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 offers many workshops, challenges and Olympiads.
We follow 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.
Chemistry is a popular choice at A Level, with a large proportion of pupils going on to study Chemistry and Chemistry related courses at Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities. We have followed the Edexcel syllabus in recent years but from September 2020 we will switch to the AQA A Level course, coming into line with Biology and Physics. The course will inspire pupils, nurture their passion for the subject and lay the foundations for further study and the workplace. The course is structured as a two year linear course that extends and develops the ideas encountered in GCSE Chemistry.
The course is divided into three disciplines:
Physical chemistry topics:
atomic structure, amount of substance, bonding, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibria, redox and electrode potentials.
Inorganic chemistry topics:
groups 2 and 7, periodicity, transition metals and reactions of ions in aqueous solution.
Organic chemistry topics:
functional group chemistry, mechanisms, isomerism, polymers, proteins and DNA, organic synthesis and analysis.
Chemistry at Advanced A 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 that include Natural Sciences, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Agriculture, Biosciences, Pharmacology, Chemical Engineering, Materials Sciences as well as Chemistry. Chemistry graduates enter many disciplines and a degree in Chemistry is a qualification that is highly regarded in today’s world: technically adept individuals, problem solvers, numerate individuals and those that can deal with complex and challenging ideas remain essential to our rapidly developing society. To enrich even further, the Chemistry in Action Conference, Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and the RSC Chemistry Olympiad are all available to our pupils.