Chemistry

Chemistry is the central science and impacts on all aspects of our lives. An understanding of Chemistry is necessary to all other sciences from astronomy to zoology. All of the materials used by engineers and technologists are made by chemical reactions and we all experience chemical reactions continuously, whether it be breathing or baking a cake, driving a car or listening to a battery driven MP3 player. Chemistry is concerned with all aspects of molecules, their physical and chemical properties, their composition and structure, their synthesis and use in the 21st century.

Chemistry is an essential A-level subject for those planning to apply for Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry and Pharmacy. However it is a subject that can be combined not only with Mathematics and other Science subjects, but also with many from the Arts and Humanities. It is always highly regarded by universities and employers alike.

Chemistry Courses

Chemistry is one of the most popular subjects in the college and the department is thriving, with over 100 students studying the subject at A level.

The department offers a variety of courses, including:

  • a standard two-year A level
  • a one year intensive A level
  • an upper sixth transfer, for those who wish to study A level at Brampton having studied AS elsewhere
  • GCSE (one year)

Students are studying the OCR GCE Chemistry A specification. The content is split into six teaching modules:

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2 – Foundations chemistry
  • Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
  • Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Module 6 – Organic chemistry

The specification has been designed to be co-teachable with the stand alone AS Level in Chemistry A qualification at the end of the first year. The first four modules comprise the AS Level in Chemistry A course and students studying the A Level continue with the content of modules 5 and 6.

There are 3 written examination papers at the end of the two year course covering all content from Year 1 and 2.

Paper 1 Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry 100 marks
37% of total A level
2 hours 15 minutes
Paper 2 Synthesis and analytical techniques 100 marks
37% of total A level
2 hours 15 minutes
Paper 3 Unified chemistry 70 marks
26% of total A level
1 hour 30 minutes

The internally assessed Practical Endorsement skills also form part of the full A level. Students are keeping a log book that demonstrates how they have developed their skills. The written papers will be including questions on practical work.

Chemistry Departmental Features

The Chemistry Department is housed in its own two fully equipped laboratories with an extensive range of equipment close at hand. Each teaching group is timetabled to have at least two sessions in the laboratory every week.

Teaching is provided by a highly experienced and committed team of teachers. The department offers weekly tutorials and provides detailed feedback from regular tests and homework.

Results

The department is very pleased with the examination results achieved by its students in August 2018. At A level there were 11% A*, 43% A*/A and 89% A*-B grades. GCSE students had a fantastic year with 36% A*, 79* A*/A and 93% A*-B grades.

Special Achievements

The Chemistry Olympiad is organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This national competition provides an opportunity to stretch and challenge post-16 students studying chemistry. It is a demanding written test of chemical knowledge. The questions are based on real world chemistry problems and often stimulate much debate, raising awareness of what Chemistry is all about. They provide a good opportunity to develop some of the skills required to study at university and beyond.

We had 25 students taking on the competition of 6600 other students nationwide. The college had the most successful year in the history of participating. Jasmine Teoh was the top scorer in the college, achieving a Silver Award. A further 8 students were awarded a Bronze Award.


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