Departments

Chemistry

This vibrant department is staffed by a team of highly qualified and enthusiastic chemistry specialists and provides a modern and academically stimulating environment for the pupils. The chemistry department is housed in spacious accommodation, on the first-floor of the science block, in beautifully refurbished and extremely well-resourced laboratories.

Chemistry is the study of atomic particles and how they combine and react. Students acquire a knowledge and understanding of chemical patterns and apply them to familiar and unfamiliar situations. This is a highly practical subject and approximately one-third of lesson time is spent carrying out practical work, which students are encouraged to link to theoretical ideas. The subject puts emphasis on the importance of the scientific method, enabling students to design, carry out and evaluate experiments. Through this, pupils develop chemical knowledge, skills and understanding that enables them to problem-solve in a wider context. At the same time, they develop a dedication to scholarship, a love of independent thinking and creativity.

We work towards the Edexcel IGCSE chemistry course, which all pupils sit at the end of the VI (Year 11). Over half the year-group in both the VII and the VIII (Years 12 and 13) then go on to study chemistry at A level. We follow the Pearson Edexcel Advanced GCE Chemistry specification, which involves the endorsement of students’ practical work over the two years of the course.

Popular subjects studied at university by A level chemists are pure science, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and engineering. This is in addition to non-science subjects, such as law and economics.

Beyond the classroom

Annually, four selected UIV (Year 8) students attend a Salters’ Chemistry Festival and two V (Year 10) students attend a residential Salters’ Chemistry Camp at a leading university. VII (Year 12) students enter the L6th Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and our VIII (Year 13) students have had considerable success in the Chemistry Olympiad.

For more information on science beyond the classroom, please click here.

Students in a science laboratory.

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