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Entry Criteria

  • Average Point Score: 6.0
  • English Language GCSE Grade 4
  • Mathematics GCSE Grade 6
  • Grade 6/6 in GCSE Combined Science or a Grade 6 in GCSE Chemistry

Teaching Staff

  • Mr Raynerd
  • Mr Leyland
  • Mrs Anwar
  • Mrs Creelman
  • Mr Ross
Chemistry is a hard subject, but this is exactly why it is worth studying: it will challenge you and make you think. If you don’t enjoy using your brain then Chemistry is not the subject for you!

Chemistry at A Level is both wide ranging and in-depth. In lessons there is only time to cover the main concepts and ideas using examples that work well in both theory and practice. It is up to you to thoroughly learn the work you have been taught, then broaden your knowledge independently by reading round the subject and studying past papers to apply your knowledge to new and unfamiliar situations.

There is a considerable amount of practical work but this is very different from practical work done in Key Stages 3 and 4. There is a lot of quantitative work and organic synthesis; this may include, for example, making dyes, synthesising aspirin, and isolating naturally occurring flavourings. The skills developed in this area are assessed through practicals during the course.

Chemistry combines really well with Biology, Geography, Maths, Physics and many more!

Besides preparing students for Chemistry courses in higher education, this course is invaluable in the study of related subjects such as Biology, Geography, Geology and Environmental Sciences.

The study of Chemistry at A Level is essential for students wishing to pursue a career in Dentistry, Medicine or the Veterinary Sciences. Chemistry is a very versatile subject and many students use it to go on and study unrelated subjects at university such as Law. Every year students with an A Level in Chemistry go on to study at some of the very best universities.

What do our students say about Chemistry?

As Crompton House's Head Girl, Ella balanced her A Level work with representing us at events both in school and in the local community.

My favourite thing about A Level Chemistry is the range of topics covered. Physical, organic and inorganic chemistry are all very different to each other which keeps it interesting.
At the start of Year 12, I wish I had known that everyone would find Chemistry difficult at the start of Year 12! It takes some getting used to compared with GCSE Chemistry, but if you stick with it then it will be worth it. I would definitely recommend making sure you understand everything as you go along and ask your teacher for help if needed. Some topics are difficult and link together, so speaking to your teacher is important if you are stuck.
My other subjects were Biology and Physics, I also did an EPQ looking at proton beam therapy and its use in paediatric cancer treatment. In September I’m going to study Medicine at uni. A Level Chemistry is a compulsory subject to apply for Medicine, but I hope that my A Level knowledge will be a good foundation for what I will learn.

My favourite thing about studying Chemistry was being able to see and learn about the real life applications of the topics we were studying. It really helped me to make sense of things and made it feel almost more real than some of the other subjects I studied. There was also a much wider variety of topics than I was expecting, some of which incorporated the other sciences as well so there was something for everyone.

At the start of Year 12, I wish I knew just how many calculation questions I was letting myself in for! There were a lot more maths-based questions than I was expecting and I learned quite quickly that past paper questions are your best friend in Chemistry.

I would advise all Year 12 students to ask any questions you have even if you think they sound stupid, and don’t just ask your teachers but ask friends and other students too. It’s so much easier to get a proper understanding of a topic from the beginning rather than discovering gaps in your knowledge later and trying to fill them in, especially when you get to some of the later topics in Year 13 that rely on sound knowledge from Year 12 topics.

Aside from Chemistry, I studied Biology and Maths – these all overlapped really well and were a good combination, especially for what I wanted to do in the future.

Since leaving Crompton House, I’ve taken a gap year before going to Vet School, and have been working at an alpaca farm. I’ve also been doing loads of online courses on topics that will be relevant to my degree, most of which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I didn’t have the knowledge that studying Chemistry at A Level has given me.

During her Gap Year before she goes to study Veterinary Science in Edinburgh Isobel has gained all kinds of work experience, including working on an alpaca farm!