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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 IGCSE Chemistry course.  Pupils choose whether to continue to study this course or opt for the IGCSE Science - Double Award 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 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.

    Those studying Edexcel Chemistry IGCSE take two papers at the end of the Fifth Form. Paper 1 lasts two hours; paper 2 for an hour.

    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:

    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)

    2016: 1 Silver Award (Jessica James); 4 Copper Awards (James Burdock, Susan Chen, Bill Duberly, Bethany Heath)

    2015: 2 Gold Awards (Clifford Robinson, Ed Salkield); 2 Silver Awards (Anthony Gray, Michael Oakley); 7 Copper Awards (Niranjani Chittoor, Olivia Li, Stephen Marr, Thomas Mason, Elliott Hughes, Emily Orme, Tom Oliver)

    2014: 1 Gold Award (Madeleine Kluth); 3 Silver Awards (James Ellison, Leo Penrose, Alistair Watkinson); 6 Copper Awards (Josh Gardener, Catherine Lee, Kerry Blair, Josh Daniels-Holgate, Jenna Stairs, Michelle Meng)

    Our recent Chemistry Olympiad medal winners are:

    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)

    2015: 2 Gold Medals (Leo Penrose, James Ellison); 7 Bronze Medals  (Kerry Blair, Joyce Chan, Jack Gallifant, Madeleine Kluth, Catherine Lee, Michelle Meng, Alistair Watkinson)

    2014: 2 Silver Medals (Cameron Horn, Tom Orme); 3 Bronze (Taylor Sutton, Ollie Wigley, Nicole Yung)