GCSE chemistry

This subject is compulsory for all students.

GCSE in Chemistry

Why study this subject?

Whether you realise it or not, deep down we are all chemists. Every time we light a match, boil an egg or simply breathe in and out, we perform a chemical reaction. Our bodies grow, develop and function entirely as a result of chemical processes. Nearly all the objects of our everyday life are manufactured by the chemical transformation of raw materials like oil or iron ore, or by the chemical treatment of natural products like wood or wool. Most of the food we eat is grown with the help of chemical fertilisers and kept from rotting with chemical preservatives. Our environment is made up by complex chemical systems.

What will I learn?

Over the course of three years you will study the fundamentals of Chemistry including atoms and the periodic table, the properties and uses of metals and crude oil and the environment. You will also learn about structure and bonding of atoms and molecules, rates of reactions and analytical chemistry.

How will I be taught?

At the start of the GCSE course you will be set according to your ability and prior attainment. This will ensure appropriate pace and challenge in you learning and thus support you in achieving the best possible grade. Chemistry lessons have a strong focus on group practical work and developing analytical and investigative skills. Every lesson will have clearly set objectives so you can review your progress.

How will I be assessed?

Your class work and homework will be regularly marked and feedback given will ensure you know how to improve your attainment. Regular tests will allow you to practise exam-style questions and improve your understanding of the course.

What qualifications will I get at the end of the course?

You will achieve either a GCSE in Chemistry or in Science.

What can this qualification lead to afterwards?

A good qualification in Chemistry is highly prized by future employers. The logical, analytical and numerical skills the course develops are required in a diverse range of careers, including finance, banking, sales, medicine, dentistry, engineering, manufacturing and many more. Chemistry will allow you access to any career or further education pathway.

Post-16 Progression

A-Level Chemistry is a popular and challenging A-Level course open to all who achieve at least a grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry. This supports applications to a number of degree options at University, including further study in the Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Law, Medicine, Finance and more.

How much homework will I have to do?

There will be one piece of homework set per week, but you are also expected to work independently to develop your knowledge and understanding of Chemistry.

Where can I find out more about this qualification?

Speak to any member of the Science department.


King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered number 10654935. Registered office: Foundation Office, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2UD. Academy tel: 0121 464 4428.

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