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Student during a chemistry science lesson


In Key Stage 4 all students study Chemistry for three years, either through Combined or Separate sciences. Both courses give students the opportunity to learn about chemical reactions, bonding, physical characteristics and energetics. Students taking additional science will also study molecular calculations, detailed electrolysis and equilibria.

In the sixth form, students may study Chemistry at A Level and Higher level IB. Both are ideal subjects to combine with sciences or the arts and are especially valued by universities and employers for their traditional values and excellent skills. Chemistry is an essential subject for courses such as biochemistry, pharmacy, veterinary science, density and medicine.

Course Offerings

Course Title Qualifications Obtainable Awarding Body
Key Stage 4 Courses
Key Stage 5 Courses
A Level OCR B (Salters)
International Baccalaureate Higher Level IBO
Year 9
Curriculum Content: In year 9 we follow the AQA specification which comprises of two written papers of equal weighting. Students are separated into either the combined science or separate science pathway at the end of year 9.

In Year 9, students study:

Chapter 1: Atomic structure and the periodic table

Chapter 9: Chemistry of the atmosphere

Chapter 2: Bonding, structure and the properties of matter

Year 10
Curriculum Content: Students studying separate sciences will study:


Chapter 10: Using resources

Chapter 4: Chemical changes

Chapter 5: energy changes

Chapter 6: The rate and extent of chemical change

Year 11
Curriculum Content: At the end of year 11 students will complete their externally assessed examinations, this comprises of two written papers both worth 100 marks and lasting 1 hour 45 minutes each.


Topics Covered:

Chapter 7: Organic Chemistry

Chapter 8: Chemical Analysis

Chapter 3: Quantitative chemistry

Year 12
Curriculum Content: In year 12 students have a choice between the International Baccalaureate and A Levels. In both cases all exams are sat at the end of year 13.

A Level

Content covered in year 12:

  • Elements of life
  • Developing fuels
  • Elements from the sea
  • The ozone story
  • What’s in a medicine?

Higher Level IB

Content covered in year 12:

  • Topic 1: Stoichiometric relationships
  • Topic 2: Atomic structure
  • Topic 3: Periodicity
  • Topic 4: Chemical bonding and structure
  • Topic 5: Energetics/thermochemistry
  • Topic 6: Chemical kinetics
  • Topic 7: Equilibrium
  • Topic 8: Acids and bases
  • Topic 9: Redox processes
  • Topic 10: Organic chemistry

Topic 11: Measurement and data processing

Year 13
Curriculum Content: A Level: The below three exam papers are taken at the end of year 13

Paper 1 – Fundamentals of Chemistry (41%)

110 marks, 2 hours 15 minutes written paper

Paper 2 – Scientific literacy in Chemistry (37%)

100 marks, 2 hours 15 minutes written paper

Paper 3 – Practical Skills in Chemistry (22%)

60 marks, 1 hour 30 minutes written paper

Practical endorsement – reported separately

Content covered in year 13:

  • The chemical industry
  • Polymers and life
  • Oceans
  • Developing metals
  • Colour by design

IB (Higher Level): The below three exam papers are taken at the end of year 13

Paper 1: Multiple Choice Paper (20%)

40 marks, 1 hour

The use of calculators is not permitted.

Students will be provided with a periodic table.

Paper 2: Short Answer Paper (36%)

90 marks, 2 hours 15 minutes

The use of calculators is permitted.

A chemistry data booklet is to be provided by the school.

Paper 3: Data based questions and option unit (24%)

45 marks, 1 hour 15 minutes

The paper is divided into two sections:

Section A: one data-based question and several short-answer questions on experimental work.

Section B: short-answer and extended-response questions from one option.

Content covered in year 13:

Topic 12: Atomic structure

Topic 13: The periodic table—the transition metals 4

Topic 14: Chemical bonding and structure

Topic 15: Energetics/thermochemistry

Topic 16 Chemical kinetics

Topic 17: Equilibrium

Topic 18: Acids and bases

Topic 19: Redox processes

Topic 20: Organic chemistry

Topic 21: Measurement and analysis

In year 13 students will chose one of the below options to study in addition to the above topics:

A: Materials

B: Biochemistry

C: Energy

D: Medicinal chemistry