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Chemistry: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in GCSE Maths and Grade 6 or above in GCSE Chemistry or GCSE Combined Science.

 

Hands-on lessons taught by subject specialists

With extremely strong results over the past decade, and an Alps score of 2, our Chemistry Department brings a passion and commitment that provokes very positive feedback from students.

Our teaching staff are specialists in Chemistry, aiming to inspire all students to enjoy the subject and achieve their best, regardless of ability. High quality marking and feedback support students’ progress.

We have excellent practical resources and technical support, allowing teachers to incorporate practical work into lessons whenever possible–well beyond the ‘required practicals’ of the curriculum. We consistently support students to achieve excellent outcomes; in 2018 70% of students achieved A*, A or B grades. Our experienced team have the confidence to guide students in both exam preparation and planning their next steps.

 

The course

Physical chemistry:

  • Amount of substance.
  • Energetics.
  • Kinetics.
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc.
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations.
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems.
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells.
  • Acids and bases.

Inorganic chemistry:

  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals.
  • Group 7(17), the halogens.
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides.
  • Transition metals.
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution.

Organic chemistry:

  • Alkanes.
  • Halogenoalkanes.
  • Optical isomerism.
  • Aldehydes and ketones.
  • Aromatic chemistry.
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA.
  • Organic synthesis.
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
  • Chromatography.

 

Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • Science Week–wide range of speakers, competitions and events.
  • Royal Society science writing book judging panel.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry ‘Top of the Bench’ annual competition.
  • Sixth Form Journal Club.
  • STEM Challenge events.
  • Visit to the Big-Bang’ Fair.
  • ‘Student of the half term’–rewards system to recognise and celebrate achievements and progress of all students.
  • High quality textbooks loaned to students to help with independent work.

 

Progression

Our students progress onto a wide range of courses at universities, including Oxbridge. Chemistry can lead to careers in chemical sciences, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, biological sciences, engineering and environmental sciences.

Some will also go onto non-science related courses and careers–such as law–where their achievements in science A-levels have served to develop key skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking. Many undergraduate courses are very happy to recruit students who have been successful in their science A-levels as these courses are known to be difficult. Students will have excellent study skills and the ability to rise to academic challenge beyond school.