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Chemistry


What will I learn?

There is an aspect of Chemistry in everything we do: from launching a space shuttle to growing and cooking food, to cleaning our homes and bodies, or even keeping fit.

Chemistry is the study of matter: allowing us to understand the properties and behaviour of chemical substances, how they interact with each other and the associated energy changes. A Level Chemistry is split into the traditional three branches of Chemistry namely Physical, Inorganic and Organic. The Biochemistry unit provides a good link to A Level Biology.

Who should choose Chemistry?

Further study of Chemistry provides a challenging and fascinating investigation of the natural world. It offers an excellent platform for a student to develop skills of investigation and analysis, to apply mathematical skills to problem-solving and to learn how to communicate ideas effectively, building confidence to apply knowledge in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. It occupies a central position among the main sciences. It is linked with Biology through Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry and with Physics through Physical Chemistry. Chemistry is fundamental to Medicine and to related sciences such as Genetics, Physiology, Physiotherapy, Environmental Health, Nutrition, Cosmetics, Nursing, Pharmacy and Forensic Science. It is important for Geological Sciences and underlies many branches of Engineering and Technology, particularly Textiles, Food, Agriculture, Plastics, Metals, Fuels and Nuclear Energy. Environmental work such as that involving Ecology, Forestry and Oceanography also benefit from a strong background in Chemistry.

What other subjects go well with Chemistry?

Obviously Biology, Mathematics and Physics, but any facilitating subject will sit well with Chemistry. The transferable skills required in Chemistry mean that most combinations of subjects would work.

Course details

For the A Level qualification, all the work is assessed by examination taken at the end of the two year course. Assessment is based on the following examinations at A Level.

Three papers

Paper 1 (Relevant Physical Chemistry topics (3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 to 3.1.8 and 3.1.10 to 3.1.12))

• Inorganic Chemistry Section 3.2 Relevant practical skills

• Written exam: Two hours, 105 marks

• 35% of A Level

• Questions: Short and long answer questions

Paper 2 (Relevant Physical Chemistry topics (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6 and 3.1.9))

• Written exam: Two hours, 105 marks

• 35% of A Level

• Questions: Short and long answer questions

Paper 3 (any content and any practical skills)

• Written exam: Two hours, 90 marks

• 30% of A Level

• Questions: 40 marks from questions on practical techniques and data analysis, 20 marks from question testing across the specification, 30 marks from multiple choice questions

There is no coursework or controlled assessment at A Level. Practical questions will, however, be present on A Level papers. These will test your understanding of experimental design, practical skills and techniques, and analysis and evaluation of experimental data as per the IGCSE courses you are currently studying.

A separate endorsement of practical skills will be offered alongside the A Level qualification. You will be required to carry out twelve required practical activities set by the examination board and your skills and competencies will be monitored by your teachers. In addition to your overall grade, you will be given a 'pass' or 'fail'.

Beyond the classroom

There are many opportunities for enrichment beyond the classroom: Science in Action (with Warwick School), Journal Review Club (with Warwick School), BAYS talks (with Warwick School), Café Sciéntifique, Talk Science, Med Soc, Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, Chemistry Olympiad, Top of the Bench – in fact, we will support you to pursue any opportunity you discover and would like to develop. There is also the chance to support younger members of the school with SSS mentoring (KS3 and KS4), and you can contribute to the ‘Thoughts Board’ and the ‘Science News’ board,

For further information, please contact Dr Grist a.grist@kingshighwarwick.co.uk

"Studying Chemistry has been so useful, as it creates links across all three sciences, so it definitely helps you to get more out of your Physics and Biology A Levels, too. It improves problem solving skills, as well as helping us to better understand the world around us. Most importantly it's fun, and is the subject with the most exciting and rewarding experiments!" 

Sophie, Sixth Former