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    Chemistry is the study of all matter from the electron to the largest proteins. It is the source of everything around us from make-up to explosives.

    At Kimbolton we have a philosophy of employing practical work as the basis of all our teaching.  Pupils get to try as many experiments as they can and we complement these with demonstrations of our own.  We broadly follow the national curriculum up to KS3 but extend and diverge from it as we see fit. 

    We teach Chemistry as a separate science throughout the Senior School.

    Kimbolton School Pupils Performing a Chemistry Experiment
    Three Kimbolton School Pupils Performing a Chemistry Experiment Mixing Liquids in Large Test TubesKimbolton School Pupils Watch a Chemistry Lesson Demonstration of a Chip Pan FireKimbolton School Sixth Form Students Performing a Chemistry ExperimentKimbolton School Chemistry Teacher Performing an Experiment at an Evening Chemistry Demonstration

    Departmental Staff

    Head of Chemistry

    01480 862047


    01480 862249


    First to Third Forms – compulsory for all pupils

    In the First and Second Forms, pupils study our own bespoke schemes of work which have a highly practical bent.  Topics studied include states of matter, chemical and physical changes, chemistry of the atmosphere, acids, alkalis and neutralisation as well as a number of others.

    In the Third Form we start the AQA GCSE Chemistry course.  Pupils choose whether to continue to study this course or opt for the AQA Combined Science Trilogy during the course of this year.

    Fourth and Fifth Forms – optional GCSE subject

    In the Fourth and Fifth Forms, pupils opt to study either two (Science - Double Award) or three (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) science GCSEs/IGCSEs.  In each case, the three sciences are taught by subject specialists rather than by general science teachers. Please see our separate page on Science at GCSE to find out more about this option.

    Lower and Upper Sixth Form – optional A Level subject

    At A Level we follow the OCR Chemistry A (H432) specification.

    Content is split into six teaching modules across two years:

    • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
    • Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
    • Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
    • Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
    • Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
    • Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

    Component 01: Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry - 100 marks - 2 hours 15 minutes - written paper (Component 01 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 3 and 5.)

    Component 02: Synthesis and analytical techniques - 100 marks - 2 hours 15 minutes - written paper (Component 02 assesses content from modules 1, 2, 4 and 6.)

    Component 03: Unified chemistry - 70 marks - 1 hour 30 minutes written paper (Component 03 assesses content from all modules (1 to 6).)

    Extra-Curricular Activities

    At the end of the Autumn Term we host the annual Christmas Chemistry Lecture: a demonstration lecture for pupils and their families which has become enduringly popular.

    Regular Trips, Visitors and Competitions

    • Third and Form Form pupils participate in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Top of the Bench competition.
    • Lower Sixth pupils compete in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge which aims to stretch and challenge students interested in chemistry, and will provide an excellent experience for anyone considering taking their studies further.
    • Upper Sixth students regularly compete in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s annual Chemistry Olympiad. This is a challenging test of chemical knowledge which also acts as the selection process for the UK’s team at the International Chemistry Olympiad.

    Our recent Cambridge Chemistry Challenge winners are:

    2020: 2 Gold Awards (Andrew Dowdell-Stent, Benjamin Smith) 3 Silver Awards Rishal Adacen, Alice Oldfield, Connor Peck), 6 Copper Awards (Emily Butts, Isobel Hughes, Vina Ao, Angus Dent, Jasmine Henson, Christopher Neal)

    2019:  1 Gold Award (Laurence Turvey), 4 Silver Awards (Charles Evans, Lucy Hoy, Thomas Hurrell, Thomas Smith), 8 Copper Awards (Dylan Bhungar, Joseph Cann, Toby Clark, Henry Langley, Alice Jenkins, Millie Jones, Joseph Moerman, Aryaki Soni)

    2018: 5 Copper Awards (Amber Butterfield, Umar Chaudhari, Felicity Choy Winters, Harriet Dent, Rachael Duncan, Anushka Shukla, Isabella Singlehurst-Mooney)

    2017: 3 Copper Awards (Boris Karl, Eleanor Kirkpatrick, Nathanael Warwicker)

    Our recent Chemistry Olympiad medal winners are:

    2020: 4 Silver Medals (Charles Evans, Joseph Moerman, Thomas Hurrell, Laurence Turvey), 6 Bronze Medals (Toby Clark, Alice Jenkins, Nap Chan, Lucy Hoy, Thomas Smith, Henry Langley)

    2019:  3 Silver Medals (Umar Chaudhari, Harriet Dent, Anushka Shukla), 5 Bronze Medals (Nicola Bright, Amber Butterfield, Felicity Choy Winters, Holly Fraser, Rory Vartanian)

    2017: 6 Silver Medals (Bethany Heath, Bill Duberly, Konnor Wingate, Leo Grant, Jess James, Susan Chen); 3 Bronze Medals (Naomi Daniels-Holgate, Rebecca Marr, Charlie Gardner)