At present there are 10 teachers in the Chemistry department teaching approximately 110 students in each year at A level, with approximately 80 students in each year at GCSE. The exam results are very good with around 77% achieving an A*/A at A level last year and 93% achieving 9-7 at GCSE (equivalent to the old A*/A grades).
GSCE students follow the AQA Chemistry GCSE Specification (8462) which is examined at the end of Form 5 via two 90 minute exam papers. In addition, students must also undertake 8 required practicals during the course. At Concord, Chemistry is a compulsory GSCE subject however approximately 50% of students continue with the subject at A level, with significantly more using their GCSE chemical knowledge to support their studies of A level Biology and/or Physics.
Sixth form students follow the OCR Chemistry A Specification (H032/H432). Two 90 minute exams are taken at the end of 6.1 leading to an AS grade. The AS grade achieved at the end of 6.1 doesn’t contribute to the overall A level grade, but is used by the college for UCAS predictions. At the end of 6.2, students then take the A level exam papers which consist of two, 135 minute papers and a 90 minute paper. Throughout the course the students also undertake practicals which lead to the award of the Practical Endorsement, a standalone qualification. A level Chemistry is highly regarded by universities as an intellectually challenging subject. A very good grade in A level Chemistry is essential for students planning to undertake a degree in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Chemistry, Biochemistry or Chemical Engineering, with a pass on the Practical Endorsement also required for most university courses.