'Facts are the air of scientists; without them you can never fly
Linus Carl Pauling ( Winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1954 )
Pupils study chemistry topics in year 7 as part of an integrated science programme. In year 8 they study chemistry as a separate subject prior to embarking on the IGCSE course of study in year 9. At IGCSE the Edexcel Specification is followed.
Chemistry is a practical subject and pupils regularly carry out experiments to both support and enhance their learning experience. Pupils are encouraged to think deeply and extend their knowledge whenever possible. Topics covered in year 9 are: States of matter, The Reactivity Series, metals and their uses, the atmosphere, atomic structure and tests for ions and gases. Pupils widen their knowledge base in year 10 by studying topics which include: bonding and structure, organic chemistry, rates of reaction, chemical quantities, the Periodic Table and acids, alkalis and salts. The topics covered in year 11 are: equilibria and industrial chemistry, electrolysis and energetics.
Away from the classroom, selected year 8 pupils attend a Salters' Festival of Chemistry. Pupils in years 9 to 11 have the opportunity to compete in the Royal Society of Chemistry Top of the Bench competition each year. Selected year 10 pupils are nominated to attend a Salters' Chemistry Camp.
AS and A2 chemistry is a popular choice at Chigwell where, as at IGCSE, the Edexcel specification is followed. Pupils study topics in physical, inorganic and organic chemistry.
Once again, practical work forms a central and important part of the course. It gives students the opportunity to discover different aspects of chemistry in addition to gaining experience in the safe handling of chemicals and apparatus. The assessment of experimental skills takes place as part of both the AS and A2 courses.
There are many opportunities for pupils to develop a real interest in the subject beyond the specification requirements and we strongly promote independent thinking and learning. In addition to the events referred to above, pupils are encouraged to take part in the Chemistry Olympiad, the Schools’ Analyst Competition and attend lectures and workshops. They are also encouraged to join ChemNet, the student arm of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Tracey Martin, Head of Chemistry