Department Head

Mr C Shortman

Teaching Staff

Dr R Grime
Mrs D Caldwell
Mr J Highton


Mrs J Cresswell
Dr K Piggott

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We aim to give pupils a thorough grounding in the distinctive concepts, principles and applications of chemistry while also conveying the excitement and fascination found within the chemical world.

Meet teacher of chemistry, Dr Grime, and enjoy a tour of the department. Watch what he does with the head of a Jelly Baby!

We aim to make pupils aware that the applications of chemistry may be both beneficial and detrimental to the individual, the community and the environment. This informs our students to become confident citizens in an increasingly technological world and able to take an informed interest in matters relating to chemistry.

We view chemistry as an experimental science. We believe, therefore, in a rich diet of experimental and demonstration work designed to stimulate curiosity and in interest in methods of enquiry.

We are proud of the long-standing popularity and success of chemistry within the school and aim to maintain this tradition through the quality of the educational experience we provide.

Summary of Subject Content

Lower School (KS3)

Year 7: Pupils are taught science by one teacher, with a particular focus on the development of scientific method and skills. Specific chemistry units taught are: Particle theory 1, Solutions, Acids and Earth Science.

Year 8: Pupils are taught the three sciences separately from Y8 onwards. Units taught are: Elements, compounds & mixtures, Chemical Reactions 1 and Separating mixtures

Year 9: The KS3 course is concluded In the first term of Y9. Units taught are: Chemical Reactions 2 and Particle theory 2. From January of Y9, we start teaching GCSE.

Upper School (KS4/GCSE)

All students start GCSE Chemistry in January of Y9, continuing until the end of Y11. A few students each year may take GCSE Combined Science rather than the three separate sciences.

Specification:  AQA GCSE Chemistry 8462

Lower and Upper Sixth (A Level)

Over half the sixth form study A Level chemistry and each teaching group is taught by two teachers.

Specification:  AQA A Level Chemistry 7405

A Level: All students take three examinations. They are also assessed separately for the practical endorsement.

Sixth Form Induction: This is the work we ask students to complete over the summer before starting in September of the Lower Sixth. It is designed to ease the transition from GCSE to A Level.

Induction Booklet - Chemistry

Induction Booklet - weblinks

Additional Information


The chemistry department won ten Good Schools Guide awards in the last 10 years. These awards were based on value added data.

Career Opportunities of Subject

A wide range of careers require an A level in chemistry, including careers in medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, the chemical industry, forensics, food science, pharmacy, biology and chemical engineering. The chemical industry is vital to the UK’s economy and is a major employer in the UK, with people working in research chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, management, sales and marketing.