Chemistry is the central Science and has links to both Biology and Physics. The Chemistry Department at Pangbourne aims to encourage as many able students as possible to study the subject at A Level and then at university.
Chemistry is also an essential entry requirement for a wide range of university courses, such as Medicine and Veterinary Science, while also considered highly beneficial to many other courses. Chemistry has been at the fulcrum of many pioneering scientific methods and students need to be able to assess the benefits, costs and ethics of such work.
The Department engages in many practical experiments and also develops students' spatial imagination, logic and grammar.
Topics studied at GCSE level (following the AQA board) and A Level (following the Edexcel board) include atomic structure, bonding, energetics, rates of reaction, the periodic table and the earth's atmosphere. New topics have been included in the GCSE, such as alternative mining methods and both natural and synthetic polymers.
The topics are broadly similar at GCSE and A Level, with the level of understanding and analysis, and especially mathematical skills, broadened in the Sixth Form.
Further topics in the Sixth Form include a study of entropy, drug design, analytical techniques including proton and C-13 NMR, as well as an in-depth look at the transition metals.
Mr Robert Pickett - Head of Chemistry
MA Natural Sciences, St John's College, University of Oxford
Mrs Nicky John - Teacher of Science, Housemistress of Illawarra, Head of PSHCE
BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, Swansea University and Independent PGCE, University of Buckingham
Dr Beth Reynaert - Teacher of Chemistry, Head of Teacher Development
PhD Biochemistry, University of London, BSc Applied Biology, Cardiff University and PGCE Secondary Science, University of Reading
Mrs Deirdre Adams - Chemistry Technician