Chemistry

Staff

Dr. Brian Smith

Mr. Myles Christy

Dr. Sharon Cunningham

Mr George King (Technician)

Subject Overview

Learning about chemistry is both stimulating and fun. Not only does it help us make sense of the world around us, but chemistry also touches upon the main social, ethical and cultural issues affecting our lives today. We all experience chemical reactions daily: whether it is breathing, baking a cake or driving a car. Studying chemistry helps explain these and many other interactions, enabling us to analyse all the associated elements and the compounds they form. Given its close links with physics, biology and maths, chemistry also provides a wide-reaching base of scientific knowledge and brings with it great career opportunities in science, industry and commerce.

Accommodation

The Science department share 9 fully equipped laboratories and 1 classroom. Two of the laboratories are specialised for teaching Chemistry up to A2 level.

Achievements

Each year we have 3-4 GCSE classes with a significant number of pupils continuing on to study AS Chemistry. We prepare 1-2 A Level classes at AS and A2. Many pupils study Chemistry because they wish to pursue a career in medicine, dentistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering and veterinary medicine.

Key Stage 3

In Year 8 pupils spend a block of approximately 11 weeks in each of the three Science Departments. The chemistry course introduces main concepts such as particle theory, states of matter, elements, compounds and mixtures. There are plenty of experiments within the course to develop practical skills including a study on heating substances using the Bunsen burner. The objective in Year 8 is to build on pupils’ Key Stage 2 experience, to allow pupils develop a clear understanding of what ‘Science’ is and to ensure they can undertake scientific investigation in a fair and safe manner. In years 9 and 10 Pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects. Pupils have a one hour period of Chemistry per week.

Key Stage 4

Pupils study one or more of the separate Sciences. The department follows the CCEA GCSE Chemistry specification (Revised 2017), subject code 1110. All pupils are normally entered for the Higher Tier. This course provides a thorough preparation for the study of Chemistry and related courses at AS and A2. The course develops understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of Chemistry, as well as the environmental, technological, ethical, cultural and social issues relating to the subject. Pupils sit two public exams worth 75% of the total marks. Investigative skills are assessed externally by conducting an internal practical examination which contributes the final 25% of marks.

CCEA Specification

Key Stage 5

The department follows the CCEA specification for AS/A2 Chemistry.

Exams:

AS 3 Practical exam in May (1 ¼ h) and Practical Theory exam in May/June (1 ¼ h); AS 1: Basic Concepts in Physical and Inorganic Chemistry in June (1 ½ h); AS 2: Further Physical and Inorganic Chemistry and Introduction to Organic Chemistry in June (1 ½ h); A2 3 Practical exam in May (1 ¼ h) and Practical Theory exam in May/June (1 ¼ h); A2 1: Further Physical and Organic Chemistry exam in May/June (2h); A2 2: Analytical, Transition Metals, Electrochemistry and Organic Nitrogen Chemistry exam in May/June (2h).

CCEA Specification

Career Opportunities

Many of our pupils have chosen to pursue careers with a considerable chemistry content including, medicine, dentistry, biochemistry, forensic science, chemical engineering, environmental chemistry, pharmacy, food technology, materials science, veterinary medicine.