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Chemistry A-Level at Burnham Grammar School

Course description

The Chemistry specification B (Salters) encourages learners to develop a wide range of skills which includes learning about a wide variety of essential Chemistry content, based around different areas of the subject and then linking these ideas together. It also allows learners to become more competent as well as confident in developing practical skills, scientific methods and problem solving techniques. There is also a strong element of application of science and specifically Chemistry to areas such as the economy and wider society.

Course content

The course covers 10 units:

  1. Elements of Life
  2. Developing Fuels
  3. Elements from the Sea
  4. The Ozone story
  5. What‟s in a Medicine?
  6. The Chemical Industry
  7. Polymers and life
  8. Oceans
  9. Developing Metals
  10. Colour by design

Entry requirements

You must achieve at least 368 GCSE capped points (i.e. your best 8 subjects) for entry to the Sixth form. You must also achieve a C grade in English Language GCSE and Mathematics GCSE alongside meeting the entry criteria for each individual subject. Option 4 is conditional upon achieving 400+ GCSE capped points. 

GCSE points: A*= 58, A= 52, B= 46, C= 40, D= 34

Subject Specific

ABB in GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics, where the A grade is in Chemistry; or one grade A and one grade B in Core & Additional Science GCSEs. In addition students require a Grade B in GCSE Mathematics. Those who have not followed a triple Science course will be expected to complete extra study and further testing to bring them in line with those with triple Science GCSE.


The first paper entitled “Foundations of Chemistry” at AS, tests the knowledge and understanding from the first two modules Elements of Life and Developing fuels. This is followed by “Chemistry in Depth” also worth 50% of the AS course which tests your knowledge from the remaining units.

The A2 examinations will assess your knowledge and understanding from units 1-10 in three written papers. Paper 1 and 2 are both worth 35% of the A2 course with the remaining 30% coming from paper 3.

Chemistry is a practical subject and the development of practical skills is fundamental to understanding the nature of chemistry. A range of practical experiences is a vital part of a learner‟s development as part of this course. Learners should develop and practise a wide range of practical skills throughout the course as preparation for the Practical Endorsement, as well as for the written examinations. 

The assessment of practical skills is a compulsory requirement of the course of study for A level qualifications in chemistry. It will appear on all students „certificates as a separately reported result, alongside the overall grade for the qualification.

The arrangements for the assessment of practical skills will be common to all awarding organisations.

Future opportunities

Chemists have greatly improved the quality of life for the majority of people. Our A Level course is underpinned by the practical skills that we call „How Science Works‟. You also find out how chemists are real innovators, designing solutions to the problems that affect modern life.

The A Level Chemistry course will prepare learners for progression to undergraduate courses in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, Pharmacy, one of the other sciences or related subjects.

For learners wishing to follow an apprenticeship route or those seeking direct entry into chemical science careers, this A -level provides a strong background and progression pathway. Students with a wide range of interests enjoy the chemistry course. Whether you want a job in medicine or industry, chemistry is the solid platform upon which careers are built.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 April 2015

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