

Atomic structure

Amount of substance

Bonding

Kinetics


Term 3 & 4

Energetics 

Chemical equilibria

REDOX

Introduction to Organic Chemistry and mechanisms


Term 5 & 6

Inorganic: periodicity; group II; group VII

Alcohols

Organic analysis

Term 1 & 2

Thermodynamics

Acids and bases

Electrochemistry and potentials

Rate equations

Optical isomerism

Carboxylic acids and its derivatives


Term 3 & 4 

Transition metals

Period 3 oxides

Aromatic chemistry

Biochemistry 

NMR

Organic synthesis


Term 5 & 6

Revision

 

Why is the curriculum sequenced this way?

The AQA Chemistry course builds on the fundamental concepts and skills that are developed in the GCSE course.

In Year 12, we start by reviewing previous knowledge at GCSE of the structure of the atom, the mole and the 3 different types of bonds. We then revisit many of the ideas of physical chemistry that have been discussed at GCSE level, but look at focusing on the calculations involved. By covering these topics first, it ensures the fundamental basis in theory are covered, but also allows student to become familiar with the mathematical demands of the course.

Covering many of the physical topics first will underpin key concepts and deliberate links can be made between topic areas and a synoptic view to the subject tested in paper 3.

In Year 13 learners will continue to explore chemistry in detail whilst studying electrochemistry and other topics. Student look to build on the knowledge of Year 12 by revisiting rates and kinetics, but also look at organic synthesis an opportunity to synthesis and use chemistry from the whole course. 

 

How is this course assessed?

  • End of unit tests involving past paper style questions typically with 30-35 marks.
  • Homework questions, often using exam style questions.
  • Ongoing lesson assessment for learning as part of teaching.
  • End of year examination.

 

How can I revise for this course?

  • Seneca learning quizzes
  • Websites include Chemguide, A-level Chemistry and tutorials on channels such as YouTube
  • Revision guides: A-Level Chemistry: AQA Year 1 & 2 Complete Revision & Practice