The Chemistry 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 programme 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.
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 Chemistry department at Pangbourne also aims to equip pupils with the necessary skills and knowledge needed for further education. It is 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.