Chemistry is the most central of the sciences. New breakthroughs in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, medicine, forensics, nanotechnology, drug discovery, the environment and next-generation computer hardware are all driven by chemistry.

Chemistry is about the substances all around us. It is about elements and compounds, and how they react.
In fact, we all do chemistry every day! As soon as you wake up in the morning, you start doing chemistry. Chemistry explains why an egg changes state when you fry it and why your non-stick pan is non-sticky. Chemistry explains how soap and shampoo make you clean, why you feel tired before coffee and alert after it, and how the petrol in your car gets you to work.

Chemistry explains all this and much more, such as how the next generation of fuels can be produced sustainably, how new anti-cancer drugs might work, and what kinds of molecules are observed in interstellar space.

GCSE Chemistry

We follow the AQA specification (8462). This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their examinations at the end of the course. At the end of Year 11 students will sit two examinations. Each examination will be 1 hour 45 minutes in length and worth 50% of the final grade. Students can be entered at either Foundation or Higher Tier.

Subject content:

1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
3. Quantitative chemistry
4. Chemical changes
5. Energy changes
6. The rate and extent of chemical change
7. Organic chemistry
8. Chemical analysis
9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
10. Using resources


A Level Chemistry

As students progress through school, Chemistry gets more exciting. Chemistry explains why so many phenomena take place that we take for granted. Why are fireworks different colours? Why does food go off if not kept in the fridge? Why does wine turn into vinegar if left? How are pharmaceuticals made? Why do nappies absorb so much liquid? All these questions can be answered with Chemistry and at A Level the depth of students’ understanding will increase.

The human body is a highly complex chemical factory and because of this, A Level Chemistry has become a prerequisite for Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science degrees. They not only require you to have a good understanding of chemical principles but will also value the practical and analytical skills that students acquire during the course.

At Formby High School we follow the AQA syllabus. This covers topics involving organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. Some of these will build upon GCSE knowledge (eg, atomic structure) whereas other topics (eg, NMR spectroscopy) will be completely new.

Chemistry is a practical subject and discoveries are made by asking questions and performing experiments to provide evidence to help answer those questions. Students are required to complete at least 12 practicals outlined in the syllabus in order to obtain the Practical Skills Endorsement required for many degree courses. Knowledge of these practicals is also required for the written examinations. During Year 12, some students will be able to put those skills into practice at the Merseyside Young Analyst Competition at Liverpool University.

A Level Chemistry is a demanding subject but the challenge is very rewarding and it enables learners to develop a multitude of skills that are transferable to many university and career paths.


Key Stage 5 Chemistry Curriculum Maps

Key Information


Science Department


Mr Rush

Curriculum Leader for Science

Miss Atherton

Subject Leader for Core Science

Mr Kaye

Subject Leader for Chemistry

Miss Barson/Mrs Wilson

Subject Leaders for Biology

Mr Williams

Subject Leader for Physics & Astronomy


Teachers of Science

Mrs Billington
Mrs Edey
Mrs Harding
Ms K Naseem
Mrs L Thorne
Mrs Wilson
Mrs Wilson

Science Technicians

Miss Johnston (Senior Technician)
Mrs Dagnall


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Useful Links




Careers Corner


There is a wide range of possible career and higher education opportunities if you choose to study a Science at A Level.