Chemistry explores the deepest structures that go to make up existence. As such, it is a rigorous, exact science, which looks at the crystalline beauty of order, at the micro level, deep within the structure of matter. As with Biology and Physics, Chemistry enjoys its discrete location on the third floor of the Atrium, and has purpose built laboratories.
key stage 3
Chemistry is taught as part of a combined science program in the first and second form. Pupils are taught topics from the three sciences by one class teacher. The topics covered follow those suggested by the national curriculum. As pupils enter the Third Form, they follow a course which includes, but goes beyond, the National Curriculum for Chemistry. The course covers: Atoms, Elements and Compounds and Chemical Reactions. This provides a firm basis for the further study of Chemistry at GCSE. Pupils begin their GCSE course in the last term of the 3rd Form. The BBC Bitesize website contains useful information to support pupils on this pathway.
key stage 4
Qualification Pathway: GCSE Chemistry (Triple) or Combined (Double) Science
Examination Board: AQA
Method of Assessment: 100% Written Exam
With the GCSE reforms taking effect from September 2016, pupils now pursue either:
- GCSE Chemistry (Triple): a course that leads to three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. This pathway breaks down further into Foundation or Higher levels; or,
- GCSE Combined (Double) Science: here, pupils follow a pathway of Combined (Double) Science: this leads to a test in two GCSE certificates that examines a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This pathway also breaks down further into Foundation or Higher levels.
Pupils can be entered at either the Higher or Foundation level. GCSE grading reforms take place from September 2016. These replace the old A* - G grades. The qualification will be graded on a nine-point scale: 1–9 – where 9 is the best grade.
Depending on qualification pathway, topics include:
1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
3. Quantitative chemistry
4. Chemical changes
5. Energy changes
6. The rate and extent of chemical change
7. Organic chemistry
8. Chemical analysis
9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
10. Using resources
- Double Science includes topics 1-10 with reduced content and results in two GCSE certificates for Double Science. There are two examination papers in total.
- Triple Science includes all the topics listed and results in a single GCSE certificate for Chemistry alone.
- Foundation Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1 to 5.
- Higher Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4 to 9. A pupil sitting the Higher Tier who just fails to achieve grade 4 will be awarded an allowed grade 3.
- 50% Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes Foundation and Higher Tier Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.
- Using resources 50% Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes Foundation and Higher Tier Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.