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 who study Chemistry at A level will develop excellent numerical, analytical and problem-solving skills. These skills are desirable for entry to most university courses and will subsequently be attractive to prospective employers.

A level Chemistry lessons are taught in one of our well-equipped laboratories. Practical work is fundamental to our teaching and can be carried out individually throughout the course. The Chemistry department provides a supportive environment where students are challenged and encouraged to pursue their interests beyond the scope of the syllabus.

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

Curriculum

Students taking their final A level exams in 2021 follow the Edexcel A level course. The AQA A level course will be followed by those taking their exams from 2022 onwards.

In the first year of the course, students study atomic structure, bonding, thermodynamics, and organic chemistry. During the second year, students also study equilibrium, transition

metals, spectroscopy, and reaction kinetics. Students will two teachers, with five lessons each week per teacher. Students will be provided with textbooks, folders and the necessary safety equipment.

The A level is assessed solely by three written papers sat at the end of Upper Sixth. A stand-alone Practical Competency Assessment, which is not graded, is completed across the two years. This involves students demonstrating their experimental skills across a number of set practical tasks.

Trips, activities and clubs

There are a wide range of co-curricular opportunities offered to students studying Chemistry. These include:

  • UK Chemistry Olympiad
  • Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
  • A programme of visiting speakers
  • Organic Chemistry Club
  • A Level Chemistry Live – a day of lectures by eminent chemists
  • RSC Analyst competition

Students are encouraged to present on topics of their own interest to the school’s vibrant Science Society. They also have opportunity to organise and support exciting practical activities designed to enthuse younger students.

Staff

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