Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Chemistry course aims to develop the student’s chemistry knowledge and understanding through a range of different types of scientific enquiry through the two and a half year course.

  • In Year 8, students develop ideas about the periodic table and how the different elements react to make new compounds. They then move on to looking a different types of chemical change and towards the end of the year study the processes that shape our planet and the rocks around us.
  • In Year 9, students look at the structure of the atom and how that influences chemical reactivity. They then investigate the reactions and properties of acids and the properties and uses of a range of new materials.

The key stage 4 course then starts in the summer term in Year 9.

Key Stage 4


Why study chemistry?

There’s much more to chemistry than white coats, laboratories and mixing chemicals together. If you’ve a passion for discovering how things work, using logic and analysis skills, then chemistry is the subject for you! Chemistry has a significant impact on everyday life. We all use chemical knowledge on a daily basis and chemists play a vital role in developing many of the everyday products that we take for granted and developing the new technologies of the future. As a result there is a significant demand for chemists.


All students do GCSE Chemistry and we follow the AQA GCSE Chemistry specification. This is a linear qualification and students will sit all their examinations at the end of the course.  The qualification provides an excellent grounding in Chemistry and is an ideal preparation for further study at A-Level.

What will it be like?

The specification covers the following topics:

  1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
  2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  3. Quantitative chemistry
  4. Chemical changes
  5. Energy changes
  6. The rate and extent of chemical change
  7. Organic chemistry
  8. Chemical analysis
  9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
  10. Using resources

An important emphasis of the specification is to develop an appreciation of the methods of scientific enquiry and the vital application of science and technology in our society. Teaching methods will encourage students to research and discuss the important scientific questions of today, and will develop their abilities to present their arguments cogently and debate these issues in an informed and accurate way.


The GCSE grade depends on the performance of the student in two examinations at the end of the course.  Both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes long and consist of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Paper 1 covers topics 1-5 and paper 2 covers topics 6-10.

Key Stage 5

All our students follow the AQA Chemistry A-Level specification which provides an excellent grounding for students who are interested in further study in other science related disciplines after A-Level. The course has experimental work at its core – wherever possible students are encouraged to use their practical experiences to link theory to reality and equip students with the practical skills they need.  At the end of the course, students sit three examined papers which test the full range of skills and knowledge they’ve developed over the two year course.

Key Statge 5 Course information –  Chemistry