There are three Science departments, whose aim is to instil a love of science, to help our pupils see the importance and relevance of science in their world, and ultimately, to inspire them to follow a career in the sciences. We have high expectations of all pupils and, wherever possible, we deliver the curriculum using practical and investigative approaches.

From Year 9 onwards, the material in all three Science subjects is GCSE standard and all lessons are taught by specialist teachers. Lessons contain practicals where appropriate, so experimental and analytical skills can be developed.

The study of chemistry leads to understanding of the world around us, helping to describe and explain our world. Chemistry is part of every aspect of our lives, from cleaning our homes to space travel. It is a stimulating, enjoyable and challenging subject that fosters hands-on practical techniques, as well as theoretical skills.

GCSE Chemistry

GCSE Specification: Edexcel Pupils sit two papers at the end of Year 11, both 1 hour and 45 minutes long. Each paper is worth 100 marks and 50% of the GCSE.

Year 9

In Chemistry, there are 4 overarching areas: States of Matter, Atomic Structure, The Periodic Table and Bonding. The topics are short and will be continued in further years as part of a ‘spiralling curriculum’.

Topic 1: States of Matter

States of matter; mixtures; filtration and crystallisation; paper chromatography; distillation; drinking water.

Topic 2: Atomic Structure

Structure of an atom; atomic number and mass number; isotopes.

Topic 3: The Periodic Table

Elements and the periodic table; atomic number and the periodic table; electronic configurations and the periodic table.

Topic 4: Bonding

Ionic bonds; ionic lattices; properties of ionic compounds; covalent bonds; molecular compounds; allotropes of carbon; properties of metals; bonding models
Year 10

In Year 10, there are five further topic areas: acids and alkalis, calculation involving masses, metals and electrochemistry and quantitative analysis.

Topic 1: Acids and Alkalis

The pH scale; bases and salts; preparing salts; neutralisation, solubility.

Topic 2: Calculation involving Masses

Conservation of mass; empirical formulae; the mole.

Topic 3: Metals and Electrochemistry

Electrolysis; reactivity; ores; oxidation and reduction; dynamic equilibrium; transition metals; corrosion; electroplating; alloying.

Topic 4: Quantitative Analysis

Yields; atom economy; concentrations; titrations; molar volumes of gases; Haber process; factors affecting equilibrium; chemical and fuel cells.

Topic 5: Groups in the Periodic Table, Rates and Thermodynamics

Alkali metals; halogens; noble gases; reaction rates; catalysts; energy changes in reactions.
Year 11

The study during Year 11 is grouped into three areas: fuels and the atmosphere; organic chemistry; and qualitative analysis.

Topic 1: Fuels and the Atmosphere

Hydrocarbons and crude oil; combustion; fuels and pollution; the early atmosphere; the atmosphere today; climate change.

Topic 2: Organic Chemistry

Alkanes and alkenes; alcohols and ethanol production; carboxylic acids; polymers; addition polymerisation; condensation polymerisation.

Topic 3: Qualitative Analysis

Flame tests; tests for anions; tests for cations; composite materials; nanoparticles.


A Level Chemistry

A Level Specification: OCR B (Salters)

​AS Level Specification: OCR B (Salters)Chemistry A Level at TWGGS takes pupils on a journey through ten Storylines, following the Chemistry B (Salter’s) OCR examination specification to introduce chemical concepts through a spiral approach.  These storylines engage pupils through learning in a contemporary context and range from concerns about the ozone layer to the development of new medicines.

In Chemistry, there are 10 overarching areas:

  • Elements of life
  • Developing fuel
  • Elements from the sea
  • The ozone story
  • What's in a medicine?
  • The chemical industry
  • Polymers and life
  • The oceans
  • Developing metals
  • Colour by design

The first five topics are taught in the Lower 6th and cover many chemical ideas which are explored within different topics as part of a ‘spiralling curriculum’ in which pupils learn more about a topic each time it is reviewed or encountered.

The Chemistry B (Salter’s) specification is uniquely different from other A Level specifications because:

  • It starts from applications and develops the theory as required
  • It introduces chemical topics in one unit and revisits them in later units
  • All external units in the examinations ask all the questions in context
  • There is an advance notice passage included in the A Level Paper 2 which can be studied, researched and discussed by pupils well in advance of the unit test

Pupils will be assessed on how well they carry out a wide range of practical work and how to record the results of this work. These hands-on skills form the practical endorsement. By carrying out experimental work through the course, pupils will develop their ability to:

  • Design and use practical techniques to investigate and solve problems
  • Use a wide range of experimental and practical apparatus, equipment, and materials, including chemicals and solutions
  • Carry out practical procedures skilfully and safely, recording and presenting results in a scientific way
  • Research using online and offline tools

Pupils will be taught the necessary skills to be a competent and effective practical chemist.

This is a very accessible course that relates Chemistry to its everyday roots and has a high practical content. This course suits those pupils who are prepared to play an active role in their own learning and involves a variety of teaching styles encompassing experimental, research, presentation and problem-solving based activities.

A Level

Paper 1

Fundamentals of Chemistry

2 hours and 15 minutes written examination

110 marks

41% of total A Level
Paper 2

Scientific Literacy in Chemistry

2 hours and 15 minutes written examination

100 marks

37% of total A Level
Paper 3

Practical Skills in Chemistry

1 hour and 30 minutes written examination

60 marks

22% of total A Level
Non-examination assessment

Practical Endorsement in Chemistry

A minimum of 12 practical activities from the Practical Activity Groups in the specification, to be completed during the two-year A Level course.


AS Level

Paper 1

Foundations of Chemistry

1 hour 30 minutes written examination

70 marks

50% of total AS level


  • Elements of life
  • Developing fuels
  • Elements from the sea
  • The ozone story
What’s in a medicine?
Paper 2

Chemistry in Depth

1 hour 30 minutes written examination

70 marks

50% of total AS level

*Both papers assess all 5 storylines

AS Level Chemistry B (Salter’s) OCR specification



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