Chemistry, the science that can excite you before your very eyes from fireworks to colour changes.
However, Chemistry is more than just a show subject. Understanding how the world around us works will enable our children to make the correct decisions when faced by environmental problems in the future. Be it working hard to preserve resources or inventing the newest materials, like graphene; the future needs our children to be fully informed.
Chemistry at Key Stage 3
At KS3, a certain number of traditional investigations are performed... magnesium in vinegar, iron nails in copper sulphate solution but occasionally we can explore the possibilities of slime production or the separation of curds from whey in milk in order to made a casein glue. These can be exciting, even without the chance of an explosion but the real buzz in chemistry occurs when the mysteries could be resolved and the formulation of credible explanations begin. We do commence to investigate the riddles of the Periodic Table. Harry Potter is not destroyed but placed into a format that can be utilised.
Chemistry at Key Stages 4 and 5
In Key Stage 4 we study the Edexcel IGCSE. With a varied approach including the ability to get hands on with practical experiments Chemistry is introduced through four main areas. These are the Principles of Chemistry, Inorganic, Physical and Organic. Students are able to look at the structure and properties of everyday objects, begin to understand the complexity of natural compounds linked to life and make predictions about the way in which chemicals might react. In addition, we touch on contemporary issues of the day from Global Warming to Plastic.
We have many students who choose Chemistry at Key Stage 5 with the sole ambition of pursuing medical careers. There have been numerous who have successfully achieved this goal and we salute their skills, dedication and application. Many other students though, venture along different pathways. Chemistry at Advanced level can be very exciting especially given the luxury of extremely small groups. This creates the possibility and opportunity for flexible teaching of a highly specified curriculum. Students study the Edexcel International A Level, taking modular exams throughout the two years. The topics studied all for a greater look into the areas of Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. Not only do students gain a greater insight to how substances behave but also how chemists can manipulate them. Science has changed a great deal from chance discoveries to a world in which chemicals can be produced for specific purposes. All the while students develop a thorough practical experience through the 12 minimum required practical experiments.