Bolton School Sixth Form Boys


Why Study Chemistry at Bolton School?

The Chemistry department has a tradition of achieving outstanding results:

  • Average of 80% grade A*, A and B at A-Level over past 8 years
  • 72 A*s at A-Level in the past 8 years
  • Past winner of the Good Schools Guide Award for Best Independent School for A-Level Chemistry
  • Two teachers have current examining experience 

Chemistry is a practically based subject. We offer an extensive range of practicals – typically one per week (do check what our competitors offer as I’m confident it will be fewer and in some cases significantly less!). To support us we have two full time chemistry technicians. 

Our small set sizes of average 8.5 pupils/set (Year 12: 7.6, Year 13: 10) ensure all experiments are usually carried out on an individual basis and that our experienced team of teachers are able to provide support. 

The department is involved in a number of extra-curricular activities. At Sixth Form level these include taking part in:

  • Royal of Society Chemistry Olympiad – average one Gold medal per year over past 12 years
  • Cambridge Chemistry Challenge (written test for Year 12 pupils)
  • Young Analyst competition (practical competition for Year 12 pupils)

What will I study?

Advanced level Chemistry is a very popular subject at Bolton School and is studied by large numbers of students (68 students across the Sixth Form). It is a rewarding academic discipline as well as a fundamental science important for all students wishing to embark upon any scientific career.

The Advanced level Chemistry specification is new from September 2015.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will be through three 2-hour examinations at the end of Year 13.  Practical skills are a compulsory requirement of the course of study and will be assessed in all written papers.  In addition, a practical endorsement will appear on all students’ certificate as a separately reported result, alongside the overall A-Level grade for the qualification. 

Desirable requirements

Good results at A level Chemistry, as in all other subjects, will only be achieved through a combination of hard work coupled with a reasonable amount of natural ability. Co-operation between individual students and the experienced teaching staff is encouraged and is essential for success at a high level. Motivation is important, but the demands of the subject indicate that any student wishing to study A level Chemistry should be capable of achieving at least level 7.7 in a dual award science course.

Where will it lead?

Each year a number of students elect to study Chemistry at university (for which they may also be required to take an A-Level in Mathematics). For others, a top grade in Advanced level Chemistry provides an essential entry qualification for veterinary science, medicine or dentistry. Engineers, biologists, food scientists, accountants and lawyers to name but a few, are happy to accept A-Level Chemistry as an entry qualification to a degree course.