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At St. Ambrose College, our aim is to foster an interest in Chemistry such that our boys appreciate the work of chemists in their quest for innovation, enhancement and improving efficiency; and thereby develop into well rounded chemists who can not only explain complex theoretical concepts, but can investigate them practically for themselves, “as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.” Ultimately we want all boys to consider pursuing further study or careers in STEM.

Our students will be able to analyse both qualitative and quantitative data and link this to explain concepts in both Biology and Physics. Teachers in the Chemistry department will develop student life skills and encourage them to act more responsibly and respectfully and show tolerance in their local community. Studying Chemistry provides students with a powerful knowledge that will enable them to understand and make informed choices on issues such as the use of different materials such as fossil fuels and plastics.

We aspire for our students to retain a sense of wonder about our vast and complex Universe. Future generations should be aware of how scientific and technological progress is changing the world, and to help the wider public understand it. “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”.

As a knowledge engaged curriculum we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. As a department we define the powerful knowledge our students need and help them recall it by providing knowledge organisers for each of the topics we teach. Each lesson begins with a quick quiz which helps the students to recall key knowledge from previous topics as well as from the previous lesson. Keywords are vital in Chemistry and are provided on each topic knowledge organiser in an unambiguous manner in order to allow students to recognise them.

key stage 4

The department consistently produces excellent results.  Chemistry is a very popular subject.

The study of Chemistry at GCSE provides the opportunity to further develop a knowledge and understanding of the principles which were studied at Key Stage 2.

How to succeed in Chemistry

You will need:

  • a great enthusiasm to learn and study Chemistry
  • a determination to succeed
  • to be extremely resilient and resourceful when your studies become very challenging
  • a very good understanding of mathematics
  • strong practical, analytical and thinking skills.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

Subject content:

  • 1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • 2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • 3. Quantitative chemistry
  • 4. Chemical changes
  • 5. Energy changes
  • 6. The rate and extent of chemical change
  • 7. Organic chemistry
  • 8. Chemical analysis
  • 9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • 10. Using resources

key stage 5

Why Study A Level Chemistry?

Again, the Sixth Form department consistently produces excellent results.

The study of Chemistry in the Sixth Form provides the opportunity to further develop a knowledge and understanding of the principles which were studied at GCSE. The AQA Syllabus is intended to be a natural extension of GCSE. The course encourages the development of an awareness of the huge impact that Science and Technology have on our society.

Chemistry is one of the most popular A Level choices with almost 80 boys currently studying A Level in the Upper and Lower Sixth. Chemistry is most often studied alongside two subjects chosen from Mathematics, Physics and Biology but some boys study Chemistry for example alongside other subjects from the arts and humanities.

Career Opportunities

An A Level in Chemistry is beneficial for almost any future career choice. The skills developed over the two years make a Chemistry A Level desirable, and in many cases obligatory, for the study of the many courses at Higher Education institutions including:

Biochemistry, Pharmacology; Genetics; Dentistry; Veterinary Science; Chemical Engineering; Pharmacy; Environmental Science; Geology; Materials Science; Polymer Science; Medicine and, of course, Chemistry itself.