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Science is taught in the three specialist disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics throughout the Senior School although it is known as ‘Science’ within Years 7-9 and at GCSE. This reflects the language used by Examination Boards. At A level, the language of ‘Science’ is replaced by the individual disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Within this context you will find detailed on this page the delivery of Chemistry from Year 7 to the Sixth Form.

Lower & Middle School Chemistry

Year 7 Topics:

  • Hazard symbols.
  • Bunsen burner.
  • Acids and alkalis.
  • The atom.
  • Neutralisation.
  • Drawing laboratory equipment.
  • States of matter.
  • Changing state and kinetic theory.
  • Diffusion.
  • Universal indicator and pH scale.
  • Elements and the periodic table.
  • Pure and impure substances.
  • Dissolving and solutions.
  • Solubility and saturated solutions.
  • Methods for separating mixtures.
  • Red cabbage indicator.


Year 8 Topics:

  • Hazard symbols.
  • Naming compounds.
  • Chemical formulae.
  • Reactions of metals.
  • Extracting metals from ore.
  • Properties and uses of metals.
  • Metal oxides and carbonates.
  • Reactivity series of metals.
  • Physical and chemical changes.
  • Element compound and mixtures.
  • The periodic table and patterns.
  • Combustion.
  • Thermal decomposition.
  • Oxidation and reduction.
  • Energy in chemical reactions.
  • Fast and slow reactions.
  • Displacement equations.


Year 9 Topics:

  • Atomic structure and periodic table.
  • Bonding, structure and property of matter.
  • Quantitative chemistry.
  • Chemical changes.
  • Energy changes.
  • Rate of chemical change.
  • Organic chemistry.
  • Chemical analysis.
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere.
  • Using the earth’s resources.

GCSE Chemistry


Pupils entering Year 10 will continue to study a balanced Science course which can lead to a number of different Science GCSEs by the end of Year 11.  These are GCSE Combined Science and GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.  We always ensure that the most appropriate course is matched to the pupil.  All pupils have to study all three Science disciplines for GCSE.  Rishworth School teaches the AQA Science course as three separate Sciences but emphasis is placed on the linking of ideas between the three Science disciplines.  Pupils are taught by specialist Science teachers across the three subjects, with nine hours of Science teaching over a two-week period.  This allows three hours to be dedicated to each Science over two weeks.


Course Content:

  • Summary of content for the course:
  • Atomic structure and the periodic table.
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter.
  • Quantitative chemistry.
  • Chemical changes.
  • Energy changes.
  • The rate and extent of chemical change.
  • Organic chemistry.
  • Chemical analysis.
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere.
  • Using resources.


Examination Board

AQA Chemistry


Mode of Assessment:

8 practicals that teachers must deliver during lessons.


Paper 1

  • Questions on topics 1-5
  • 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)

Paper 2

  • Questions on topics 6-10
  • 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)


Questions: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open-response, and questions about the required practicals.


All examinations take place in June of Year 11.  These courses offer flexibility in teaching and assessment, while remaining a challenging and purposeful course for all pupils.  Both Combined Science and the three separate Sciences form a sound foundation for studying Sciences at A Level.

A-Level Chemistry


This Chemistry course is a stepping stone to future study. Chemistry is fundamentally an experimental subject and this course provides numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory to reality, and equip students with the essential practical skills they need. In this course, stress is laid on chemistry in modern life, its central role in the sciences and its economic, environmental and sociological importance.  The full A-level, which combines well with physics and biology at A-level, lays the foundation for further study in a wide range of subjects.  Chemistry is a good choice for students considering careers in the health and clinical professions, including medicine, veterinary science, nursing, dentistry and forensic science.  Studying chemistry will also prepare students for industry careers, such as those within the pharmaceutical or petrochemical sectors.


To make progress in this subject, students need to be enthusiastic about science and preferably to have gained at least grade C at GCSE in Chemistry or the Chemistry component of Science and Additional Science at GCSE.  20% of the total A-level marks require the use of Level 2 (higher tier GCSE) mathematical skills.


AS and the first year of A-level


Course content


Physical Chemistry

This includes the study of atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics, kinetics, chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle.


Inorganic Chemistry

This includes the study of periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals and Group 7 (17) the halogens.


Organic chemistry

This includes an introduction to organic chemistry, alkenes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes, alcohols and organic analysis.


Second Year of A-level


Course content


Physical Chemistry

This includes the study of thermodynamics, rate equations, equilibrium: constant (Kc) for homogeneous systems, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells.


Inorganic Chemistry

This includes the study of properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solution.


Organic Chemistry

This includes the study of optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry, amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy and chromatography.


Examination Board: AQA


Mode of assessment

The course is assessed by written examination using short and long answer, and multiple choice questions.  The AS papers include all types of question that are in the A-level, but at a lower level, helping students to progress towards the more challenging A-level questions.  Practical activities are carried out across the two-year A-level and students will be asked to apply the knowledge and understanding they learn from these practicals in their written exams.


Assessments will be in June at the end of Year 13 for the second year of A-Level.