KS5 Chemistry

In KS5 A level Chemistry, we study the following

Year 12

  • Physical Chemistry this includes atomic structure, electron arrangement and evidence from mass spectrometry and ionisation energies. Reactions rates and Equilibria, are studied extending ideas introduced at GCSE. Redox reactions, Energetics and Moles also form part of this large section of study. Chemical analysis is introduced specifically Mass Spectrometry and infra-red spectroscopy.
  • Inorganic Chemistry involves the study of elements in groups two and seven and those in periods 2 and 3. Recognising the trends and patterns that underpin the chemistry of these elements is the main focus. It will include formulae, equations and structure of compounds.
  • Organic Chemistry reviews the chemistry of the simple organic molecules such as alkanes and alkenes. It then looks at the reactions, structure, uses and production of other key substances such as alcohols, amines and halo alkanes.
  • In all areas practical work will be used to illustrate or investigate key reactions some of which will also be internally assessed.

Year 13

  • Physical Chemistry is developed further via a more mathematical approach and greater depth of study. Topics include Electrochemistry, Acid –base equilibria, Thermodynamics and Chromatographic techniques.
  • Inorganic Chemistry will include further redox reactions as they relate to industrial applications. The main sections looks in depth at the chemistry of the transition metals, their physical and chemical properties including why these substance make coloured compounds, good catalysts and their role in materials from cells to anti-cancer drugs.
  • Organic Chemistry involves the in depth study of more complex organic substances such as aromatic compounds, esters polymers and amino acids. By then studying the chemistry of proteins, DNA and enzymes the biochemical application as well as the industrial importance of this area is brought up to date. This section also incorporates the learning of more analytical techniques such as NMR spectroscopy and further mass spectrometry and thus prepare students for study in modern laboratories.

In all areas practical work will be used to illustrate or investigate key reactions some of which will also be internally assessed application.

Continuing to develop skills of application and analysis. We will also learn statistical analysis and acquire more advanced investigative and practical skills through laboratory practical work (including assessed practicals)


  • Learning will be continuously assessed and monitored through home learning and exam-style tests.
  • Feedback will be provided from these to enable students to develop their understanding and improve their exam technique.
  • Regular self and peer assessment will also take place to enhance their learning.

All of the external examinations (AQA) take place at the end of at the end of year 13. There are 3 papers in total, all of which are 2hrs

  • Paper 1 assesses the Year 12 and Year 13 content and is worth 35% of the total grade. It assesses topics from the Inorganic and Physical chemistry units. It is a mixture of short, long and extended response questions.
  • Paper 2 assesses the Year 12 and Year 13 content and is worth 35% of the total marks. It is a mixture of short, long extended response questions. Questions are from the Physical and Organic chemistry units.
  • Paper 3 assesses both Year 12 and Year 13 content, is worth 30% of the final grade and consist of a mixture of structured question, including practical techniques, critical analysis of experimental data and objective style questions. ( multiple –choice questions)

Learning beyond the classroom

  • Regular and consistent consolidation of concepts and content covered in class using class notes, text books, appropriate websites etc..
  • Watching chemistry…. documentaries and TV programmes including forensic dramas
  • Stars at night, documentaries by Horizon, Spring-Watch
  • Reading scientific magazines such as New Scientist and Scientific American
  • Reading popular science books e.g. Uncle Tungsten , Periodic Tales, Elements of Murder ,Napoleon’s Buttons, A Short History of Nearly Everything
  • Visit the Royal Society of Chemistry website … the student room for interesting articles to read, experiments you can do at home and articles about careers/opportunities for visits and work experience in Chemistry.
  • Visiting Science museums

Teachers of KS5 Chemistry

Miss N Simms – 2 i/c Department and Teacher of Chemistry

Miss G Howarth – Teacher of Chemistry and Science