Course title: AQA GCE A Level Chemistry (7405), AQA-7404-7405-SP-2015.PDF

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 5?
The A level chemistry curriculum is a transition to further study and enhances the practical skills and deepens the understanding of concepts learnt at GCSE. We aim to provoke a fascination in Chemistry to inspire our students to study the chemical sciences further.

Students will

  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for chemistry, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how chemistry contributes to the success of the economy and society
  • use theories, models and ideas to develop scientific explanations
  • use knowledge and understanding to pose scientific questions, define scientific problems, present scientific arguments and scientific ideas
  • use appropriate methodology, including information and communication technology (ICT), to answer scientific questions and solve scientific problems.

A level chemistry is underpinned by three Assessment Objectives:

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures.
AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures when handling qualitative and quantitative data
AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to develop and refine practical design and procedures.

Practical work is at the heart of chemistry and the assessment of practical skills is a compulsory requirement of the course. A minimum of 12 practical activities will be carried out by each student against Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC). Some are highly structured approaches that develop key techniques and others allow opportunities for students to develop investigative approaches, carry out experimental and investigative activities, including appropriate risk management, in a range of contexts The CPAC are based on the requirements of the subject content requirements published by the Department for Education, and define the minimum standard required for the achievement of a pass. Each student will keep an appropriate record of their practical work, including their assessed practical activities.

Year 12

  • Physical chemistry: Atomic structure, Amount of substance, Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics,
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc, Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Inorganic chemistry: Periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens
  • Organic chemistry: Introduction to organic chemistry, Alkanes, Halogenoalkanes, Alkenes, Alcohols, Organic analysis

Year 13

  • Physical chemistry: Thermodynamics, Rate equations, Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems, Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, Acids and bases
  • Inorganic chemistry: Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides , Transition metals, Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
  • Organic chemistry: Optical isomerism, Aldehydes and ketones, Carboxylic acids and derivatives, Aromatic chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Amino acids, proteins and DNA, Organic synthesis, Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Chromatography

Why is it delivered in this way?

The course begins with the fundamental elements of Chemistry that students need to access the higher level concepts in the A level course. The fundamentals build on the understanding gained at GCSE and corrects and misconceptions students may have carried through.
The order of the topics taught is designed to revisit concepts a number of times, increasing the depth of understanding at each stage. We are conscious of the need to continually review theories to allow pupils to succeed in a challenging curriculum.

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