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International Baccalaureate - Chemistry - Higher Level at The Rochester Grammar School

Course description

Chemistry is the central science as chemical ideas underpin both the physical environment in which we live and all biological systems.  It is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of experimental skills.



Course content

Chemistry is offered at Higher level (HL). The syllabus for the Chemistry Diploma Programme is divided into three parts:

The core - This comprises of a number of topics, including Quantitative Chemistry (calculations), Atomic theory, Periodicity, Chemical bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and bases, Oxidation and Reduction, Organic chemistry and Measuring and Data Processing.

Additional Higher level (AHL) material
The AHL material extends on the ideas encountered in the core topics and includes Atomic theory, Periodicity, Chemical bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium, Acids and bases, Oxidation and reduction, and Organic chemistry.

Options - Higher level candidates are required to study any two additional options from A-D.

A. Materials
B. Biochemistry
C. Energy
D. Medicinal Chemistry

There is plenty of opportunity for practical work involving planning, recording data, concluding and evaluations.  A portfolio of this work is built up throughout the course and students are encouraged to work independently and in a team.

Entry requirements

Due to the rigour of the course, entry requires Grade 7 in Mathematics and Grade 7 in Chemistry or Grade 8-7 in Combined Science.


In order to gain access to The RGS Sixth Form, students must obtain 5 GCSE grades a*-B (5+) including English Language and Mathematics.


Internal assessment

a)  Investigations

b) The group 4 project

This work is internally assessed by the teaching staff and externally moderated by the IBO.

a)  Investigations

There are 8 assessment criteria:

  • planning (a) (such as hypothesising)
  • planning  (b) (such as designing)
  • data collection
  • data processing and presentation
  • conclusion and evaluation
  • manipulative skills
  • personal skills (a) (such as team work)
  • personal skills (b) (environmental impacts)

b) Group 4 project

This allows the student to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science.

Students analyse a topic or problem, set in a local, national or international context, which can be investigated. The project is divided into 4 stages for a total duration of 10 hours:

  • Planning
  • Definition of activities
  • Action
  • Evaluation

External assessment

There are three externally assessed written papers. The interdisciplinary project will allow you to appreciate the environmental, social and ethical implications of science. This exercise is collaborative and interdisciplinary, where you will analyse a topic or problem which can be investigated in each of the science disciplines offered (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). It is also an opportunity for you to explore scientific solutions to global questions.



Future opportunities

Apart from being a subject worthy of study in its own right, Chemistry is essential for many other courses in higher education, such as medicine, veterinary medicine, biological science and environmental science, and serves as useful preparation for employment in most careers.

Further information

The I.B.O.s mission statement:

'The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.'

IB learners are:

- Enquirers
- Knowledgeable
- Risk-takers
- Thinkers
- Good communicators
- Principled
- Open-minded
- Reflective

The ideal IB student will also have acquired a sense of caring and compassion, and will recognise the importance of a balance between his/her intellectual, physical and emotional needs.

If you require any further information please contact Miss Hemming at The Rochester Grammar School.

If you wish to study at The Rochester Grammar School, please apply directly to the school.

Application forms and further details can be found on the school website



How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Rochester Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 12 December 2018
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