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Chemistry A Level at St Augustine's CE High School

Course description

We offer the OCR Chemistry A course. The course includes units on Organic Chemistry, including hydrocarbons alcohols and haloalkanes, Physical Chemistry including enthalpy and Hess’s Law, Analysis and Organic synthesis which can be summarised as mass spectrometry and infra-red spectroscopy. Bonding and the periodic table obviously feature. Whilst the course builds on many of the GCSE topic areas, the demands are far greater, especially in terms of the maths, literacy and diagrammatical skills you are expected to use.

Course content

The course has a significant practical element. There are a certain number of experiments and investigations which you are required to undertake, as well as many more which are used to help you understand concepts or develop important skills. There is an expectation that you will do a great deal of work as homework so that lesson time can be devoted to clearing up any problems you have encountered in your private or small group study. When students prepare properly in advance, much of your lesson time can then be spent discussing science instead of doing written work.

Entry requirements

o be do well on this course, you will need a great deal of prior knowledge from GCSE. You will need to develop a great number of skills in the lab and classroom. You will need to be able to use a wide range of mathematical skills. The most important isalgebra, which you will need to quickly improve during the course. You will need to be able to interpret very complicated diagrams, and draw clear diagrams of your own. You will need to be very literate so that you concisely explain concepts using both words and the appropriate symbols and diagrams.
 
Most important of all, you will need to be interested in the Chemistry that you will be taught, or you simply will not be able to motivate yourself enough to study hard enough.

 

Assessment

At the end of Year 13, you will have three exams. The first will ask a number of short answer questions to check the breadth of your science knowledge. The second paper will test your depth of knowledge by asking longer questions, including 6-mark questions of the style you are familiar with from your GCSEs, but far more challenging. The final paper concentrates the skills you learn in the compulsory practical work mentioned above.

Future opportunities

Chemistry A-Level often leads into the study of Medicine, pharmacy and chemical engineering. It overlaps a great deal with biochemistry courses. After university, many people continue to work in those fields. Medicine generally involves working in the NHS, and pharmacy in NHS hospitals of private pharmacies. People working in chemical engineering may work for companies such as ICI, GlaxoSmithKline and Proctor & Gamble as well as the large oil companies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Augustine's CE High School directly.

Last updated date: 28 March 2017
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