Pupils and staff enjoy working in a beautifully designed, state-of-the-art, fully networked and excellently resourced teaching facility. Laboratories are individually designed, flexible in arrangement and provide excellent and comfortable environments in which pupils can investigate, discover, learn and be taught about the wonders and application of chemistry.  The Department is proud of all its pupils and believes strongly in catering to the highest standards for their education and their enjoyment of the subject.  Staff are enthusiastic and lessons are viewed as a partnership between teacher and pupils.  Lessons are dynamic, interactive, academically challenging and engaging, nurturing, creative and fun, and a wide variety of teaching and learning styles, methods, activities and up-to-date equipment and electronic resources to suit the needs and learning style of the individual pupil are employed.  Pupils are challenged and stimulated in ways that develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, Chemistry. 

Practical and investigative work is a strong feature in our teaching.  Pupils are taught to use sophisticated pieces of equipment at an early age and to make and interpret accurate and reliable measurements and observations. 

Incorporation of ICT within teaching, learning and experimental work also features highly.  This, coupled with an emphasis on practical work and excellent teaching, enables each pupil to develop a strong understanding in each topic.  We take and relate chemistry to the outside world and bring the outside world into our pupil learning programmes.  Our aims and objectives can be summarised as:

  • Challenge and stimulate our pupils and develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, Chemistry.
  • to develop breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in Chemistry, beyond examination specifications, and relate this across other disciplines, to events and systems in the world outside and to new achievements and discoveries.
  • to offer additional opportunities for pupils to advance their involvement, knowledge and understanding in the subject.
  • to provide opportunities for the gifted and talented, for all pupils to be stretched and challenged, and for pupils to be nurtured, as and when required.
  • to encourage our students to think and communicate logically and synoptically, with appropriate terminology, and develop their powers of analysis.
  • to train our pupils in practical techniques and expose pupils to sophisticated items of equipment as early as possible,
  • to develop pupil use of ICT within the subject and develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods.
  • to promote pupil achievement through publicity and establish pupil links with external organisations and events.

Chemistry is a popular subject throughout the school.  The Department has an enviable record of value added achievement at both GCSE, A-level and IBDP.  Pupils undertake a foundation course in Year 7 and 8 based on the National Curriculum and Common Entrance.  Pupils commence their (I)GCSE studies at the beginning of Year 9 and late arrivals to the school are catered for through additional catch-up instruction out of lesson time.  All pupils follow a core science programme and in Year 10 pupils branch off and study towards one of the IGCSE or GCSE courses.

From Year 7, pupils are streamed into Sets according to ability and are taught in relatively small groups.   Between them, teaching staff have a wealth of chemistry teaching, research, international, industrial and SEN experience between them.   Pupils in Year 7 - 9 receive two lessons a week in chemistry, which increases to three per week in Years 10 and 11.   In the sixth form each pupil is taught by two subject specialists. A-level pupils are taught for eight periods a week and Standard Level and Higher Level IB students are taught for five and seven periods per week, respectively.

Facilities Available

The Chemistry Department is accommodated on the first floor of the Wessex Science Centre. Teaching takes place in two specialised, laboratories and in two multi-science laboratories, each of which is light, airy and individually designed. Furniture in the former is moveable to create different learning environments and all rooms have separate experimental work stations and dry research areas. Laboratories are also equipped with digital projection and coupled interactive whiteboard resources, networked computing and Wi-Fi facilities, access to the latest state-of-the-art animation and simulation computer software and the latest other digital resource platforms, Bluetooth data logging, and mobile fume cupboard extraction, a wealth of general and specialised items of apparatus and equipment, modelling resources, sensors, and abundant mains and internet points. Practical work and chemical and material storage is supported by a centrally located, purpose built Preparation Room and specialist store rooms. A comprehensively equipped and Staff Work Room and Resources Room is also centrally located on the first floor of the Science Centre and the Chemistry Department has access to a networked reprographic facility on the ground floor. Impressive facilities provided within the Chemistry Department deliver the best in student education in the sciences.

Examination boards

  • Edexcel GCSE: Chemistry (1CH0)
  • Edexcel GCSE: Combined Science (1SC0)
  • Edexcel A Level Chemistry (9CH0)
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (HL and SL Chemistry offered) 

Chemistry clinics and examination support workshops are held frequently, and weekly as pupils approach examinations.  

Co-Curricular Activities

  • Open Morning cross-curricular events
  • Warminster Science Fortnight
  • Visiting lecturers - academia, industry, european
  • Curriculum enrichment activities
  • bridging projects and outreach programmes with feeder schools
  • CREST Award programme
  • STEM club
  • Smallpiece Trust courses
  • Weird Science Club
  • Cross-curricular teaching topics
  • Forensic Science workshops and competitions