At Mill Hill, Chemistry, like all the sciences, is taught as a separate subject from Year 9. It is compulsory until the end of year 11, and around 50 pupils study Chemistry to Advanced level. Chemistry is taught almost exclusively in specialist laboratories, a practice which allows continued emphasis on the practical nature of the subject through teacher demonstrations and, predominantly, through the medium of class practical work. The department is housed in a suite of purpose built laboratories. There are currently three fully equipped laboratories and one lecture style laboratory.
Years 9, 10 & 11
Chemistry leads to a GCSE at the end of Year 11. The Chemistry Department follows the AQA Chemistry specification which is one of a suite of three science specifications used by the Science Department at Mill Hill. The course develops an increasingly sophisticated theoretical understanding of the subject while continuing to emphasise the practical basis of the subject and its vital contribution to contemporary society.
The Sixth Form
Mill Hill follows the Edexcel syllabus which is traditional in style, but offers ample opportunity for experimental work. The AS and A2 courses extend and develop the ideas of GCSE Chemistry introducing more modern concepts such as atomic and molecular orbitals and treating reactivity on the basis of understanding simple thermodynamics.
The courses are each divided into three modules, all self-contained with clear learning objectives. The emphasis of the syllabus is on the relevance of the subject to everyday life and it is therefore an interesting and dynamic course for pupils to study. Assessment is by terminal examination (80%) and practical coursework (20%). The A2 course is a more advanced treatment of the ideas studied at AS, building on earlier concepts. The structure of content and assessment in A2 is similar to that in the AS. The results at AS and A2 combined give the overall Advanced level grade.
After Advanced Level
Chemistry at Advanced GCE Level is a prerequisite for many courses at university and for many areas of employment. It is also a long-established and respected qualification that allows progression into a number of subjects at university including Chemistry itself, Natural Sciences, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Agriculture, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering and related subjects. However, Chemistry graduates enter many disciplines. A degree in Chemistry is a qualification that is highly regarded in today’s world; technically adept individuals remain essential to our rapidly developing society and chemists find careers in law, finance and computing as well as areas which use the degree directly.