Ever wondered what was in that sandwich you ate for lunch? Or what is in your bottle of water as well as the water? Or what is in anything come to that? Chemistry will give you the opportunity to find out. By understanding about the properties of substances and how atoms can be joined together to make different things.
The GCSE course is designed both for students not studying the subject further and for those continuing to A Level. It involves a lot of practical work and pupils acquire knowledge and understanding of chemical patterns and principles which they learn to apply to familiar and unfamiliar situations. The course follows on naturally from Year 9 and the secret of success is keeping up-to-date, making the ideas easier to understand and remember. Pupils develop an appreciation of the scientific, social, economic, environmental and technological contributions of Chemistry and the range of topics covered is wide.
A Chemistry qualification at GCSE is essential for anyone considering further study in a whole range of scientific, medical and engineering fields, and leads on to a huge number of occupations from Art restorer to Zoologist.
Working out how and why substances behave and interact in the ways that they do can be quite demanding, but at the same time it is interesting and stimulating. You will have the chance to discuss and ask more questions about ideas covered only fairly superficially at GCSE and you will be expected to think and contribute intelligently during lessons. The subject is also very practical, and you may well find yourself burning magnesium in steam, constructing electrochemical cells and making your very own aspirin.
To do well at A Level you need a strong GCSE foundation and, for example, you will need to be comfortable writing chemical formulae and equations and doing calculations involving moles. You are not expected to be perfect at these to start with and time is spent helping you to get better and more confident with the related ideas, but it is important that anyone thinking of doing A Level realises the greater emphasis on working quantitatively.