Home Schooling GCSE Chemistry – The Course
What basic substances make up the world we live in and how do they interact? These are just two of the fundamental questions that chemistry attempts to answer and which students will explore in this fascinating course.
Please note that the last exam sitting for the GCSE Chemistry specifications was 2012. If you wish to take Chemistry exams in 2014 (or later years), you will need to study our IGCSE Chemistry course which does not include coursework.
Key Topics Covered
Our GCSE Chemistry course covered the entire syllabus in 27 lessons dealing with the following topics:
- How do rocks provide building materials?
- How do rocks provide metals and how are metals used?
- How do we get fuels from crude oil?
- How are polymers and ethanol made from oil?
- How can plant oils be used?
- What are the changes in the Earth and its atmosphere?
- Why have some species of plants and animals died out?
- How do new species of plants and animals develop?
- How do humans affect the environment
- How do sub-atomic particles help us to understand the structure of
- How do structures influence the properties and uses of substances?
- How much can we make and how much do we need to use?
- How can we control the rates of chemical reactions?
- Do chemical reactions always release energy?
- How can we use ions in solutions?
- How was the periodic table developed and how can it help us understand
the reactions of elements?
- What are strong and weak acids and alkalis?
- How can we find the amounts of acids and alkalis in solutions?
- What is in the water we drink?
- How much energy is involved in chemical reactions?
- How do we identify and analyse substances?
This course prepared students for AQA GCSE Science: Chemistry syllabus 4421 for exams until June 2012. Assessment was by one written paper (75%) and coursework (25%). We chose this syllabus as it was at that time the most suited for home schooling.
Practical Skills/ Coursework
The assessment had two parts:
- The practical skills assessment (PSA) assesses the student?s ability to work in an organised and safe manner whilst working practically. It can be carried out at any time during the course.
- The investigative skills assignment (ISA) assesses the student?s ability to undertake a task and collect, process and evaluate data. The ISA can be carried out at any time during the course. Students carry out the PSA set by AQA, they then take a written test under controlled conditions. The test asks questions concerning the data collected during the practical task as well as that provided as part of the test.