Chemistry

Welcome to Chemistry at Dean Close School. Chemistry is a challenging and fulfilling subject and we are very proud of our facilities. The Chemistry department is made up of three laboratories, each with separate wet and dry areas for teaching theory and practical. We firmly believe in the importance of practical chemistry and most topics have relevant experiments for the scholars to do themselves.

The Syllabus

We teach the three year Edexcel IGCSE syllabus, with each year consisting of a section of the syllabus and allowing time for an extended project. The AS and A2 Chemistry courses follow the AQA syllabus. Sixth form pupils will be taught by two different teachers who will offer help and guidance throughout the course. They will be signed up as a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry for the time that they are studying chemistry, receiving a monthly magazine called ‘Chemistry World’ and use of the ‘chemnet’ web community.


Projects

Fourth Form: At the start of the Fourth Form we have the Kitchen Chemistry project. This short course is endorsed by Heston Blumenthal and gives our new pupils the chance to use a wide variety of apparatus that they may not have come across before. Investigations include studying frozen emulsions (strawberry bombe) and discovering which popular soft drink is the fizziest.

Remove: Theft in the Chemistry department! A villain has stolen the department’s hard saved petty cash, without it there can be no more biscuits in the tea room. You must form your own forensic team and investigate the crime scene. Dust for fingerprints, check for signs of forced entry and try to piece together the events that led up to the crime.

Lower Sixth Form: After the stress of the AS exams there is time for a little fun. In the last few weeks of term our Lower Sixth classes use what they have learned to make real-world products. We look at making soap, photographic chemicals, food flavourings and even pharmacuticals like asprin and Deep Heat.


Extension

Chemistry Club: Intended for lower school but open to all, Monday afternoon activity Chemistry Club allows scholars to perform experiments that don’t always appear in the syllabus. Expect pretty colours, several varieties of goo and plenty of things going bang.


Links

Bristol Unversity: We have links with the Outreach Department of Bristol University and often visit their award winning chemistry labs.


Trips

Munich Easter 2013:  A group of Remove and 5th formers travelled to Munich in a joint expedition with the History department. They visited one of the largest science and technology museums in the world, The Deutsches Museum, followed the production of a car from sheet steel to rolling off the production line at the BMW factory and toured the Weihenstephan Brewery, the oldest brewery in the world. In addition to these activities they had guided tours of the Munich Olympic Stadium and the Allianz Arena, home to TSV 1860 Munich and Bayern Munich Football Clubs. Such was the success of this trip that it is to become a biennial Chemistry/History trip for the Fifth form and Remove with the next trip planned for Easter 2015.