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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle






OCR B (Salters')


A level Chemistry will build on the GCSE AQA Chemistry course that has traditionally been followed by students at QEGS. The new Salters’ OCR Chemistry specification includes a fresh approach to practical work, increasing choice; removing the constraints of tasks that are set by exam boards and putting purposeful practical work at the heart of teaching.

Coursework has been removed, so coursework practicals will no longer contribute towards the final A level grade.

Students will do at least 12 practical activities across the two-year A-level.

  • Students will have many opportunities to learn and use practical skills to link theory with practice, deepening their knowledge and understanding.

  • A wide variety of practical activities will be integrated into routine teaching.            

Students will be expected to apply the knowledge and understanding they learn from practicals in their written exams. Practical-based questions will form about 22% of the total assessment.


The course has been rearranged into the traditional three branches of physical, inorganic and organic chemistry.

First year of A-level

Physical chemistry including: atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, energetics,  kinetics, chemical equilibria and Le Chatelier’s principle.

Inorganic chemistry including: periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens.

Organic chemistry including: introduction to organic chemistry, alkanes, halogenoalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, organic analysis.

Second year of A-level

Physical chemistry including: thermodynamics, rate equations, equilibrium constant (Kc) for homogeneous systems, electrode potentials and electrochemical cells.

Inorganic chemistry including: properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides, transition metals, reactions of ions in aqueous solution.

Organic chemistry including: optical isomerism, aldehydes and ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, aromatic chemistry,  amines, polymers, amino acids, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy, chromatography.


For A-level there are 3 examination papers at the end of the two year course.



Paper 1

2  hour 15 minutes written paper.

Fundamentals of Chemistry.

41% of mark

Paper 2

2 hour 15 minutes written paper.

Scientific Literacy in Chemistry.

37% of mark

Paper 3

1 hour 30 minutes written paper.

Practical Skills in Chemistry

22% of mark

A practical endorsement in Chemistry is awarded, as a pass or fail, separately from the written result.


Subjects that would go well with Chemistry are Biology, Geography, Geology, Mathematics or Physics. You may be concentrating on arts, humanities or modern language courses and wish to take Chemistry to broaden your studies.  Grade 6 in Mathematics is desirable as there is an emphasis on use and application of quantitative concepts throughout the course and will account for about 20% of the final marks..


A qualification in Chemistry helps gain access to a wide range of Higher Education courses.  Chemistry develops the ability to think logically, to be creative, numerate and analytical.  As such it is an excellent preparation for many careers, both scientific and non-scientific.  Students who have taken Chemistry are to be found in areas as diverse as forensic science, finance, law, politics, computing and purchasing, as well as agriculture, conservation, veterinary science, medicine, food technology, geology and art restoration.


In order to study A level Chemistry you will need to have at least grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry or 6-6 in GCSE Trilogy Science.

It is recommended that you have at least a grade 6 in GCSE Maths.

If you have any questions regarding the A level Chemistry Course please see Ms Westoby, Mrs Diver or Mr Cook.