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Chemistry A level at Sacred Heart of Mary Girls' School

Course description

The OCR Salters course offers a context led approach to studying A level chemistry. Pupils will study chemistry in a range of different contexts in order to develop an interest and enthusiasm for the subject as well as an appreciation of how chemistry contributes to the success of the economy and society as a whole. This course introduces ideas in a spiral way with topics covered early on in the course being reinforced later. This specification places a strong emphasis on an investigational and problem solving approach to practical work.

Course content

Elements of Life:
  • Atomic structure,
  • equations,
  • titrations,
  • bonding
  • shapes of molecules
Developing Fuels:
  • Thermochemistry,
  • catalysis,
  • alkanes,
  • isomerism
Elements from the Sea:
  • Halogen chemistry,
  • redox and equilibrium
The Ozone Story:
  • Rates,
  • radical reactions,
  • intermolecular bonding,
  • ozone.
What’s in a Medicine?
  • Organic chemistry 
  • analytical techniques
The Chemical Industry:
  • Equilibrium kinetics,
  • nitrogen chemistry,
  • costs and effects
  • chemical processes
Polymers and Life:
  • Amino acids,
  • proteins,
  • structure and function of DNA and RNA
  • Enthalpy Changes,
  • entropy,
  • acid – base equilibria,
  • pH,
  • greenhouse effect
Developing Metals:
  • Redox,
  • electrode potentials,
  • d block chemistry,
  • colorimetry
Colour by Design:
  • Dyes,
  • aromatic compounds,
  • organic synthesis

Entry requirements

Applicants to the Sixth Form need to have achieved a minimum of five FULL GCSEs at grade C or above as well as the entry requirements for the individual course:

At least a grade B in two GCSE Sciences (excluding applied) and grade B in GCSE Mathematics.


All examinations will take place at the end of the 2 year course and will comprise a mix of multiple choice, structured and extended response questions. 20% of the marks will be for the assessment of mathematics at level 2 standard or above including some content from A level mathematics.

Candidates will complete a minimum of 12 practical activities across the two year period. This will form the ‘Practical Endorsement’ and will not be graded. This is reported separately on the certificate if students have passed. The Practical Endorsement does not contribute to the final A level grade, however practical work will be assessed in the written papers and accounts for 15% of the marks.

Future opportunities

Over the duration of the course students will have developed logical thought processes, good problem solving skills and the ability to organise and analyse data. This makes A level Chemistry a good choice for many university courses. It is essential for those wishing to study medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, pharmacy/pharmacology and chemical engineering.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sacred Heart of Mary Girls' School directly.

Last updated date: 22 December 2016
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