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.

Heads of Department: Mrs D Crichton (Girls), Dr A Winter (Boys)


Course content

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7405

The A level has three strands:

  1. Physical Chemistry – fundamental principles of Chemistry and their application from qualitative and quantitative viewpoints.
  2. Inorganic Chemistry – the Periodic Table, Main Group and Transition Metal Chemistry.
  3. 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, 20 marks 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.