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Chemistry A Level at Rainhill High School

Course description

Chemistry is the study of the substances that make both us and the things that surround us. If we did not understand what these substances were or how they work we could not cure diseases, develop new materials or respond to and correct changes in our environment. The clothes we wear, the homes in which we live and the cars that we drive would not exist without chemists.

The study of chemistry gives you the opportunity to develop a wide range of key skills, including oral and written communication, working in teams, problem-solving and the use of IT. Chemistry is a very challenging subject but it can also be exciting, stimulating and enjoyable.

The study of Chemistry provides a sound basis for both science and non-science based degree courses. A good grade in Chemistry A-Level is a requirement of many science degree courses. In itself, the course is a fascinating exploration of how the atoms and molecules interact. It is made up of three specific areas, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry.

The lessons will be a mixture of teacher-led activities that promotes independent learning, practical experimental work and student presentations. At times you will be expected to work in a group and at other times individually. The course includes written examinations, continual practical assessment and assignments.

In studying Chemistry you will automatically be enrolled into the Science Academy.

Course content

Year 12

Physical Chemistry: Atomic Structure; Amount of Substance; Bonding; Energetics; Kinetics; Chemical Equilibria; Le Chatelier’s Principle and Kc; Oxidation; Reduction and Redox Equations.

Inorganic Chemistry: Periodicity; Group 2, The Alkaline Earth Metals;  Group 7, The Halogens.

Organic Chemistry: Introduction to Organic Chemistry; Alkanes; Haloalkanes; Alkenes; Alcohols; Organic Analysis.


Year 13

Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics; Rate Equations; Equilibrium Constant Kp for Homogeneous Systems; Electrode Potentials and Electrochemical Cells and Acids and Bases.

Inorganic Chemistry: Properties Of Period 3 Elements and their Oxides; Transition Metals; Reactions of Ions in Aqueous Solution.

Organic Chemistry: Optical Isomerism; Aldehydes and Ketones; Carboxylic Acids and Derivatives; Aromatic Chemistry; Amines; Polymers; Amino Acids; Proteins and DNA; Organic Synthesis; Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Chromatography.

Entry requirements

Minimum of Grade B or above in GCSE Science.


Year 12
Paper 1: Relevant Physical, Inorganic and Practical Skills.
Written exam: 1 hour 30 mins; 80 marks; 50% of the AS
Paper 2: Relevant Physical, Organic and Practical skills.
Written exam: 1 hour 30 mins; 80 marks; 50% of the AS

Year 13
Paper 1: Relevant Physical, Organic and Practical skills.
Written exam: 2 hour; 105 marks; 35% of the A-level
Paper 2: Relevant Physical, Organic and Practical skills.
Written exam: 2 hours; 105 marks; 35% of the A-level
Paper 3: All A-level content will be assessed.
Written exam 2 hours; 90 marks; 30% of the A-level.

Future opportunities

A good A-Level qualification in Chemistry is highly regarded by Employers and Universities because it demonstrates a very wide range of competences, both academic and personal. It is an essential qualification for progression into careers such as Medicine, Veterinary Science, Biomedical Science and Pharmacy. In addition it is desirable for the study of Engineering, Geology, Archaeology, Environmental Science, Dietetics, Nursing and Agriculture.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Rainhill High School directly.

Last updated date: 06 March 2017

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