Chemistry A Level at St Augustine's CE High School
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.
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.
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.
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.