Pupils are taught Chemistry from Year 7. At the end of Year 9 they may choose to study two or three GCSEs in Science. The subject is very popular amongst the pupils, and recently between 40 and 60 pupils per year have studied the subject to A Level. The results are very good. In 2004, the Department achieved the Good Schools Guide Award for the Best Independent School for boys for Chemistry at A Level.
Studying chemistry at A Level enables pupils to access a wide variety of courses at university, ranging from medicine to engineering, and from optometry to criminology.
The School is particularly proud of Sir Harry Kroto, an old boy. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1996 for his discovery of Buckminsterfullerene, a third allotrope of carbon - click here for more details.
Extra-curricular chemistry is strong. A Chemistry Club runs for Sixth Form and Y11 throughout the year. A Science Club also meets weekly. The emphasis is firmly on enjoyment through further practical experience. Visits to outside lectures are also organised.
Pupils regularly represent the School in competitions and have gained a lot of success in recent years. Teams of students from Years 8 to 11 take part in the Royal Society of Chemistry's local Chemquiz and the Salter's Festival of Science. Teams have also competed in the Young Analyst competition, finishing runners-up in 2007 and winners in 2008. A Y11 pupil also finished as a runner-up in the national 2008 Five Decade Challenge, where pupils took Chemistry papers from the 1960s.
Senior teams have competed in the Nuffield Curriculum Project. This is a competition based upon proficiency in analytical measurement. Our brightest Year 13 pupils enter the annual international Chemistry Olympiad competition. In 2005 and 2008, pupils gained gold medals.
Recently, Sixth Form students have gone out into local Primary Schools and have helped run Science clubs.
Head of Department
Dr M Yates, BSc, PhD
Members of the Department
Dr S P Cooper, BSc, MSc, PhD
Mrs E M Greenhalgh, BSc
Dr R Lowton, MSc PhD
Dr K L Turner, MChem, PhD