At Monmouth School for Boys all students study the iGCSE Chemistry course. This is considered to be a more rigorous qualification that will benefit both the pupils’ understanding of the principles involved and science education at the school. The course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the unifying patterns of Chemistry and to allow them to apply their knowledge to problem-solving, experimental work and advanced applications.
The course is based on a linear scheme and assessment is by terminal examination. This removes the disruption of module tests and permits a much greater emphasis on practical applied science. There is no centre-based assessment required for this qualification. As in previous years the majority of pupils will study for iGCSE awards in each of the three separate sciences and will sit two papers in each. However, the option exists for candidates to take a single paper in each Science and achieve a Dual Award Science qualification, which will be awarded two passes at iGCSE level. Further details can be obtained from the EDEXCEL website.
Why study Chemistry?
Chemistry is a challenging A level, which complements the other science subjects well. It can also be studied as a contrast to arts and humanities subjects. It is excellent preparation and a requirement for some university courses. Students go on to study a wide variety of disciplines, including engineering, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biochemistry, maths and economics.
The course followed is based on the AQA A level syllabus and consists of the three strands spread over two years. Two teachers teach each set to provide variety and to allow flexibility in practical and theoretical topics. In Year 12 Physical and Organic Chemistry will be taught in parallel, with the Inorganic Chemistry split after that. In the more advanced Year 13 courses, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry are taught in parallel and the Physical Chemistry is split.
The approach is to teach through practical work wherever possible; each exam paper will contain some practical techniques assessment, so development of practical awareness and confidence is an important part of all three strands.
You will be provided with in-house revision booklets and material in addition to standard text books and revision books. You will also have a book targeted at bridging the gap between GCSE and A level.
We have a highly qualified set of teachers who not only aim for exam success but also to produce confident, communicative, practical scientists. The considerable popularity of Chemistry at A level in the Monmouth Schools shows the success of this philosophy with our students.
Head of Department: Dr A Winter
Board: AQA A level Syllabus Code: 7405
The A level has three strands:
- Physical Chemistry – fundamental principles of Chemistry and their application from qualitative and quantitative viewpoints.
- Inorganic Chemistry – the Periodic Table, Main Group and Transition Metal Chemistry.
- Organic Chemistry – Chemistry and analysis of carbon-based molecules from Alkanes and Alkenes through to Benzene, Polymers and Amino Acids.
Method of assessment
Paper 1 (2 hours) 105 marks of short and longer answer questions.
This paper covers some Physical Chemistry and the Inorganic Chemistry
Paper 2 (2 hours) 105 marks of short and longer answer questions.
This paper covers some Physical Chemistry and the Organic Chemistry
Paper 3 (2 hours) 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis, 20marks of synoptic questions across the syllabus + 30 marks of multiple choice questions.
There is no practical coursework for the A level courses. There are a number of compulsory practicals which are included in the normal teaching schedule. All papers will contain some questions on practical skills relevant to the content of the paper.
Dr M D Clarke BSc, PhD (Newcastle) Head of Chemistry Clarke.Martin@habsmonmouth.org
Dr J P Danks BSc (Warwick), DPhil (Oxon)
Dr A J Winter BSc (Liverpool), PhD (Wales)
Miss J M Creak MA, (Cantab)
We produce accomplished and confident practical chemists some of whom then go on to study Business Management, History and associated courses at top universities. Our approach with all our students is to stretch them and develop their problem-solving, logic processes, team building and other transferable skills for whichever courses they follow.
Many A level chemists go on to study medicine, dentistry or veterinary science as well as chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, pharmacy and environmental sciences.
Employers recognise the value of training in logical thought, numerical and communications skills. Typically 40% of graduate chemists stay in the university sector to study further and only about half of graduates go on to a career in chemistry or a related discipline. The skills you learn on a Chemistry degree equip you for a whole range of other careers in law, finance, accountancy, sales, management and more.