The Science Department

A-Level Biology

Chemistry is one of the most academically challenging courses offered by Poole High School and it is highly regarded by Russell Group universities. Success in this course depends on hard work, the ability to think logically and a high degree of self-motivation.

It is a subject which develops competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills. Chemistry is involved in everything around us and is often referred to as the ‘central science’. It helps to connect physical sciences, like Maths and Physics, with applied sciences, like Biology, Medicine and Engineering. Students who take Chemistry often also study Maths and/or another science subject from Biology, Physics, and Psychology.

Year 1 Includes
• Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
• Bonding and structure
• The periodic table and periodicity
• Organic substances and their synthesis and identification
• Inorganic substances
• Reaction rates and equilibrium
• Energetics

Year 2 Includes
• Organic substances and their synthesis
• Analysis
• Inorganic substances, including the transition metals.
• Polymers and biochemistry
• Enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy
• Acids and bases
• Electrochemistry
• Kinetics

Assessment method
There are three two hour exams at the end of the two-year course (AQA 7405 Chemistry).
The exams are:
Paper 1 Relevant physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills.
Paper 2 Relevant physical chemistry, organic chemistry and relevant practical skills.
Paper 3 Any content. Any practical skills
A practical endorsement certificate is also awarded to students who show the required level of competence, based on 12 required practicals and additional practicals undertaken throughout the course. Each student keeps a hard backed laboratory book.

Future opportunities and careers
Chemistry is a well-regarded facilitating subject. It is a key subject for many health and clinical professions, such as medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and forensic science. It will also equip students for a career in industry, for example in the petrochemical or pharmaceutical industries, chemical engineering and patent law. Chemistry opens up many other non- science related careers for example accountancy and management consultancy.