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The Subject

Chemistry at Collingham is a rewarding academic experience, developing both theoretical understanding and practical experimental skills in a successful, vibrant department.  

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of matter. It looks at the structures of molecules that comprise all matter, and the fundamental principles which define the appearance, behaviour and changes that molecules undergo. Molecules may be large or small, simple or complex, short-lived or inert, life-saving or fatal…. Some are even beautiful. As the Royal Society of Chemistry asserts, "Chemistry is everything", from the microscopic world of atoms and molecules to the macroscopic world of stars and galaxies.

Chemistry is pivotal to Science. It links with Physics to understand the fundamental chemical and physical processes in our universe and with Biological Sciences to understand the processes of life itself. The study of Chemistry can lead to a wide range of careers, from Medicine and Pharmaceuticals to the manufacturing industries, to the protection and destruction of our environment and even to the Arts, for instance art restoration or science fiction and crime novels. Chemistry also gives access to Engineering, Forensic Science, Agricultural Studies, Accountancy and even Journalism. 

The Course

The new A level on the Edexcel Board has four papers:

  • Paper 1 - Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  • Paper 2 - Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry
  • Paper 3 - General and Practical Principles in Chemistry
  • Paper 4 - Science Practical Endorsement.

All papers may include multiple Choice, short open, open-response, calculations and extended writing questions. Papers 3 and 4 will include questions which assess conceptual and theoretical understanding of experimental methods as well as particular laboratory skill. The questions will draw on students' experiences of a set of sixteen core practicals identified in the specification by Edexcel and a minimum of twelve must be carried out by students during the course. The students' practical competency will be reported by Edexcel on Paper 4.

Chemistry provides students with a range of skills, at the centre of which is the logical and critical analysis of any problem. Learning and problem-solving take place within a stimulating academic environment. The course makes available to the student the factual knowledge required for the subject and discusses its underlying principles and theories in a form which always encourages the students to think for themselves.

All lessons are carefully planned and delivered in a format that is the one most appropriate for meeting the scientific needs of the particular group and its individual members. Laboratory work is judiciously chosen to extend the students’ understanding of theory as well as developing their practical skills; this is in conjunction with the minimum of twelve of the sixteen core practicals specified by Edexcel. The Chemistry laboratory is extensively equipped and fully supported by trained technicians. It has its own extensive library of books, ranging from GCSE to university level, as well as broadband access on a PC.

Additional support comes in the form of subscriptions to scientific publications, namely The Chemistry Review, New Scientist and Scientific American, along with a comprehensive selection of scientific video material.  

Preferred Board: Edexcel

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