Academic

Teaching Departments

Chemistry

Monmouth Girls ChemistryOur lives are transformed by discoveries made in chemistry. From polymers such as nylon and Teflon, to penicillin and ibuprofen, they all contribute to maintaining our standard of life. Chemistry aims to explain the properties of substances in terms of the particles they are made of. You will learn fundamental theory, including ideas about the structure of atoms. Your learning will also be supported by exciting laboratory work. You will learn problem solving, teamwork, independent thinking and become an effective communicator. If you want to know more about the earth’s resources, and about life itself, Chemistry will appeal to you.

Year 9 and IGCSE

Chemistry is taught exclusively in well-equipped specialist laboratories. This allows continued emphasis on the practical nature of the subject, through the medium of class practical work. We follow the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry course (International GCSE) and girls can choose either the Triple Award or Double Award route. Studies for the IGCSE begin in Year 9 to give the pupils a firm foundation for the remaining Key Stage 4 years. The course develops an increasingly sophisticated theoretical understanding of the subject, while continuing to emphasise its practical basis and its vital contribution to contemporary society. The specification for the IGCSE Chemistry course can be found at www.edexcel.org.uk/

The girls enjoy the rigorous nature of the programme, which is recognised as an excellent foundation for the A level science courses.

A level

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is a challenging A level, which complements the other science subjects well. It can also be studied as a contrast to arts and humanities subjects. It is excellent preparation and a requirement for some university courses. Students go on to study a wide variety of disciplines, including engineering, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biochemistry, maths and economics.

The course followed is based on the AQA A level syllabus and consists of the three strands spread over two years. Two teachers teach each set to provide variety and to allow flexibility in practical and theoretical topics. In Year 12 Physical and Organic Chemistry will be taught in parallel, with the Inorganic Chemistry split after that. In the more advanced Year 13 courses, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry are taught in parallel and the Physical Chemistry is split.

The approach is to teach through practical work wherever possible; each exam paper will contain some practical techniques assessment, so development of practical awareness and confidence is an important part of all three strands.
You will be provided with in-house revision booklets and material in addition to standard text books and revision books. You will also have a book targeted at bridging the gap between GCSE and A level.

We have a highly qualified set of teachers who not only aim for exam success but also to produce confident, communicative, practical scientists. The considerable popularity of chemistry at A level in the Monmouth Schools shows the success of this philosophy with our students.

Head of Department: Mrs D Clarke


Course content

Board: AQA   A level Syllabus Code: 7405

The A level has three strands:

  1. Physical Chemistry – fundamental principles of Chemistry and their application from qualitative and quantitative viewpoints.
  2.  Inorganic Chemistry – the Periodic Table, Main Group and Transition Metal Chemistry.
  3. Organic Chemistry – Chemistry and analysis of carbon-based molecules from Alkanes and Alkenes through to Benzene, Polymers and Amino Acids.

Method of assessment

Paper 1 (2 hours) 105 marks of short and longer answer questions.
This paper covers some Physical Chemistry and the Inorganic Chemistry

Paper 2 (2 hours) 105 marks of short and longer answer questions.
This paper covers some Physical Chemistry and the Organic Chemistry

Paper 3 (2 hours) 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis, 20marks of synoptic questions across the syllabus + 30 marks of multiple choice questions.

There is no practical coursework for the A level courses. There are a number of compulsory practicals which are included in the normal teaching schedule. All papers will contain some questions on practical skills relevant to the content of the paper.

Co-curricular

Activity

When?

Age group

Harris Scientific Society

Evenings

Year 12 + 13

Monmouth Science Initiative

Wednesday p.m.

Year 12 + 13

Engineering Education Scheme Wales

Lunchtimes and after school

Year 12

STEM Club

After school

Y 9-13

Monmouth Astronomical Society

First Tues evening of the month

All ages

British Physics Olympiad and Physics Challenge Competitions

Michaelmas term

March

Years 11-13

British Chemistry Olympiad and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge

Michaelmas term

Summer term

Years 11-13

Biology Challenge Competition

March

Years 9-10

British Biology Olympiad

January, March

Y13

National Science and Engineering Competition 

Lunchtimes and after school

All ages

Oxbridge and Russell group Biological & medical sciences discussion group

lunchtimes

Y11-12+13

Oxbridge Physics and Engineering

Lunchtimes after school

Y13

Astronomy Club

Lunchtime

All ages

Science Clubs

Lunchtime

Years 7 + 8-9

Faraday IET Competition

Lent term

Year 8

Chemistry Research Club

Sixth form Research Club

After school

Year 10-11

Year 12-13