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Chemistry A'Level at Newstead Wood School

Course description

Exam Board: AQA

Course content

The full A level course covers

  • Physical Chemistry; Atomic structure, Amount of substance Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Analytical techniques, Structure determination, Thermodynamics, Bonding,
  • Inorganic Chemistry; Redox, the Chemistry of Group 1 & 2 elements, Acids & Bases, Transition Metals,
  • Organic chemistry; Isomerism, Carbonyl Groups, Aromatic Chemistry, Amines, Amino Acids, Polymers.
  • Reqired practicals; there are 12 practicals that must be undertaken, in addition to practical work as part of the normal teaching practice.

The AS course will cover many of the same topics, but those that are will not be assessed with as much rigour as the A-level topics.

Methods of Learning

We encourage students to be independent, responsible and proactive learners, who use their teachers as support, for their education. Students receive a variety of teaching styles, and activities, that include among others, experiments, student led presentations, modelling exercises, group work, note taking, animations, videos and data analysis.

Subject Specific Skills and Concepts

  • Mathematical skills Arithmetic, data handling, Algebra, Graphs, Geometry.
  • Chemical Knowledge Subject knowledge, ability to recall information, and organise it into a coherent sentence to demonstrate understanding, and the ability to incorporate new information, that may conflict with previously held models.
  • Analysis and Interpretation The ability to analyse scientific information in a variety of formats, e.g. verbal, diagrammatic, graphical, numerical and symbols.
  • Design and Evaluation of Experiments The ability to design experiments by choosing the appropriate technique and equipment. Then to handle chemicals confidently and safely, whilst also observing, evaluating and suggesting improvements.
  • Presentation of Information The skills of data analysis and use with reference to economic, environmental, technological and other subject related topics. The ability to give presentations to an audience; working from a variety of sources of information and data.
  • Amount of homework time required per week: A minimum of 3 hours is expected. When homework is not formally set students are expected to be using past paper questions, revising for tests and consolidating knowledge on previous work, either by re-reading notes in conjunction with the text book or useful YouTube clips.

Entry requirements

To be accepted onto this course, students need at least an A in GCSE Chemistry (triple award) or AA grade overall in the Double Award GCSE Science and this must include Grade A in the Chemistry modules.




Two written papers both 1 hour 30 minutes, in the summer of Year 12, which each account for 50% of the AS grade.

  • Paper 1 Physical chemistry, Inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills
  • Paper 2 Physical chemistry, Organic chemistry, and relevant practical skills.


Three written papers all of which are two hours, in the summer of Year 13. Paper 1 & 2 are 35% of the A-Level, paper 3 is 30% of the A-level

  • Paper 1 Physical chemistry, Inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills
  • Paper 2 Physical chemistry, Organic chemistry, and relevant practical skills.
  • Paper 3 Any content, and any practical skills.

Future opportunities

Apart from being an essential entry qualification to many courses such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Pharmacy and Forensic Science, Chemistry can be studied further in its own right, leading to many exciting career opportunities. It provides valuable background knowledge for Biology in the rapidly expanding technologies of Biochemistry and Genetic Engineering and the development of new drugs. Exciting advances in the relatively new sciences of Nanotechnology and Green Chemistry provide diverse opportunities for chemists at the cutting edge of science. Chemical engineers play a vital role in the design and planning of new aspects of the chemical industry. It is recommended that any student wishing to study Chemistry or Chemical Engineering at University should take Maths at A level.

Further information

Highlights and achievements from 2016 A2 pupils: 

  • 52% Achieved A* or A grade at A2
  • 100% Pass for the past 3 years
  • 15 went on to read medicine
  • 12 went on to read engineering

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newstead Wood School directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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