Chemistry A Level at Newport Girls' High School
Chemistry A level is a specific requirement for many courses at university and can lead to careers in chemistry, medicine, pharmacy, biological sciences and other less obvious areas such as law.
Chemistry is an exciting subject; it is also of enourmous importance for the well being and advancement of our civilisation. You have only to consider how the chemicals industry provides for your food (fertilisers, agrochemicals, preservatives), clothing (fibres, detergents), shelter (contstruction materials), transport (fuels, lubricants) and health (drugs, pharmaceuticals) to realise that life as we know it would stop almost overnight if the fruits of past chemical research and development were not available. Chemistry also has a major part to play in environmental issues.
The first teaching modules will cover the fundamental basics in theory and practical work which all good chemists should be familiar with. This will include topics on acids and bases, redox reactions, use of the mole concept, and structure and bonding within materials. Questions on this work may feature in ANY of the three final papers.
The subject will then be dividied into two strands broadly following the lines of inorganic/physical chemistry in one and organic chemistry in the other. These will be tested separately in Papers 1 and 2.
There will be much more emphasis than before on the links between the topic areas and a synoptic view to the subject. Paper 3 will require knowledge of the whole content and an ability to write at length.
Practical work will no longer feature as a component within the A level, but will be recognised by a 'pass or fail' endorsement which will be published alongside the A level grade. This will involve doing 12 experiments, suggested by the board, in the context of the work carried out during normal lessons. These will be moderated by the board, but initially assessed by us.
A minimum grade A in Additional Science or Separate Science Chemistry is required.
The greatest difference between GCSE and A level is encountered in physical chemistry. Many of the ideas have been discussed at GCSE level, but more calculations are involved. Some people find these difficult but anyone, who has coped well with GCSE level Maths and gained good science GCSE results, should be capable of them and many people enjoy the challenge of solving problems.
All exams sat at the end of the two-year course.
Paper 1: Periodic Table, elements and physical chemistry (2 hours 15 minutes) (15 multiple choice questions and structured questions work 85 marks)
Paper 2: Synthesis and analytical techniques (2 hours 15 minutes) (15 multiple choice questions and structured questions work 85 marks).
Paper 3: Unified chemistry (1 hour 30 minutes) (structured questions and extended response questions covering theory and practical skills worth 70 marks).
Practical: Pass/Fail – will be reported alongside the A level grade but will no longer be endorsement: part of the exam.
AS is no longer a constituent part of the A level course but is co-teachable with Year 12 of the A level course. It may be used to provide those who do not wish to continue their studies into Year 13 as a recognised qualification, and may also be used to provide an indication of the suitability of students to continue into Year 13.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newport Girls' High School directly.