Atoms and Bonding in Chemistry GCSE AQA specification

Atoms and Bonding in Chemistry GCSE AQA specification

The research and whole assignment is based on teaching the concept of Atoms and Bonding (ionic and covalent bonding) in Chemistry.

The school follow the AQA Syllabus so ensure you use that, as this is what is set out by the curriculum that pupils need to know by the end.

The class this this being taught to is a year 10 mixed ability class.

Assignment details

This planning needs to be informed by your reading of associated research in your subject area regarding best practice/teaching for the concept/s at the centre of your progression map

Undertake background reading around the concept you wish to teach, and how pupils progress in their thinking in this concept, and make notes on key issues or themes that you need to consider as you plan/teach/evaluate.

The assignment consists of two sections:

Section 1.Justification for your Study: It should act as an introduction and initial explanation of choice of area and choices you have made in your planning, with links to key reading (c. 1000 words).

In this section you need to: (in separate headings)

• Explain and justify your choice of teaching, learning and assessment approaches in your Sequence, taking into account:

the steps in understanding that you want your pupils to make…

explicit reference to what you have learned from your reading, (Suitable sources include: relevant texts, journals, curriculum documentation, Ofsted reports, appropriate online resources).

Literature Review – Have I used a wide range of literature and resources? How will the literature inform the approach I will take, in order to deliver this topic effectively?

Investigate: (which need to be separate heading)

• curriculum content/examination specification content;

• approaches to teaching and learning your chosen curriculum area or concept; and

• what is already known to be difficult/challenging/easy for pupils to learn in this area (common misconceptions/barriers to learning)

• a brief description (using the context of your school) for your choice of:

curriculum concept to progress;

class to work with;

• the reasons for your choice of teaching, learning and assessment approaches and taking into account the steps in understanding that you want your pupils to make.

2. Reflective Evaluation: includes findings, conclusions and impact on practice, based around evaluation of pupils’ progress (c. 2000 words)

In this section you need to:

• Reflect upon and evaluate the approaches that you took and the impact on the progress of your learners while you were teaching the Sequence of Learning.

• Substantiate your reflections with reference to relevant literature/ research /studies /evidence.

• Draw out some tentative/firm conclusions from your study, and consider the implications of these for your future teaching for progression in the concept you have focused on.

• My general evaluation – Have I referred back to the literature from Section 1? What ideas/strategies proved effective – and how do I know this? What worked well? (evidence) What might have worked better? (evidence) Any improvements I would make overall, if teaching this topic again

Section 1: Justification for the Study


The chosen area of study for this assignment is teaching the concept of Atoms and Bonding (ionic and covalent bonding) in Chemistry, specifically following the GCSE AQA specification. The assignment aims to provide a justification for the chosen teaching, learning, and assessment approaches in the sequence, taking into account the steps in understanding that the pupils are expected to make. The assignment also explores relevant literature, curriculum content, teaching and learning approaches, common misconceptions/barriers to learning, and the reasons for the chosen teaching, learning, and assessment approaches.


Curriculum Content/Examination Specification Content:

The GCSE AQA specification outlines the key concepts and content that students need to learn in the area of Atoms and Bonding. This includes understanding the structure of atoms, the formation and properties of ions, and the differences between ionic and covalent bonding. The specification also covers topics such as electron configuration, Lewis dot structures, and the use of the periodic table to predict bonding patterns.

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:

To effectively teach the concept of Atoms and Bonding, a variety of teaching and learning approaches can be employed. These may include:

Interactive Demonstrations: Conducting experiments and demonstrations to visually represent concepts such as ion formation, electron transfer, and covalent bonding.

Visual Aids: Using models, diagrams, and animations to illustrate atomic structure, electron arrangement, and bonding patterns.

Collaborative Learning: Engaging students in group activities, discussions, and problem-solving tasks to deepen their understanding of concepts and promote peer learning.

Inquiry-Based Learning: Encouraging students to explore and investigate chemical phenomena through hands-on activities and guided inquiries.

Formative Assessment: Using quizzes, concept maps, and class discussions to gauge students’ understanding and identify misconceptions.

Common Misconceptions/Barriers to Learning:

Students may face several misconceptions and barriers while learning about Atoms and Bonding. These may include:

Misunderstanding the Concept of Ions: Students may struggle to grasp the concept of gaining or losing electrons to form ions and understanding the resulting charges.

Confusion between Ionic and Covalent Bonds: Differentiating between ionic and covalent bonding and understanding the factors that determine the type of bond can be challenging for students.

Difficulty with Lewis Dot Structures: Interpreting and drawing Lewis dot structures for molecules and ions can be confusing for students, particularly when dealing with complex compounds.

Choice of Curriculum Concept and Class:

The curriculum concept chosen for progression is Atoms and Bonding, specifically focusing on ionic and covalent bonding. This concept is fundamental to understanding the properties and reactivity of substances and serves as a building block for further study in Chemistry.

The class selected to work with is a year 10 mixed ability class. This choice allows for differentiation in teaching and learning approaches to accommodate the varying needs and abilities of the students. It also aligns with the aim of the assignment to explore best practices for teaching a mixed ability class.

Reasons for the Choice of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Approaches:

The chosen teaching, learning, and assessment approaches aim to address the steps in understanding that the pupils need to make. The interactive demonstrations, visual aids, collaborative learning, and inquiry-based activities provide opportunities for students to engage with the concepts actively. These approaches foster deeper understanding, promote critical thinking, and enable students to apply their knowledge in real-world contexts.

Formative assessments, such as quizzes and concept maps, help identify misconceptions and guide instruction. They also provide feedback to students, allowing them to reflect on their understanding and make improvements. The chosen approaches take into account the diverse needs of the mixed ability class, promoting

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