The specification followed at A-Level is AQA Chemistry. Link to AQA website.
Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, Chemistry at sixth form is a prerequisite for many higher education courses, including Medicine, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy and Biochemistry. The Chemistry course is a good preparation for further study in science as well as being an excellent way of stimulating logical thinking useful in many arts courses. A minimum of grade C at GCSE is required to study either AS or IB Chemistry.
The Higher Line Chemical Society meets weekly and allows students to experience challenging practical Chemistry, beyond the scope of the A-level or IB course. Students decaffeinate their own coffee, make aspirin and paracetamol, and send samples of what they have made for high-level spectroscopic analysis in university laboratories.
At AS/A2 The main aim of an Advanced Chemistry course is for students to gain sufficient knowledge and understanding of chemical facts and theories to enable them to apply this knowledge to both familiar and novel situations. Topics such as Structure, Energy and Rates of Reaction reappear in an expanded form together with a much larger Organic section and a study of the properties of elements and their compounds according to the Periodic classification. All classes take place in superbly equipped laboratories.
Practical techniques, observations and conclusion are assessed at AS level and to a higher standard for the A2 examination; most experimental work is performed individually. At AS, students sit two exams at the end of their AS course, with each exam lasting for 1 hour and 30 minutes. At A2, students sit three exams at the end of their A2 course, with each exam lasting for 2 hours.
Chemistry is available for study at Standard or Higher level. The IB chemistry course has a good balance of practical investigation and theoretical studies and provides the opportunity to explore the subject and explain phenomena in much greater depth than GCSE. IB students also develop collaboration skills by joining in with a “Group 4 project” together with students taking other science subjects for IB, as they choose and investigate a group research question.
Standard and Higher Level topics covered include:- Quantitative Chemistry, Atomic Structure, Periodicity, Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and Bases, Oxidisation and Reduction, Organic Chemistry, and Measurement and Data Processing.
There are also a selection of optional topics including Modern analytical Chemistry and Further Organic Chemistry which both Standard and Higher level candidates can choose to study in more depth.
Higher level (240 hours)- Internal assessment (individual investigation): 20%, External assessment: 80%.
Standard level (150 hours)- Internal assessment (individual investigation): 20%, External assessment: 80%.