Chemistry is an excellent preparation for you if you are looking to extend your understanding of a key physical science. It is a central science which opens up the possibility of a huge range of science related university courses and jobs. These includes medicine and health related professions such as dentistry, pharmacy and veterinary sciences etc., as well as chemical engineering, optometry and courses that overlap with maths and physics. A Level Chemistry blends particularly well with other science subjects such as Physics and Biology. You may also take it as a complementary course alongside other choices. If you are interested in how things work and why materials behave as they do then chemistry is for you.
A Level Chemistry requires you to achieve at least the minimum entry requirements for your chosen pathway plus a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Chemistry and Maths and 1 grade 6 or higher in another Science. If combined Science, grade 6-6 or higher and grade 6 in Maths.
You will be taught in one of our two specialist laboratories: both are equipped with fume cupboards and interactive whiteboards and the sort of glassware and equipment that you would expect to find in new, purpose built, laboratories. The course will develop your practical skills. These are an essential, and an assessed, part of the course. There is also a well-equipped central computer area that is shared across the science department. You will be helped in your studies by a team of experienced teaching staff who have many successful years of experience of A Level teaching, and a technician team who know how to handle the demands of practical work. All of our Chemistry teachers come from a background with industrial experience, with several of our staff educated to PhD level.
Most of our courses are led by a single teacher or a team of two teachers. Each of the four lessons in the week is 70 minutes long and are built around a mixture of theory and practical sessions. Our teaching is structured around the usual pattern of a starter, main content and then a plenary. We help you check your learning through regular tests and use feedback to help guide improvements and to stretch and challenge all. We have a very active support programme too. This means that you will find a group of Chemistry students in the labs at lunch time for extra support or challenge with one or two of our staff, please come and join them once you start your course.
We supply you with text books and some revision guides for the duration of the course. We use AQA Chemistry by Ted Lister and Janet Renshaw (ISBN-13: 978-0-1983-5181-8). You will also be provided with past exam paper booklets during the year.
PAPER 1 (35% OF A LEVEL)
PHYSICAL AND INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
YEAR 1 – PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
• Atomic structure
• Amount of substance
• Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
YEAR 1 – INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
• Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
• Group 7(17), the halogens
YEAR 2 – PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
• Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems
• Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
• Acids and bases
YEAR 2 – INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
• Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
• Transition metals
• Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
PAPER 2 (35% OF A LEVEL)
PHYSICAL AND ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
YEAR 1 – PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
• Amount of substance, Bonding, Energetics and Chemical equilibria
YEAR 1 – ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
• Introduction to organic chemistry
• Alkanes; Halogenoalkanes; Alkenes; Alcohols
• Organic analysis
YEAR 2 – PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY
Rate equations: Simple rate equations Determination of rate equation.
YEAR 2 – ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
• Optical isomerism
• Aldehydes and ketones; Carboxylic acids and derivatives; Aromatic chemistry; Amines; Amino acids, proteins and DNA
• Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
PAPER 3 (30% OF A LEVEL)
INVESTIGATIVE AND PRACTICAL SKILLS
• Titration based practical skills
• Wet analysis
• Organic Synthesis
TRIPS AND ENRICHMENT
You will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of additional activities led by the department including an annual Chemistry Olympiad Challenge and programme of external guest speakers.
The department also provides focussed lunchtime exam clinics as well as intensive revision days during holidays.
You will have the opportunity to join our well established Pre-Medical Programme. We recognise that applications for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science are particularly competitive and over the past three years we have supported 24 students to gain places onto these courses at university. In addition to the careers and UCAS advice in college, we offer an established programme to support you in applying for these subjects. Staff in the Science Department work closely with colleagues in Careers and UCAS to ensure you are well advised about your applications and receive the guidance needed to make a competitive application.
PREPARATION FOR THE COURSE
Chemistry is an academically challenging course. The key to success is, as ever, good preparation. How can you prepare? You need to be comfortable with the basic chemistry from your GCSE course, most importantly, Bonding and Structure, Periodcity, Chemical Formulae, Moles and Chemistry Calculations and Balancing Equations. When you come to Wyke Start in the summer, we will give you some induction materials to help you prepare.
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