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Chemistry A-Level at St John Payne Catholic School

Course description

The Chemistry syllabus will appeal to those students who enjoyed the subject in Years 10 and 11 and want to find out more about how Chemistry affects all of our lives. Chemistry is based on experiment and a proportion of the course is devoted to practical work. Chemistry is an exciting but very demanding subject that requires logical thought processes and the ability to apply knowledge to new situations. Students wanting a career in medicine, forensics or pharmacology are usually required to have Chemistry at A Level.

The Chemistry course compliments the other sciences well, especially Biology as it can explain some of the processes that happen in living things. There is a significant mathematical content in the course and students ought to be competent in the handling of algebraic equations and graphs.

Students will be expected to buy and wear laboratory coats as there are a significant number of practical experiments involving hazardous material. The lahboratory coats can be ordered from the school’s uniform shop.

Many past students have gone on to use the skills acquired in their chemistry Level at university studying chemistry, biochemistry, medicine, veterinary science, pharmacology, forensics, and other science courses.

Course content

AS Level (Year 12)

2 exam papers in the summer of year 12. These only count towards the AS Level and do not go towards the full A Level.

Paper 1: 80 marks (50% of AS Level)

Inorganic and relevant physical chemistry Relevant practical skills

Paper 2: 80 marks (50% of AS Level)

Organic and relevant physical chemistry Relevant practical skills

Physical chemistry

  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle
  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

Inorganic chemistry

  • Periodicity
  • Group 2, the alkaline earch metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens

Organic chemistry

  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis

A Level (Year 13)

3 exam papers in the summer of year 13. Only these three exams make up the full A Level. Material from both year 12 and year 13 are examined in these courses.

Paper 1: 105 marks (35% of A Level)

Inorganic chemistry and relevant physical chemistry.

Paper 2: 105 marks (35% of A Level)

Organic chemistry and relevant physical chemistry

Paper 3: 90 marks (30% A Level)

Practical skills from the entire course

Physical chemistry

  • Thermodynamics
  • Rate equations
  • Equilibrium constant Kc for homogeneours systems
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • Acids and bases

Inorganic chemistry

  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
  • Transition metals
  • Reactions of ions in acqueous soluction

Organic chemistry

  • Optical isomerism
  • Aldehydes and ketones
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Amines
  • Polymers
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques

Entry requirements

Please note the minimum requirement to study AS levels at our Sixth Form is a GCSE points score of 42 points from your best 8 GCSE results. We award 8 points for an A* grade, 7 points for a grade A, 6 points for a grade B, 5 points for a grade C, 4 points for a grade D, 3 points for a grade E, 2 points for a grade F and 1 point for a grade G.

Subject Specific

Maths B, Either an A in Additional Science OR a B in Chemistry

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St John Payne Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 24 June 2015

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