An exciting, dynamic subject that studies the composition, behaviour and properties of matter.
Students learn about the elements of the Earth and its atmosphere; Chemistry explores the very building blocks of life.
At CHS, our aim is to challenge students, encourage analytical, objective and critical thinking and open their eyes to the wonders of Chemistry. We also want our students to have fun working in groups, exploring theories, observing chemical reactions and recording results in practical work.
The aim of the GCSE Chemistry course is to allow students to develop essential knowledge and understanding of the concepts of Chemistry, and the skills needed for the use of these in new and challenging situations. Students gain an understanding of the link between theory and experiment and become aware of how advances in ICT and instrumentation are used in Chemistry. The A Level course takes a more in depth approach to Organic, Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, and allows students to make connections between these three branches of the subject.
At GCSE we offer a Practical Chemistry Club that allows students to extend their skills and look at more advanced aspects of the subject. In Sixth Form we offer talks by external speakers and make use of the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge.
Lower Sixth Chemistry
Students are taught by two teachers with 9 hours of contact time per fortnight. One teacher covers amounts of substance and organic chemistry whilst the other picks up the inorganic and physical chemistry topics. There are regular tests to allow students to assess their own progress, culminating in the internal examination in June. All students have a lab book and are expected to keep this up to date so that the required practical competencies can be achieved.
Upper Sixth Chemistry
The contact time increases to 10 hours per fortnight with a continuation of organic chemistry input from one teacher whilst the other delivers the physical chemistry topics including acids and bases, equilibria, kinetics and thermodynamics. The course ends with the coverage of transition metal chemistry, electrode potentials and periodicity. We aim to finish the course by Easter to allow a summing up of ideas and a detailed preparation for the A-Level examinations in June, when Chemistry students will sit papers 1, 2 and 3.
In addition to the curriculum syllabus, students can take part in a variety of co-curricular Chemisty activities.
A practical extension club for Year 10 and 11 students who want to improve and extend their laboratory skills and push their understanding of theory up towards A-Level. We meet once a fortnight in Lab L2.3, where we have access to fume cupboards and vacuum lines. This year we have used Quickfit apparatus to perform organic practicals, investigated complex ions and done more open ended sessions to allow students to figure out a method for themselves. Students have been introduced to organic reaction mechanisms, oxidation states and the mathematical basis of pH.
This is a thriving club which is run by a Sixth Former under the guidance of Mr Chippendale. There are regular visits by speakers including current medical students, doctors and research scientists. Through the club students have also been involved in research run by The Christie and have visited the Molecular Imaging Institute in Withington.
To find out more about studying Chemistry, contact the Head Of Department via Parent Portal.