Bolton School Senior Boys


Pupils are taught Chemistry from Year 8. At the end of Year 10 the majority study 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 information about Sir Harry and his career.

Extra-curricular chemistry is strong. A Science Club meets weekly. The emphasis is firmly on enjoyment through further practical experience. Visits to outside lectures are also organised and school hosts the annual Royal Society of Chemistry's Christmas Lecture which Year 9 attends.

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 Salter's Festival of Science and the Royal Society of Chemistry's local Chemquiz. The team that won the local competition went on to become national champions in the Top of the Bench competition in 2017. Teams have also competed in the Young Analyst competition, finishing runners-up in 2018 and 2019.

Senior teams have competed in the Nuffield Curriculum Project. This is a competition based upon proficiency in analytical measurement. Our brightest Year 12 pupils enter the annual Cambridge Chemistry Challenge (C3L6) and those in Year 13 enter the annual international Chemistry Olympiad competition; in 2019 two pupils gained gold medals in the Olympiad.

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
Miss E A Bramall, MChem
Dr R L Kell, MSc, PhD
Mr N J Spooner, BSc
Dr I K Tranter, BSc PhD
Dr K L Turner, MChem, PhD 
J Williams, BSc


Sir Harry Kroto, the Nobel Prize winning chemist, was a former pupil of the School

Sir Harry Kroto, the Nobel Prize winning chemist, was a former pupil of the School

Boys Division Chemistry student in lab
Boys ChemQuiz winning team

Boys' ChemQuiz winning team