The A Level course in Chemistry builds upon the ideas that have been learnt and understood at GCSE. The course aims to stimulate interest in and enjoyment of chemistry, to foster imaginative, logical and critical thinking and to demonstrate the wider application of chemical knowledge in the modern world. A level chemistry is very academic and highly theoretical, integrating experimental work and developing investigative and manipulative skills. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to develop their practical competency. Chemistry is a rewarding and fascinating subject that requires good organisation skills and the ability to work both within a team and as an individual.
At Thornleigh we follow the AQA specification which can be found by visiting www.aqa.org.uk
The A Level Chemistry qualification is linear. There will be three exam papers at the end of the course worth 35%, 35% and 30%. Each paper is 2 hours long. The types of questions will be short and long answer, questions on practical techniques and data analysis and multiple choice questions.
Three branches of chemistry will be taught and examined, namely Physical, Inorganic & Organic.
- Physical chemistry includes investigations of atomic structure and bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibria (some Yr13 content), electrochemistry* and the study of acids & bases*.
- Inorganic chemistry includes studies of periodic trends (some Yr13 content), the properties of Group 2 & 7 elements, transition metal chemistry* and the reactions of ions in aqueous solution*.
- Organic chemistry includes the study of hydrocarbons, haloalkanes, aldehydes, ketones & carboxylic acids* as well as the synthesis of complex molecules such as proteins* and aromatic*s; instrumental analytical techniques* are also covered.
* Topics studied in Yr13
Practical work is at the heart of chemistry; a series of 12 core practicals over the two years will be supplemented with many opportunities to develop practical skills using new techniques and equipment required at this higher level. Practical chemistry will feature across each written examination rather than as a separate assessment.