GCSE Chemistry (Key Stage 4)

What is Chemistry? 

The word chemistry is thought to come from the Arabic word alchemist. It is the study of natural and man-made compounds and elements.

Chemistry is a branch of physical science. It is the study of the interactions and reactions between types of states of matter (solids, liquids, gases and plasma), energy and its properties and sits in between biology and physics.

There are many things that we do in daily life that would be classified as chemistry: fireworks, cooking, baking, digesting food etc. 


Chemistry in schools:

Every year group has a specific set of topics that are taught. As physics is the other side of the coin of chemistry, there may be some overlap in the general topic but the themes within the topics will be different. There will also be an overlap with biology, but again different aspects will be investigated.

Chemistry is taught from year 1 all the way through to GCSE although the three sciences are not split until KS3 (Early secondary school). Until then they are simply taught as science. Every year group has a specific set of topics that are taught.

Below is an example of topics likely covered by each year group:

Primary Chemistry
Years 1 and 2 Materials.
Year 3 Materials and their properties
Year 4 States of matter.
Year 5 Properties and changes of matter.

Living things and their habitat.

Year 6 Living things and their habitat.

Animals including humans.

Year 7 Acids and alkalis (the PH scale).

Elements and compounds.

Chemical reactions.

Year 8 Materials and everyday chemistry.

Acids and alkalis.

The Earth and atmosphere.

Year 9 Acids and bases.

Atomic structure.

Particles and matter.


Periodic table.

Year 10 Key concepts in chemistry.

States of matter and mixtures.

Methods of separating and purifying substances.

Year 11 Acids, bases and salts.





How can Redbridge Tuition help?

At Redbridge Tuition our classes are tutor-led and topic-based. The classes are run in small groups. The work is also written in-house by subject specialists who have studied biology in universities such as Cambridge, University College and Imperial College. They, therefore, have deep knowledge of the subject.

This means that we are able to cover the curriculum thoroughly in a relaxed but focussed environment, designed for deep learning. It gives each student the opportunity to ask questions that they may perhaps hesitate in asking in school.

Each student will come home with a Redbridge Tuition booklet of the chemistry topic they were taught in the lesson. This will contain notes, explanations and questions they need to complete for homework.

There is a choice of weekday or weekend classes available. 

Please contact us on 0800 228 9779 or


Our chemistry tutors:

The tutors at Redbridge Tuition are subject specialists. Our chemistry tutors are undergraduates and postgraduates whose speciality subject is chemistry. 

All our tutors are also accredited by Redbridge Tuition.


How can I help my child at home?

For primary school children, the best way to teach chemistry at home will be to show materials interact with one another as this is the basis of almost all chemistry. This can be done with various fun experiments (as long as you are OK with some mess being created!). Most of these can be some using household ingredients.

(It would be sensible to conduct most of these experiments outdoors as it will be easier to clear up)



Click on the link for a few examples of some practical ways of learning about biology at home:

Video and take photos of your experiments and tag us in them so we can see how you did! #redbridgetuition @redbridgetuition


For secondary school children, if you are confident in teaching the topics, we would recommend that you use the BBC bitesize website to help you.

For secondary school children, the best start would be understanding the structure and properties of the periodic table.

Some of the topics to cover are:

  • The particulate nature of matter
  • Atoms, elements and compounds
  • Pure and impure substances
  • Chemical reactions
  • Energetics
  • The Periodic table
  • Materials
  • Earth and atmosphere

You may also enjoy our blog:

The Wonders of the Periodic Table (Free Resources Included)

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