GCSE | Chemistry

GCSE in Chemistry

The department

Why does that happen? What does that do? In order to understand the world around you, you must first understand Chemistry. We have facilities for the department to be split into two teaching spaces: a ‘dry’ side for theory and discussion and a ‘wet’ side for the completion of experiments and practical work. We have four dedicated teachers of Chemistry some of whom can share their knowledge of working in the industry. Students have the opportunity to take part in challenge days, giving them a flavour of what it would be like to work in a scientific or engineering environment. The Sixth form have the chance to take part in the Chemistry Olympiad.

Selected alumni –

  • Elmar Haller (1994) is a Marie Curie Research Training Fellow at the Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde.
  • Dr Varuna Aluvihare (1980) is a researcher, lecturer and transplant physician at Kings College Hospital.
  • Dr Ben Sessa is a psychiatrist, researcher and writer, making a name for his work in psychopharmacology research.


GCSE in Chemistry

Board: OCR
Syllabus Code: J248

We are following the OCR Gateway Chemistry A syllabus. The course consists of six modules assessed by two written examination papers.

These six modules are given below:

ModulesWhat is included?
C1: ParticlesThe particle model; atomic structure; atoms; molecules
C2: Elements, compounds and mixturesSeparating mixtures; bonding; properties of materials
C3: Chemical reactionsChemical reactions; energy changes; types of chemical reactions; electrolysis
C4: Predicting and identifying reactions and productsPredicting chemical reactions; identification of products of chemical reactions
C5: Monitoring and controlling chemical reactionsYield; atom economy; rate of reactions; equilibria
C6: Global challengesImproving processes and products; organic chemistry; composition of the atmosphere


The two written exam papers will be taken at the end of Year 11. Paper 1 assesses content from Topics C1 – C3. This paper is 1 hour 45 minutes long and will be worth 50% of the course. Paper 2 assesses content from Topics C4 – C6, with assumed knowledge of Topics C1 – C3. This paper is 1 hour 45 mins long and will be worth 50% of the course.

The development of practical skills is a fundamental and integral aspect of the study of Chemistry and it will help students throughout their course in preparation for the written examinations. At Leighton Park you will study Chemistry in well-equipped custom-built laboratories. As a department we integrate the practical work throughout the course and it will be assessed through the written exam papers.

You may wish to study Chemistry at GCSE for any of the following reasons:

  • You have enjoyed the subject in Year 9 and want to continue your study of the subject.
  • You want to include Chemistry as part of a broad range of GCSE courses, leaving your options open for Sixth Form Level.
  • You want to study Chemistry at Sixth Form Level.
  • You want to study a scientific, medical or engineering based degree course (Chemistry is essential for a variety of courses including medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and pharmacy).


If you have any queries about this course, please contact Head of Department: Emilia Hicks.

How can we help?

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Shinfield Road
Berkshire, UK
+44 (0) 118 987 9600
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