Chemistry

Chemistry is about making forms of matter that have never existed before. These new substances range from plastics and detergents to contraceptives and anticancer medicines and have an extraordinary impact on our lives. Many modern products would not exist without the chemical knowledge used to make them.

Head of Department:

Mr G Hunter

Although designing and making new molecules is at the heart of chemistry, another important aspect is analyzing substances and working out how and why chemical reactions happen. Chemistry has thus contributed to our quality of life by providing the means for quality control in manufacturing, for monitoring the environment and assessing our health needs, and even for crime detection.

Chemistry is studied as an integral part of science in Year 8, pupils become familiar with laboratory apparatus, including the Bunsen burner! They learn basic chemical techniques and begin to understand a little about elements and compounds.

Years 9 and 10 are taught by specialist chemistry teachers and follow the CCEA Programme of Study for KS3. Pupils investigate the properties of different materials and begin to study Atomic Theory.

At KS4 pupils can choose to follow the Triple Award or Double Award route to GCSE, both using the CCEA specification. Both courses are taught by specialist teachers and contain an element of coursework - a practical investigation. GCSE study covers an introduction to Atomic Theory, Electrolysis, Kinetic Theory, the Periodic Table, Organic Chemistry and industrial Applications, Triple award in greater detail than Double award.

Chemistry at AS level follows the modular CCEA specification, and aims to give a wide knowledge and understanding of the subject and to develop in much greater detail the themes dealt with in the GCSE course. The subject is divided into four main areas, Structure and Bonding, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physical Chemistry.

Many pupils continue to study the modular course to A2 and pursue careers with considerable chemistry content eg medicine, dentistry, biochemistry and forensic science. Several pupils have studied chemistry to degree level at university, a number at Oxford University.

Chemistry is exciting and important and will be even more so in the future.