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Welcome to

St Albans Girls' School

Chemistry

A Level

Curriculum Leader: Mr D Bowyer

A level teachers: Mr C Markou                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Ms. M Chapman                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Dr M Hamilton

Exam Board: Edexcel

Specification Number: A level – 9CH0

Course Content:

The Edexcel A level Chemistry course is a linear qualification and all examinations are taken at the end of Year 13. The program of study has been planned to follow a ‘spiral curriculum’ and topics taught in Year 12 are revisited in greater depth and breadth in Year 13. Subject content covered in each year is summarised below:

Year 12

Atomic Structure, Structure and Bonding, Redox Reactions, Inorganic Chemistry, Quantitative Chemistry & Calculations, Organic Chemistry: Alkanes, Alkenes, Alcohols and Halogenoalkanes, Modern Analytical Techniques, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibrium

Year 13

Equilibrium, Acid Base Equilibria, Energetics, Redox Reactions, Transition Metal Chemistry, Kinetics, Further Organic Chemistry: Chirality, Carbonyls and Carboxylic Acids, Organic Synthesis: Arenes, Amines and Synthetic Routes, Modern Analytical Techniques.

Practical Endorsement

A greater emphasis has been placed on practical skills and in particular competency in carrying out scientific experiments. The Chemistry department is required to ensure that these skills are developed and Edexcel have provided 16 core practical activities that students carry out. The techniques included in these form part of the examinations that students take at the end of Year 13. In addition to a grade, students are also awarded a Practical Endorsement. This is either a Pass or Fail and indicates how competently students can carry out experimental work.

Assessment:

  • 3 examinations at the end of Year 13 that cover a combination of topics, practical knowledge and mathematical skills:
  • Paper 1: Inorganic and Physical Chemistry – 105 mins, 90 marks
  • Paper 2: Organic and Physical Chemistry – 105 mins, 90 marks
  • Paper 3: General and Practical Principles in Chemistry – 150 mins, 120 marks
  • Practical Endorsement to report student’s competency in carrying out experimental work.
  • Regular tests to track student progress.

Why Chemistry at St Albans Girls’ School?:

Students are taught by a team of highly skilled specialist teachers who have vast experience of teaching Chemistry to A level. The department is well resourced and practical activities are at the heart of the A level Chemistry curriculum. We strongly believe that developing these skills is a key component to motivating and enhancing student's knowledge in Chemistry. The department also enjoys excellent links with local businesses such as GlaxoSmithKline and Rothamstead Research Centre and this allows us to offer an excellent enrichment programme. We regularly participate in such competitions as the National Schools Analyst Competition and the UK Chemistry Olympiad. These experiences all provide students with hands on experience of real life Chemistry and has proven to be very rewarding.

Expectations of Students:

Students are expected to read around the subject, supporting the skills and knowledge being delivered in lessons.  Questions are set regularly for preparation, and practical reports must be kept up to date and submitted for marking.  Much of the support material for students is available online. This is a very interesting, but also demanding course.

What websites are recommended?

www.chemguide.co.uk

www.rsc.org

www.docbrown.info

What equipment is needed?

A scientific calculator, ruler, pen and pencil are essential at all times.  Also given the opportunity of purchasing a lab coat and goggles if you wish (these are provided by the school).

Career Paths:

Chemistry is likely to be required in the following career areas; biochemistry, pharmacy, medicine, veterinary science, chemical engineering, material science, environmental studies, pharmacology, cybernetics, archaeological conservation, dentistry, psychology, petrochemicals and many others.  ‘A’ level Chemistry can provide entry to many occupations, from research science and medicine, to ecological conservation, archaeology and of course teaching.

Get in touch

Mr P O'Neill, Trust Business Manager

Sandridgebury Lane

St Albans

Hertfordshire

AL3 6DB

01727 853134