Salters A level chemistry is a unique course with an established history in world of science education. It was first examined in 1991 with a cohort of approximately 300 candidates rising to just under 9000 studying the course across the two years of the course in 2016.
Central to the Salters course is the philosophy that chemistry takes place in the world around us. Using this idea the course has been developed as a context led programme. In order to access the necessary chemistry content students are introduced to chemical content (called Chemical Ideas in the student resources) through what are called Chemical Storylines. The Chemical Storylines cover a wide range of contexts, from the chemistry of food to drug synthesis, from the use of alternative fuels to the formation of the universe. The new student resources integrate the Storylines and Ideas into one book for AS and either one or two books for the two years of the A level course.
The Chemical Ideas are introduced on a ‘need to know basis’ to enable the student to understand the storyline. This means that the same concept can be revisited and developed through a number of different Chemical Storylines (or modules). The course has been planned so that student understanding of chemical concepts develops gradually, giving them the chance to consolidate thinking before moving on to more advanced aspects of that concept.
The course materials are designed to support both student and teachers as a coherent whole.
In addition to published teaching and learning materials there is a regular newsletter sent out to Salters centres, a website with up to date information, a free helpline, and regular training workshops for teachers and technicians.