Curriculum Intent

Our vision in Chemistry is to provide a pathway for our students to explore and understand the wonderment and awe of the everyday. We aim to develop transferable skills that students require to question evidence and draw conclusions based upon a mixture of logical, practical, and theoretical based activities. Chemistry is the study of molecules which are the building blocks of matter, it is central to our existence and leads our investigations into the human body, food, earth, energy, materials, and anywhere and everywhere in between. The chemical industry, supported by Chemistry research, underpins much of our economic success and provides wealth and prosperity for our society. In the United Kingdom alone, 152,000 people are employed in the chemical Industry which contributes £54 billion annually to our GDP.

In Key Stage 3 (KS3), pupils receive 60-minutes of Chemistry per week alongside 60 minutes of Biology and Physics. The KS3 curriculum aims to develop three key building blocks of Chemistry: the atom, the periodic table, and chemical reactions. These concepts are the starting point for all chemical knowledge. We understand that Chemistry is a series of core questions to which students can find the answers through investigation and an understanding of scientific models. The KS3 curriculum allows students to transition smoothly to KS4 Chemistry. In Key stage 4, students receive 2 periods of 60 minutes per week to prepare them for GCSE examinations. The vast majority of our KS4 students follow AQA GCSE Combined Science Trilogy of which Chemistry makes up one third of the overall marks. Students are also given the option to choose separate science GCSE Chemistry in year 11 which provides them with the opportunity to study Chemistry in greater depth.

The Chemistry course has been designed to stretch students, with dedicated scientific enquiry and extension material, along with a variety of retrieval activities. Lessons are planned to achieve specific outcomes related to scientific enquiry, with links to scientists throughout history and their everyday lives. It is ambitious for all learners, including addressing misconceptions and introducing higher-level concepts. There are many opportunities to build mathematical and practical chemistry skills. Overall, the materials are designed to build a strong foundation for future learning at GCSE and beyond.

Chemistry is an essential subject for all medical-based courses and many employers value the transferable skills that Chemistry teaches. Chemistry develops numeracy, literacy, problem solving and is good preparation for life beyond the classroom. Chemistry will allow your child to develop key transferrable skills which are in high demand across many sectors.  In Chemistry we emphasise the role of practical work as this plays a major role in developing these key skills and students at Sunbury Manor are given ample opportunities to take part in a wide variety of practicals both within the framework of the National Curriculum and outside of it. Students enjoy doing practicals at Sunbury Manor as it allows them to develop their scientific skills in a fun and engaging way. The key aim of practical Chemistry is to allow students to develop highly desirable skills such as problem-solving, data handling, critical thinking, communication, and numeracy. Even if our students choose not to pursue Chemistry beyond GCSE, these skills are highly transferrable in many roles, therefore we place considerable emphasis on developing them.

The Chemistry department is well resourced with modern laboratory equipment providing students with the opportunity to carry out a wide range of experiments such as distillation, chromatography, combustion, and neutralisation to name a few. In addition to this, we are fully staffed by specialist teachers with a strong scientific background. Our teachers are passionate about Chemistry and dedicated to ensuring your child gets the best out of the subject. As a team we meet regularly to discuss curriculum ideas, schemes of work, assessments as well as sharing good teaching practice. The team is highly collaborative and has several highly experienced teachers.

Curriculum Overview


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2




Science safety

States of matter


Gas pressure

Separating mixtures





Chemical reactions

Acids and alkalis

pH scale


Making salts

Metals and non-metals

Periodic table

Metals and oxygen

Metals and acids

Metals and water

Metal displacement reactions

Advanced practical skills in Chemistry




Practical skills in Chemistry

Metals and non-metals

Groups and periods

Group 1 and group 7 elements


Group 0 noble gases








Metals and acids


Metals and oxygen

Metals and water

Displacement reactions

Extracting metals

Ceramic materials



The earth and its atmosphere

Rocks and the rock cycle


Carbon cycle

Climate change and pollutants





Structure of the atom and the plum pudding model

Conservation of mass

Balancing equations

Separating mixtures

Atoms to ions


Electron arrangement

The periodic table

History of the periodic table

Group 1 alkali metals

Group 7 halogens

Explaining trends in reactivity of group 1 and 7

The reactivity series

Extracting metals

Displacement reactions

Metals and acids

Making salts

Practical skills

Neutralisation and the pH scale

Strong acids vs weak acids

Revision for end of year exams




Atomic structure and the periodic table

% composition by mass

Moles and concentrations

Reacting mass calculations

Atoms to ions

Ionic bonding

Giant ionic structures

Covalent bonding

Simple and giant covalent molecules

Structure of diamond, graphite and silicon dioxide

Metallic bonding

Reactivity series

Practical skills in Chemistry

Metal displacement reactions

Extracting metals using carbon

Metals and acids

Acids and alkalis

The pH scale and neutralisation

Electrolysis of aluminium oxide

Electrolysis of aqueous solutions


Exothermic and endothermic reactions

Energy level diagrams

Bond energy calculations

Calorimetry practical


Revision for end of year exams




Crude oil and fractional distillation

Alkanes and alkenes


Combustion of fuels

Energy changes calorimetry practical


Mock exam revision

AQA paper 1 mock exam revision topics 1-5.


Testing for gases

Earths atmosphere

Climate change and pollutants

Potable water and treating waste water

Life cycle assessments

Curriculum complete – exam revision 

Curriculum complete – exam revision 

Curriculum complete – exam revision 


Key Stage 4 Specification

Subject Leader:

Mrs H Curtis


Exam Specification:

AQA Trilogy

QN Code:





Summary of course 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. Using resources


2 exams in total

  1. Chemistry paper 1 (1 hour and 15 minutes)
  2. Chemistry paper 2 (1 hour and 15 minutes)

What type of activities take place in lessons?

Practical work and theory

What type of homework tasks will be set?

Research, revision, exam questions

How will it help me in the future?

Awareness and greater understanding of the world around you. Excellent preparation for A-level chemistry

How will this course build on what I have studied in Year 9?

All work done in KS3 will be built upon to  a higher level of understanding

What skills will I develop?

Practical processes, analysis and evaluation