Chemistry is the study of the composition, the properties and the behaviour of matter. The principles of Chemistry underpin the study of other Sciences and, to this extent, Chemistry can be seen as the heart of the scientific approach. Advances in Chemistry have contributed to the worldwide growth in technology, and a deep understanding of the subject is a prerequisite for any rounded individual.
Chemistry is a popular choice at A-level. The subject is taught in two parallel sets in well-resourced specialised laboratories. There is plenty of scope for the most able to be stretched and developed, whilst for those who find the ideas more difficult to grasp, support in the form of clinics outside the normal school day are readily available. The course requires the study of both organic and inorganic Chemistry, and a good mastery of the course content of GCSE is a prerequisite for continued study.
The course is practical and challenges pupils to think carefully and critically, as well as requiring them to learn and master advanced principles.
The department’s objectives at A-level include:
- To develop pupils’ skills of independent learning
- To encourage pupils to think carefully and critically about scientific ideas and theories
- To hone practical skills
- To engage pupils in discussion, and to foster a long-term interest in Chemistry and in Science in general
The department boasts teachers who are all specialist graduate Chemists with research backgrounds. Their extremely high levels of subject mastery combine with wide-ranging teaching experience in a lively and enthusiastic department. Teaching combines a sympathetic understanding of the demanding nature of the subject with high and clear expectations of pupils. The course is enhanced by the department’s links with the nearby University of Kent which offers students a chance to see and to work with advanced laboratory equipment.