Chemistry is a demanding yet rewarding A-Level course and our department prides itself on its thorough approach to teaching.
We run a rigorous practical schedule alongside bespoke notes and homework exercises and we provide extra support sessions each week in which students have the opportunity to bring any issues that require clarification.
Students must have a keen interest and an active curiosity for the subject, as well as strong grades at Chemistry GCSE, in order to study it at A-Level. To support the transition to A-Level, the department introduces students to the Lower Sixth with a ‘pre-A-Level’ course covering the major principles of the subject visited at GCSE, ensuring a firm grounding prior to A-Level studies.
The Chemistry A-Level course encompasses three elements:
• Physical Chemistry – including Atomic Structure, Kinetics and Thermodynamics
• Inorganic Chemistry – Group Chemistry and Transition Metals
• Organic Chemistry – including Alkanes, Alkenes and Alcohols
Practical tasks are performed alongside the subject content, the knowledge and application of which will be examined as part of the written papers at the end of the full A-Level course.
Theory work is complemented by extensive practical work which illustrates many aspects of the theory but also allows pupils to gain a pass for laboratory skills in addition to the traditional A-Level grade, which will support applications to leading universities.
Assessment is by internal exam at the end of the first year, the result of which will be used to support UCAS grade predictions. The A-Level itself is examined in three exams at the end of the second year.
The Chemistry department provides a range of enrichment and extension activities to enhance the work covered in class, enabling aspirational chemists to demonstrate the independence of thought required to access demanding courses at top universities. Events are organised through the Royal Society of Chemistry, including the Olympiad for students in the Upper Sixth, the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge for the Lower Sixth and Spectroscopy workshops run by Liverpool University.
Competitive opportunities are also offered to Chemistry students of all ages, including the Top of the Bench and Young Analysts competitions, which involve Years 9 to 11 and Lower Sixth respectively.
An A-Level in Chemistry is essential for Medicine and many other science-related courses at university and its complexity means it is also well-regarded for courses such as Law or Economics.