Harris Academies
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Chemistry

Exam Board: AQA

Introduction

Students who choose to study Chemistry will complete two years of study and will be assessed on their learning across those two years at the end of Year 13.  All content, right from the start of Year 12, will be assessed at this time.

Students will complete three examination papers, each of which is 2 hours in length. Inorganic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in one paper, while organic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in the second paper. The third paper will assess all practical skills as well as all content, this is referred to as a ‘synoptic’ paper.

Physical Chemistry

The content of this module includes thermodynamics, rate equations, the equilibrium constant, electrode potentials and electrochemistry. 

Inorganic Chemistry

This module includes the study of: properties of period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solutions.

Organic Chemistry

In this module, students learn about: optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy and chromatography. 

Assessment

Students will complete three examination papers, each of which is 2 hours in length. Inorganic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in one paper worth 35%, while organic with relevant physical chemistry is assessed in the second paper worth 35%. Both papers contain a mixture of short and long answer questions. The third paper will assess all practical skills as well as all content; this is referred to as a ‘synoptic’ paper and is worth 30%. The final paper consists of questions on practical techniques and data analysis, content from across the specification and some multiple choice questions.

The exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives:

AO1 - Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures.

AO2 - Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures: • in a theoretical context • in a practical context • when handling qualitative data • when handling quantitative data.

AO3 - Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to: • make judgements and reach conclusions • develop and refine practical design and procedures.

Career Progression

An understanding of Chemistry is essential for Medicine, Dentistry, Forensic Science, Pharmacy, Geology and Archaeology.  Chemistry at A Level is the qualification most needed to join a Science based degree course.  The practical skills, experience of data analysis and the ability to express oneself concisely and accurately are useful attributes and help to prepare a young person for a career in a wide variety of fields.