Our rigorous course strikes the right balance between traditional and contemporary chemistry, and is sufficiently challenging to provide an excellent platform for A-level. The course allows students to have the choice between combined science or separate science, both of which can be used as a platform to A-level. Students learn the basic principles of chemistry through a mix of theoretical and practical studies and, although there is no coursework, the practical skills of the students are assessed in written papers. Study during Years 9–11 develops the students scientific enquiry skills; their ability to explain changes observed at macro and microscopic level, the capacity to interpret and critically assess others’ interpretations, and their dexterity in practical work.
We are fortunate to have four state of the art chemistry laboratories which are fully stocked with laboratory equipment. Practical work is supported by an experienced laboratory technician and dedicated preparation room. Each laboratory has an interactive projector, visualiser and plenty of whiteboard space. Class sets of laptops and iPads are also available for use when required.
The GCSE chemistry course by Edexcel will be taught by a subject expert in one of our dedicated chemistry laboratories. In both separate science and combined science routes students will have at least one double lesson of 80 minutes per week which normally is devoted to practical work. Our enthusiastic teachers aim to foster an awareness not only of the vast number of applications of chemistry but also the economic, moral and social implications of the subject.
Students are encouraged to attend enrichment lectures and events that are organised throughout the year including GCSE Science Live in Oxford. Further opportunity for project work is provided by the CREST scheme for Year 9 and 10 and the RSC Top of the bench team competition.