Chemistry is fundamental and it is important to embed an understanding and appreciation of how it fits into every aspect of life.
Chemistry is passionately taught by teachers whose aim is to develop a love of the subject so that pupils have informed opinions about the latest topical Science issues, or even go on to be the next world leaders in Science. The expansive laboratories allow us to successfully unite theoretical and practical elements of this subject enabling pupils to appreciate the wider contextual applications of Chemistry. 3rd Form pupils begin the IGCSE curriculum covering How Science Works, Particle Theory, Equations and Calculations, Bonding and The Periodic Table. Alongside the Chemistry workshops we enjoy showing pupils fun experiments from outside of the GCSE and A’Level courses. In the 6th Form, pupils are asked to deliver a presentation on an area of Chemistry that piques their interest. To enhance the A Level experience, U6th Form Chemists visit Bristol University for a Spectroscopy Day; all 6th Form Chemists attend a series of ‘Chemistry in Action’ lectures and L6th Form Chemists either synthesise benzocaine or extract caffeine at Bristol University. Those completing A’Level Chemistry, go on to a wide variety of degree courses, such as Medicine (Queen's University Belfast), Veterinary Medicine (Royal Veterinary College), Engineering (various), Biomedical Science (Aston), Pharmacy (Manchester) and Chemistry (Cardiff).
In addition to the topics covered in the 3rd Form, the pupils following the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry course, study Group 1 and Group 7 Elements, Oxygen and Oxides, Metal Reactivity, Electrolysis, Acids and Making Salts, Separation and Analysis, Organic Chemistry, Crude Oil, Ethanol, Polymers, Rates of Reaction, Metal Extraction, Energetics, Equilibria and the Industrial Manufacture of Chemicals.
A selection of 5th Form pupils are currently completing the Cambridge Combined (Single Award) Science IGCSE. The topics studied include The Periodic Table, Atomic Structure, Stoichiometry, Bonding, Electrolysis, Energetics, Rates of Reaction, Acids, Bases and Salts, Air and Water, Separation Techniques, Analysis and Organic Chemistry. The specification can be found on pages 26 to 32 of this document.
At A-Level the AQA Chemistry specification is followed. This involves studying Atomic Structure, Amount of Substance, Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics, Equilibria, Redox Reactions, Periodicity, Group 2 and Group 7 Elements, Nomenclature and Isomerism in Organic Chemistry, Alkanes, Halogenoalkanes, Alkenes, Alcohols and Organic Analysis in the first year. The second year of the course builds on the first year topics and introduces pupils to Acids and Bases, Electrode Potentials, Compounds containing the Carbonyl Group, Aromatics, Amines, Amino Acids, Polymers, Organic Synthesis, Structure Determination, Thermodynamics, Transition Metals and Reactions of Inorganic Compounds in Aqueous Solution.