Chemistry

Overview

Chemistry is the study is matter, its properties and its interactions with the things around it. From the molecules from which we are made to the materials in our mobile phones, Chemistry is an integral part of everyday life. Students explore both the theory and applications of Chemistry throughout Years 7 to 11.

We firmly believe that Chemistry is not simply something that is ‘learned’, it is also something that is ‘done’. Practical work is consistently used to illustrate concepts and develop students’ ability to analyse and interrogate data. Teachers encourage students to ask questions and to challenge current theories. Students can discover and pursue interests in Chemistry through various research-based projects across Years 7 to 11. Uptake at A Level is strong and many students go on to study Chemistry, Biochemistry or a related subject at university.

The Chemistry Department provides a supportive and nurturing environment in which students can learn about the important role of Chemistry in the modern world and explore the increasing contribution which Chemistry makes to human advancement.

We are committed to developing our practice as educators and to this end we are a Royal Society of Chemistry Learn Partner.

Curriculum

Year 7 and 8

In Years 7 and 8, students have a double lesson per week of Chemistry and one piece of homework will be set. Students will study a variety of topics which form the foundations of Chemistry; these include:

Year 7 Year 8
The Periodic Table The Earth’s Resources
Fuels for the Future Reactions of Metals
Acids and Alkalis Food Chemistry
Separating Mixtures Fertilizers

We provide students with a text book [Longman Chemistry 11-14] which gives a comprehensive overview of these topics.

GCSE

At GCSE, Chemistry is a core subject in the curriculum and is taught by subject specialists in our fully equipped laboratories. Students sitting their GCSE exams in 2021 follow the AQA course. Students who will sit their GCSE exams from 2022 onwards follow the Edexcel International GCSE course.

All students will begin their GCSE Science courses in Year 9, following the Edexcel International GCSE syllabus for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. When classes have completed the majority of each course, and following their mock examinations in January of Year 11, the option remains for some to follow the Dual Award syllabus to completion. This is the normal course for most in the UK, where they will be assessed on approximately two thirds of each separate science course, learned so far, leading to two GCSE combined science grades rather three separate science grades. This system provides the best opportunity for each student to show their ability and develop their skills through Years 9 to 11, yet sufficient time to prepare for the appropriate examinations that will allow them to achieve their best possible grade outcomes.

AQA GCSE Chemistry 

Edexcel iGCSE Chemistry

Trips, activities and clubs

Students in the Chemistry Department are able to participate in a variety of enrichment activities; these include:

  • The Salters’ Festivals (Year 8 and 9)
  • RSC Chemistry Challenge (Year 10)
  • GCSE Science Live (Year 11)

There are a variety of co-curricular clubs which we offer, although changes occur from year to year. In recent years they included a forensics club and a pyrotechnic club.

Staff

  • Mr J Copley MSci (Head of Chemistry)
  • Ms E Lucas BSc, MA
  • Dr J Hill BSc
  • Mrs J Perry BSc MSc
  • Mrs N Colwell BSc
  • Ms S Baig