Curriculum - Chemistry


What will I learn?

Atomic structure and the periodic table, bonding, structure and the properties of matter, quantitative chemistry, chemical changes, energy changes, The rate and extent of chemical change, organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere, using resources

How will I be assessed?

Two papers: each paper will assess knowledge and understanding from different topics.

Paper 1 – Atomic structure and the periodic table; bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; quantitative chemistry; chemical changes; and energy changes.

Paper 2 – The rate and extent of chemical change; organic chemistry; chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere and using resources.

Duration: both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes.

Tiers: Foundation and Higher.

Weighting: the papers are equally weighted. Each is worth 50% of the grade and has 100 marks available.

Question types: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.


GCE A Level Chemistry

Chemistry A level is a 2 year course, we follow the AQA specification:


3.1 Physical chemistry
3.1.1 Atomic structure
3.1.2 Amount of substance
3.1.3 Bonding
3.1.4 Energetics
3.1.5 Kinetics
3.1.6 Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

3.1.8 Thermodynamics
3.1.9 Rate equations
3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems
3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
3.1.12 Acids and bases 3.2 Inorganic chemistry
3.2.1 Periodicity
3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens
3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
3.2.5 Transition metals
3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
3.3 Organic chemistry
3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry
3.3.2 Alkanes
3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes
3.3.4 Alkenes
3.3.5 Alcohols
3.3.6 Organic analysis
3.3.7 Optical isomerism
3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones
3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives
3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry
3.3.11 Amines
3.3.12 Polymers
3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA
3.3.14 Organic synthesis
3.3.15 Nuclear Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
3.3.16 Chromatography

A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.

There are 12 required practicals which must be carried out by all students taking this course. Written papers will assess knowledge and understanding of these, and the skills exemplified within each practical.

  1. Make up a volumetric solution and carry out a simple acid–base titration
  2. Measurement of an enthalpy change
  3. Investigation of how the rate of a reaction changes with temperature
  4. Carry out simple test-tube reactions to identify: cations – Group 2, NH4+; anions – Group 7 (halide ions), OH, CO32–, SO42–
  5. Distillation of a product from a reaction
  6. Tests for alcohol, aldehyde, alkene and carboxylic acid
  7. Measuring the rate of reaction: by an initial rate method and by a continuous monitoring method
  8. Measuring the EMF of an electrochemical cell
  9. Investigate how pH changes when a weak acid reacts with a strong base and when a strong acid reacts with a weak base
  10. Preparation of: a pure organic solid and test of its purity and a pure organic liquid
  11. Carry out simple test-tube reactions to identify transition metal ions in aqueous solution
  12. Separation of species by thin-layer chromatography

Exams: at the end of Y13

Paper 1:  2 hours: 105 marks 35% of A level


105 marks of short and long answer questions

Topics: Physical chemistry (sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 to 3.1.8 and 3.1.10 to 3.1.12)

Inorganic chemistry  (section 3.2)

Relevant Practical skills


Paper 2:  2 hours: 105 marks 35% of A level


105 marks of short and long answer questions

Topics: Physical chemistry (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6 and 3.1.9)

Organic chemistry (section 3.3)

Relevant Practical skills

Paper 3:  2 hours: 90 marks 30% of A level


40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis

20 marks of questions testing across the specification

30 marks of multiple choice questions