Chemistry is taught to GCSE as a separate subject to all boys from the Upper 4th year onwards. The course focuses on the study of: metals, Earth materials, structure and bonding, acids and bases, The Periodic Table, organic chemicals, chemical reactions and rates of reaction.
We aim to develop understanding and knowledge of chemistry through practical investigations. Consequently, practical work is an integral part of the course, most of it undertaken by the pupils themselves. Strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of manipulative, observational and analysis skills. Pupils are encouraged to interpret results themselves and express their opinions.
Internal assessment takes the form of Practical Skills Assessment (PSA) and Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA). The PSA is an ongoing assessment throughout the course. The ISA is in two stages, both carried out under controlled conditions. The first stage is the acquisition of results, the second stage is the analysis and evaluation of data. These assessments contribute 25% of the final GCSE mark. The remainder is assessed by written examination.
At AS and A2 level the strong emphasis on practical investigation continues. In organic and inorganic Chemistry topics the syllabus material evolves mainly from individual class practical work. In physical Chemistry a rather more formal teaching approach is adopted, but principles are illustrated by class experimental work wherever possible. Assessment of practical skills contributes 15% of the total AS marks and 12.5% of the total A2 marks. This takes the form of a practical examination in the Summer of both years. The remainder is assessed by written examination. The boys sit one module in January of the AS level and two modules in the Summer. The three A2 level modules are sat in the Summer.
There are 4 specialised wet and dry laboratories in the department, offering excellent facilities for developing theoretical and practical skills. Each laboratory has its own interactive white board and data projector. There is also a General Science laboratory.
Head of Department (Chemistry) - Mr G.B.Callan - firstname.lastname@example.org