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Chemistry

Curriculum Intent

The Science subjects are intrinsically linked and we have therefore adopted a holistic approach in devising a curriculum that supports the whole school aims to provide a broad and balanced education for all students.  They provide an excellent opportunity to develop lifelong skills that help students get ready for a rapidly changing world.   

 

Through the study of the Sciences we enable students to develop: 

  • A deep and rich knowledge of the Science subjects 
  • A sense of wonder and fascination at the beauty, complexity and make-up of the world around them
  • A recognition that problems can be solved, and mysteries explained through an innovative and practical approach
  • The skills and understanding required to use the scientific method to hypothesise and answer questions
  • Sufficient knowledge and understanding of the way in which the world around them works to open doors into further study, should they choose to do so 
  • An understanding of how to evaluate scientific claims by applying knowledge and thinking critically
  • Scientific Literacy that will benefit them for the rest of their lives, in areas of Science and beyond

 

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 course is based on the AQA 5-year programme of study.  The course has been designed to help students develop the knowledge and skills required to access the Science GCSEs.  Students study the following Chemistry topics in Year 7 & 8.

Year 7 Year 8

MATTER

5.1 Particle model
5.2 Separating mixtures

REACTIONS

6.1 Acids and Alkalis
6.2 Metals and non-metals

EARTH

7.1 Earth Structure
7.2 Universe

MATTER

5.3 Elements
5.4 Periodic Table

REACTIONS

6.3 Types of reaction
6.4 Chemical Energy

EARTH

7.3 Climate
7.4 Earth Resources

 

Key Stage 3 assessment

  • Termly assessments on the topics that have been studied
  • These assessments are comprised of a range of short and longer answer questions, focusing on both concepts and investigative skills
  • Students also complete progress tasks each term - these are extended writing tasks, with each one focusing on a different concept and skill area

 

Key Stage 4

AQA GCSE Chemistry 8463

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11

1. Atomic structure and the periodic table

2. Bonding, structure and the properties of matter

4. Chemical changes

5. Energy changes

3. Quantitative chemistry

6. The rate and extent of chemical change

7. Organic chemistry
 

 

8. Chemical analysis

9. Chemistry of the atmosphere

10. Using resources
 

 

 

Key Stage 4 assessment

  • Students undertake a formal test at the end of each topic
  • These are comprised of a wide range of past GCSE questions -they include short, content led questions, and many longer answer questions, where students are given an opportunity to show a deeper understanding of the skills and concepts studied
  • Some questions at GCSE are set in unfamiliar contexts.
  • There is also a practical assessment component which involves the completion of a series of assessed practical tasks during the course and keeping a record of progress in their exercise book. 

 

Key Stage 5

Syllabus OCR A H432

Year 12 Year 13

Module 1: Development of practical skills in planning, implementing, analysis and evaluation – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course.

 

The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations and within the Practical Endorsement. 

 

Module 2: Foundations in chemistry (covering concepts required throughout the remaining modules) – this includes atoms, compounds, molecules and equations; amount of substance; acid–base and redox reactions; electrons, bonding and structure. 

 

Module 3: Periodic table – this module covers the Periodic table and periodicity; Group 2 and Group 7; qualitative analysis; enthalpy changes; reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative).

Module 4: Core organic chemistry – this includes basic concepts; hydrocarbons; alcohols and haloalkanes; organic synthesis and analytical techniques (IR, MS) 

 

Module 5: Physical chemistry and transition elements – this includes reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative); pH and buffers; enthalpy, entropy and free energy; redox and electrode potentials; transition elements. 

 

Module 6: Organic chemistry and analysis – this includes aromatic compounds; carbonyl compounds; carboxylic acids and esters; nitrogen compounds; polymers; organic synthesis; chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR).

 

 

Key Stage 5 assessment

  • Students undertake a formal test at the end of the first half term in Year 12, a UCAS prediction exam at the end of Year 12 and mock examinations in January and March of Year 13
  • They also sit a test at the end of each topic - these are comprised of a wide range of past A-level questions.  They include a small number of short, content led questions, and many longer answer questions, where students are given an opportunity to show a deeper understanding of the skills and concepts studied
  • Questions at A-level are frequently set in unfamiliar contexts

 

Curriculum enrichment outside of the classroom

We offer a wide range of extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities to students, including:

  • KS3 STEM Club
  • Field work days
  • Go4Set programme
  • British Science Week Celebrations and Lectures
  • MedSoc – run in collaboration with Medic Mentors
  • ChemSoc
  • PhysSoc
  • Spectroscopy in a suitcase
  • STEM Careers events
  • STEM Work Placements, in collaboration with Science Oxford
  • RSC Olympiad

 

A level Chemistry:  Please see the Sixth Form section of our website: sixth-form-subject-information