Head of Department:
Miss K Edgar
Miss E Green
Dr S Collins
Mr N Purvis
Mrs K Yeates
Mr J Maguire
Why Study Chemistry?
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.
To stimulate and maintain an interest in Chemistry
To provide a coherent educational experience
To encourage application of knowledge in Chemistry
To develop safe practical skills in Chemistry
To develop communication skills
To develop integrity, objectivity, enquiry, initiative, inventiveness, accuracy and precision
To promote environmental awareness
To enable pupils to interpret, organise and evaluate data
To promote an understanding of socio-economic, cultural, ethical and technological factors in our world today
Pupils study the CCEA Chemistry specification. This specification consists of three units:
Unit 1: Structures, trends, chemical reactions and analysis
Unit 2: Further chemical reactions, organic chemistry and materials
Unit 3: Practical skills
Units 1 and 2 are externally assessed written examinations consisting of a number of compulsory structured questions that provide opportunities for short answers, extended writing and calculations. Unit 3 is an externally assessed practical skills unit in two parts: Booklet A and Booklet B. Booklet A has two practical tasks based on the prescribed practicals. Booklet B is a timetabled, externally assessed exam taken at the end of the final year of study. It consists of questions about planning and carrying out any of the prescribed practicals, as well as more general questions about any practical situation that arises from the specification.
A-level Chemistry builds upon the knowledge gained at GCSE but goes much further revealing some significant simplifications taught at GCSE. It contains a slightly greater level of mathematical content and overlaps with some topics taught in physics. By taking chemistry you develop some very useful skills that can be applied well outside of the subject discipline; these include problem solving, numeracy, practical skills as well as developing a broad scientific background. As a result it's a highly respected and useful qualification for higher education and employment in a wide range of areas.
Pupils study the CCEA GCE Chemistry specification. This specification encourages students to:
develop their interest in and enthusiasm for chemistry (including an interest in further study and/or chemistry-related careers)
appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society
develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works
develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other
Doing an A level in chemistry can open so many doors for you in the future. It is seen, and quite rightly so, as a challenging, academic and rigorous A level that will impress a lot of universities/employers.
Doing A level chemistry can lead to many careers in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry but is also extremely useful in careers in the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology and analytical chemistry.
Possible career and course options include: medicine, pharmacy, veterinary science, chemistry, biochemistry, food science/nutrition, forensic science, biological/engineering careers, optical management, optometry, microbiology, natural sciences, pharmacology, software engineering and physiology. Careers and courses that find chemistry desirable include food technology, nursing, physiotherapy, radiography, paramedical courses, law and zoology.