Chemistry touches almost every aspect of human life from such basics as food, fuel and clothing through to building materials, metallurgy, medicines, colour chemistry and forensic science. It is intellectual but also thoroughly practical. Experimental investigation is at the heart of the subject.
Chemistry is a compulsory subject in Years 9, 10 and 11 and the Cambridge IGCSE course is started in Year 9.
Students learn about balancing equations, atomic structure, the reactivity and properties of metals and how different metals are extracted from their ores. Organic Chemistry is introduced in Year 10 through the study of the properties and reactions of hydrocarbons. Further work in Year 11 deals with alcohols, carboxylic acids and polymers.
The emphasis of the IGCSE is a gaining of understanding of the basic principles underlying Chemistry. Students then have a strong basis for the further study of Chemistry if they wish to continue in the Sixth Form and a good general introduction to Chemistry and its relation to everyday life if they do not.
Students opting to take the course in Year 12 follow the Cambridge A level syllabus. We offer AS and A2 Chemistry in the sixth form with students enjoying the more challenging areas of the subject.?Given practical work in the subject is extensive, St Andrew’s has two fully equipped labs and two full time technicians to help students develop a range of investigation skills.
Students study atoms, molecules, stoichiometry, atomic structure, chemical bonding, electrochemistry, equilibria, reaction kinetics, inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry. Applications of chemistry are considered as well as design and material. There is a strong emphasis on “how Science works” in the real world.
Assessment is by means of both practical and theory examinations. An A level in Chemistry is widely appreciated by universities and is particularly useful for students studying Medicine, Chemistry, Biological Sciences and Engineering.