The GCSE Chemistry course enables students to develop an in depth knowledge of the subject. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and are used to consolidate classroom learning. Those students who elect to study ‘A’ level Chemistry will also have their skills developed and assessed in order to fulfil the practical endorsement element of the course.
Pupils at The Crypt start the year by covering a bridging course to consolidate the learning of chemistry covered in Years 7 and 8 ensure that any misconceptions are addressed before building on a firm foundation of understanding. They start their GCSE studies in Year 9 and follow the new National Curriculum for GCSE. The following link details the science curriculum for all Key Stages.
Key Stage 4
Combined and Separate Science Qualifications
Those who elect to study chemistry in years 10 and 11 pupils will follow the National curriculum for science. This forms the basis of an excellent course to properly prepare them for the challenging new A-level specification.
The main themes are:
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic Structure
- Bonding and Structure
- Chemical changes
- Chemistry in Industry
- Earth and Atmospheric Science
- Ions and Acids
- Quantitative Chemistry
- Physical Chemistry (Rates of reaction, energetics & chemical equilibria)
- Working scientifically will incorporate practical skills and evaluation techniques to consolidate the overall understanding of the students
These topics will also be delivered in the combined science curriculum but will be studied in less depth than the separate science course. It is recommended that those who wish to study chemistry A level, elect to do separate sciences at GCSE.
At key stage 4 the department follows the AQA Chemistry GCSE course.
Key Stage 5
This is a linear two year chemistry course leading to A-level, however, there is currently an option to study chemistry in Year 12 as a stand-alone AS qualification. The specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of chemistry.
Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed through the written papers: there is no separate practical exam. Students will be expected to fulfil the practical endorsement alongside their academic graded work.
Year 12 covers all the AS work and starts with foundation topics: atomic structure & bonding; shapes of molecules, intermolecular forces, quantitative chemistry, redox; and the periodic table. Then the course continues to explore other areas of chemistry such as physical chemistry: equilibria, energetics & reaction kinetics; organic chemistry: alkanes, alkenes, mechanisms, isomerism, alcohols & haloalkanes, and instrumental techniques: infra-red spectroscopy & mass spectrometry.
In Year 13 two further modules will be studied:
- Physical Chemistry & Transition Elements module, concepts include: enthalpy, entropy, free energy, electrode potentials, pH and buffers.
- Organic Chemistry & Analysis module, concepts include: arenes, carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acids, amines, polymers, nuclear magnetic resonance and gas chromatography.
Throughout the course practical work is integrated into the lessons and is teacher assessed. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence.
In the sixth form the department follows the OCR A Chemistry A-Level course.