Key Stage 3

What I will learn in year 7

In chemistry, students learn a series of model to explain their experiences in the world, and that these models change over time as experimentation and observation reveals new evidence. They begin by revisiting the particle model and its explanation of solids, liquids and gases: material Students will be familiar with from primary schools.  Once they are secure in their understanding of the building blocks of different chemical substances, students move onto study how these substances combine in chemical reactions, whilst developing the practical and mathematical skills necessary to be young chemists.  They progress onto learning about how chemicals are separated through a variety of processes.

What I will learn in year 8

Once students understand how chemicals behave, they move onto atomic theory: a more detailed and sophisticated model that allows them understand and explain the chemical reactions they have experienced in technical terms.  Students explore the periodic table and the periodic trends within it.  They go onto combine their knowledge of atomic theory, practical and mathematics skills, and chemical reactions through an in-depth study of metals, acids and alkalis

What I will learn in year 9

Students learn how chemists analyse the Earth’s atmosphere and how it has changed over time; they learn about climate change and other contemporary environmental issues and how these are reported in the media; finally, they learn how chemists are working to solve these problems for future generations. Interwoven into this unit are ideas of formulae and equations in chemistry that will recur throughout.

Later in the year students look at the atomic model and add in an understanding of sub-atomic particles. They will also explain their observations in the real world, answering questions such as ‘why do metals conduct?’ and ‘why is diamond harder than graphite?’.  Students can also apply their understanding of the sub-atomic model to explain chemical reactions in more detail, model them mathematically, and use chemical reactions to create new, useful substances. Bonding is a key idea, describing how elements interact, join and form materials with different properties.

Key Stage 4

Course: GCSE Chemistry

Exam board information: AQA

Exam specification code: 8462

Subject content:

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

What will I learn in year 10

Students will link ideas of atomic structure and bonding, analysing Periodic trends (physical and chemical) in families of elements. A look at the development of the Periodic Table is included to remind students that science is not fixed and that ideas change as more evidence is gathered.

Students again consider how mathematics is important in chemistry. Students learn about the conservation of mass, yields and amounts and consider how these ideas are important in industrial processes. Considering rates of reaction helps students think about how chemists can manipulate reactions to increase their speed and yield. Again, students will see how data collection and analysis are vital, including plotting graphs, interpreting graphs and spotting anomalies.

What I will learn in Year 11

Y11 begins with looking at a vital raw material; crude oil. Students find out how this material is refined to benefit society and the associated challenges we have to meet energy needs. They will also look at the process of electrolysis and how it is vital in industry to produce a number of important products. Finally, students recall the difference between mixtures and pure substances and consider analytical techniques for identifying mixtures and pure chemicals.

Key Stage 5

Course A-Level Chemistry

Exam board information AQA

Exam specification code: 7404 7405

Subject content

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

What will I learn

You will be covering a range of topics including atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle, periodicity, the halogens, the alkaline earth metals, NMR spectroscopy, organic synthesis, proteins and DNA, isomerism and chromatography. You will have the chance to learn investigative and experimental skills in a variety of practical lessons.

How will I be assessed?

At the end of Year 13 you will have three examinations, which together are worth 100% of your A-level. Practical based questions will form 15% of this assessment.