Mention the word "chemist" and many people immediately conjure up the traditional image of a male scientist, working away in a laboratory in their white coats and safety spectacles!
Chemistry certainly does not have to be like this - there are many career paths using chemistry from which you can choose. Chemistry is the study of the substances found all around and even inside us. Studying chemistry opens your eyes to the multitude of reactions which affect our daily lives without us even realising. With the periodic table as your handy guide it allows you to unlock the secrets of the atom, to explain why sodium reacts violently with water, why chlorine is highly poisonous, but sodium chloride merely makes your dinner tastier. Taken further, your study of chemistry can lead you towards a huge variety of exciting careers including: medicine, veterinary science, environmental chemistry, forensic science, cosmetic chemistry and science writing. Become a pharmaceutical chemist and you could be producing new medicines which save people's lives.
Although our chemistry course broadly follows the national curriculum at Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9), the emphasis is on a colourful (and sometimes noisy) theory and practical work which will keep you fascinated. From year 7, we teach you to develop skills of safety, confidence and an awareness of the world around you which will be useful for years to come. The aim is to provide a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding on which the GCSE course can build. Chemistry is taught separately by subject specialists throughout.
At GCSE we follow the AQA chemistry specification complete with exciting, up to date resources and schemes of work. The course incorporates traditional aspects of chemistry such as atomic structure, as well as addressing some of the more current issues that are challenging humanity including global warming and sustainable use of materials.
The AQA chemistry course taught at AS and ALevel builds upon what you have learnt at GCSE. Topics such as the atom are studied at greater depth and provide you with a solid grounding in foundation chemistry. A carefully balanced course including hands on practicals, theory and data analysis allows you to study topics such as: kinetics, energetics, redox reactions and organic chemistry. You will also be provided with the opportunity to take part in the UK Chemistry Olympiad, the winners of which go on to represent their country at the International Chemistry Olympiad.