Chemistry A Level
Hours taught per fortnight (KS5): 9
The Chemistry curriculum continues to build upon the fundamental topics that underpin the students' chemical knowledge as well as introducing new chemical concepts. Students will combine knowledge and skills from Chemistry and Physics as they learn about atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, thermodynamics, kinetics, and equilibria. Prior knowledge of inorganic chemistry is built on by investigating the chemistry and trends of the elements in group 2 and 7, as well as the trends across the elements in period 3. The chemistry of the d-block elements, including how their electronic structure leads to many of the properties which make transition metals so useful in numerous applications outside of the classroom, will also be studied.
Links between Chemistry and Biology are made as the chemistry of biological molecules such as proteins, DNA, glycerol, and haemoglobin is explored. Knowledge of organic chemistry is built on with the introduction of the IUPAC system for naming organic molecules. Students will learn how to use mechanisms to explain how and why organic reactions take place. Data from analytical techniques such as infra-red spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy and NMR spectroscopy will be used to determine the identity and structures of unknown organic compounds. They will be able to apply that knowledge to everyday contexts, making links to other areas of the curriculum and career opportunities.
Students will engage in the wider reading of a variety of different texts to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the scientific world and to encourage them to challenge and question ideas. They will develop their practical skills, carrying out a variety of different investigations, demonstrating competencies such as evaluating methods, identifying variables, and recording accurate, reliable, and repeatable results. There will be a blending of scientific and mathematical skills; solving equations algebraically, using logarithms, manipulating data, and utilising different types of graphs to help them to analyse their data. Students will be given numerous opportunities to enrich their subject knowledge with a range of extra-curricular opportunities such as university visits, participation in the Chemistry Olympiad and subject-related webinars.
For a summary of the curriculum, please see the document below.