Chemistry is an exciting and rapidly changing subject which is crucial to our understanding of many of today’s global issues, including energy, health, resources, environment and climate change.
It shapes the world around us as it covers topics ranging from quantum mechanics to planetary atmospheres, from making organic chemicals to producing medicinal drugs and from bonding in metals to the structures of synthetic and biological materials.
At Ashford School, experiment is central to our Chemistry curriculum. Through this, our students become critical thinkers who learn from experience and hopefully grow into creative problem solvers. We aim to allow pupils to achieve their full potential, and therefore the development of transferable skills is also central to learning.
Lab skills are developed from the start of Year 7 all the way through into Year 13, by which time the pupils are able to carry out meticulous analytical work, multi-step synthetic procedures and plan their own experiments while being fully aware of health and safety issues.
We encourage our pupils to think beyond the syllabus and apply their knowledge whenever possible. Year 12 pupils attend an annual Spectroscopy day at the nearby university, where they participate in workshops led by University fellows and analyse samples of an organic substance that they have prepared and purified at School. Our Sixth Formers also have the opportunity to participate in the Chemistry Olympiad club and to take part in the nationwide competition. Our students are also regularly involved in other competitions, such as the Chemistry Challenge, the Top of the Bench Competition and the RSC School Analyst Competition. In addition, if pupils wish to, they can complete a CREST project during Sixth Form, during which they will be helped and supervised by a member of the Chemistry teaching team.