Chemistry A Level

The Curriculum Purpose 

A-level Chemistry lessons aim to inspire students, nurture their passion for the subject and lay the foundations for further study and the workplace. The specification is divided into topics, which cover the key ideas in Chemistry. Practical work is at the heart of our teaching and the required practical activities will give students the opportunity to embed their skills and knowledge. The A-level practicals ensure that students are able to access the Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC) requirements.


Key concepts that underpin the subject area 

3.1 Physical chemistry

3.1.1 Atomic structure

3.1.2 Amount of substance

3.1.3 Bonding

3.1.4 Energetics

3.1.5 Kinetics

3.1.6 Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc

3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

3.1.8 Thermodynamics (A-level only)

3.1.9 Rate equations (A-level only)

3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (A-level only)

3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (A-level only)

3.1.12 Acids and bases (A-level only)

3.2 Inorganic chemistry


3.2.1 Periodicity

3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals

3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides (A-level only)

3.2.5 Transition metals (A-level only)

3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (A-level only)


3.3 Organic chemistry

3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry

3.3.2 Alkanes

3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes

3.3.4 Alkenes

3.3.5 Alcohols

3.3.6 Organic analysis

3.3.7 Optical isomerism (A-level only)

3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones (A-level only)

3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives (A-level only)

3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry (A-level only)

3.3.11 Amines (A-level only)

3.3.12 Polymers (A-level only)

3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA (A-level only)

3.3.14 Organic synthesis (A-level only)

3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (A-level only)

3.3.16 Chromatography (A-level only)


AQA Specification


Key Features of Learning

All lessons have a clear objective, outlined to students near the beginning of the lesson. There are currently 3 teachers for A-level Chemistry, we are supported with practical work by our nationally-recognised (Salters CLEAPSS national award) senior technician.


What you will see in A Level Chemistry Lessons

  • Excellent teaching and learning
  • Adaptive teaching strategies
  • Formative assessment strategies (for example, multiple choice hinge questions)
  • Exam practise
  • Routines, high expectations and praise
  • References to careers and the wider world, where relevant
  • Deep thinking about the scientific concepts being covered
  • Participation from all expected
  • Think, pair, share activities


What you will see in A Level Chemistry folders

  • Date and titles underlined
  • Keywords and definitions
  • Self and peer assessment in green
  • Teacher feedback in red
  • Activate and apply strategies
  • Clear development of ideas
  • A range of classwork and homework tasks


What formative assessment you will see in A Level Chemistry lessons

  • Quizzes that activate prior knowledge
  • Cold calling
  • Kahoot
  • Multiple choice hinge questioning
  • Exam questions
  • Research on topics
  • Pre-reading and then presenting the material
  • End of topic tests


What extra-curricular is available in A Level Chemistry?

  • Support in KS3 and KS4 Science Club
  • Chemistry Olympiad
  • Women in STEM - a live careers Q&A between students and women scientists
  • 101 Jobs: an online Q&A with a diverse field of scientists and engineers
  • Life in a Lab: students attended a talk and Q&A session delivered by scientists at Charles River laboratories working on drug discovery.
  • Each week, an interesting science article relating to school-level knowledge is put up on science lab doors, with key vocabulary defined alongside, to encourage students waiting in the corridor to engage with science literature.


Page Downloads Date  
Chemistry A Level - Long Term Curriculum Overview 05th Jul 2022 Download