Chemistry is everywhere - medicines, the environment and new super materials are just three examples. Increasingly, a knowledge of chemical principles is becoming vital to understand and improve the world we live in. A level Chemistry offers great flexibility, enabling you to take the examinations on each aspect of the course as you go along. At HCS, it is taught in small groups, offering much more individual attention than would otherwise be possible. You will regularly receive individual feedback from your teachers. Our aim is to make you a confident citizen of a technological world, to enable you to recognise the usefulness of the scientific method and for you to be prepared for further study. In addition, and most importantly, we want you to enjoy Chemistry!
The Chemistry department offers you the tools to understand Chemistry, with all the help and encouragement you request. Chemistry at A level is extremely interesting, and is an excellent foundation for many courses – from Medicine and Pharmacy, which is understandable, but also for less obvious subjects such as Law, where the use of precise definitions and accurate techniques is vital, and these are skills Chemistry teaches. Also, one of the most challenging areas of science is that of our Environment, and a firm understanding of the principles of Chemistry will be necessary if we are to work on the problems posed by human impact on this environment.
The OCR Chemistry A level course consists of six modules – three in each year. In each year, there are two theory modules, and a practical module. The practical, just like that in your GCSE, is carried out as a series of investigations, and is assessed by your teacher. It is slightly different to the GCSE one, as the different skills (Qualitative, Quantitative and Evaluative) are assessed using different experiments, instead of one investigative ISA.
The theory modules we offer are:
Atoms, Bonds and Groups, to consolidate and expand upon your GCSE work. Chains, Energy and Resources, looking at carbon chemistry in more detail, how energy is used and measured in reactions and a look at environmental chemistry, which is becoming more and more important these days. After taking your AS levels you will have the chance to take part in an extended practical activity which may involve using the school’s Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
Rings, Polymers and Analysis, looking at more Carbon Chemistry and how chemists identify molecules, focussing particularly on the instrumental techniques used. Equlibria, Energetics and Elements, where how reactions work is studied in detail, with a look at some of the more interesting elements and their compounds. The course uses all the methods you are familiar with at GCSE, but in much smaller groups so that we are able to approach the work with even more discussion and individual practical work, and there is ample time to look at the wider ramifications of Chemistry!
For full course specification visit: http://www.ocr.org.uk/chemistry
Dr Sampson - Science Technician