Skip to content ↓

Chemistry

The Chemistry department at Aston aims to inspire and enthuse its students in the study of chemistry. To do this, the department focuses primarily on the practical side of chemistry, whilst trying to encourage students to think deeply about and understand the underlying principles and big ideas of chemistry as a science.


Staff:

  • Mr R Giubertoni, Head of Department
  • Mr S Hall, Teacher
  • Dr R Shahid, Teacher
  • Miss S Begum, Technician

Year 7

Summary of curriculum:

The chemistry curriculum serves as a key part of the year 7 science curriculum. It is used to introduce students to the key concepts of chemistry and give them a good familiarity with the common experimental equipment used in chemistry.

Main topics:
  • Particle nature of matter
  • Acids and bases
  • Mixtures, compounds and elements
Assessment throughout the year:

Three CATs during the year. These will normally take the form of in-class tests. In addition, a wide variety of homework and in-class work will be assessed.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

Encourage student’s natural curiosity to question the world around them.  Discuss science stories in the news and take the time to watch science documentaries together. 

Useful websites:

 

 

Year 8

Summary of curriculum:

The year 8 curriculum builds on the introductory nature of year 7 chemistry and looks to build depth and rigour in the students' understanding of chemistry. Chemical reactions are studied in more depth and links are made to the resources we have on the planet and the best way to use them.

Main topics:
  • Metals and their reactions
  • Balancing chemical equations
  • Rusting
  • The reactivity series
  • The Earth’s resources
  • Materials and their properties
Assessment throughout the year:

Three CATs during the year. These will normally take the form of in-class tests. In addition, a wide variety of homework and in-class work will be assessed.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

Encourage students wider reading about science in the news and journals available online or in the library.  Look for real world applications of the topics they have been covering: such as what chemical reactions are happening around you? How do acids and bases effect your daily life?

Reading fiction books with a science theme can also engage students with their learning, Asimov's books on robotics or some of Michael Crichton's books could be a good starting point.

Useful websites:

 

 

Year 9

Summary of curriculum:

The year 9 chemistry curriculum looks to build students abilities and confidence in using their chemistry knowledge and applying it to new situations. Students study the history of chemistry and the development of some of the key concepts and ideas by some of the most famous names in the history of the science. A key concept is how through our use of fossil fuels we are affecting the planet around us and what chemistry can do to mitigate this change.

Main topics:
  • Crude oil, alkanes and fuels
  • The evolution of the Earth's atmosphere
  • Pollution and how we are changing the Earth’s atmosphere
  • Atomic structure
  • The periodic table
  • Bonding
  • Chemical reactivity
Assessment throughout the year:

Three CATs during the year. These will normally take the form of in-class tests. In addition, a wide variety of homework and in-class work will be assessed.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

As well as encouraging the wider reading in science it is important for students to review the subject content and practice the application of formulae. Students should start to look at using revision guides and workbooks to help reinforce their learning at school.  

Useful websites:

 

 

Year 10

Summary of curriculum:

Year 10 sees the start of the GCSE curriculum. Through year 10 we seek to work through the required content, building student knowledge and understanding to the level required.

Main topics:
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Rates of reaction
  • Electrolysis
  • Energy
  • Alkenes, alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters
Assessment throughout the year:

Three CATs during the year (including an end of year mock examination). These will normally take the form of in class tests. In addition, a wide variety of homework and in class work will be assessed.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

Students need to be reviewing their learning regularly and practising exam questions. There are a number of websites listed that can support this.  It is important for students to work in a quiet environment away from distraction. Students should also be looking into a range of revision techniques to find the most effective method for them.

Useful websites:

 

Year 11

Summary of curriculum:

Year 11 chemistry focuses on embedding further knowledge and understanding from year 10, while gaining an even greater in-depth understanding of new concepts. A key focus is learning to use different pieces of practical equipment to a high standard and looking at designing a piece of practical work to test scientific concepts.

Main topics:
  • Polymers
  • Chemical analysis
  • Titrations and the associated equations
  • Equilibria
Assessment throughout the year:

Three CATs during the year. These will normally take the form of in-class tests. In addition, a wide variety of homework and in-class work will be assessed.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

Students should be encouraged to start revising early.  Extra sessions may be offered and lunchtimes or during school holidays which they should attend for extra support.  Revision guides and exam practice books are helpful along with accessing past paper from the AQA website. 

Useful websites:

 

Year 12

Summary of curriculum:

Our AS Chemistry specification will inspire students, nurture their passion for the subject and lay the foundations for further study and the workplace. The curriculum looks to bring chemistry to life, highlighting how chemistry is used in the world around us and its applications to the world of work in a variety of fields.

We follow the AQA chemistry specification.

Main topics:
  • Atomic structure
  • Amount of substance
  • Bonding
  • Introduction to organic chemistry
  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Oxidation reduction and redox equations
  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals
  • Group 7(17), the halogens
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Periodicity
Assessment throughout the year:

Internal assessment in year 12 will take the form of three CATs during the year, followed by internal examination at the end of the year.

In addition to this for students to pass the practical skills segment of the course they must complete to the correct standard twelve assessed practicals across year 12 and 13.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

Students should spend time reading around the subject and looking for ways to extend their knowledge away from what is done in the classroom, in a wider context.

Useful websites:

 

Year 13

Summary of curriculum:

Our A Level Chemistry specification will further inspire students, nurture their passion for the subject and lay the foundations for further study and the workplace. The curriculum looks to bring chemistry to life, highlighting how chemistry is used in the world around us and its applications to the world of work in a variety of fields.

We follow the AQA chemistry specification.

Main topics:
  • Thermodynamics
  • Rate equations
  • Optical isomerism
  • Aldehydes and ketones
  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives
  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems
  • Acids and bases
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Amines
  • Polymers
  • Amino acids, proteins and DNA
  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells
  • Transition metals
  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Chromatography
  • Organic synthesis
Assessment throughout the year:

Year 13 students will complete three CATs before sitting their examination board examinations in the summer. There are three examinations, each two hours in length, covering all of the work done throughout the two year course.

In addition to this, for students to pass the practical skills segment of the course, they must complete to the correct standard twelve assessed practicals across year 12 and 13.

How parents can support their son’s learning:

Students should be reading journal articles examining the specific areas of chemistry that interest them. They could also further their knowledge further by reading articles on chemistry in Scientific American and similar publications. Student should also be encouraged to revise all of their subject content and spend time doing past examination questions.

Useful websites: