Studying Chemistry at University of Birmingham School helps pupils to interpret the fast-changing world around them, and understand the role that chemists have in shaping the future of society. We are proud to combine a knowledge-rich theoretical curriculum with high-quality, purposeful practical work in well-resourced laboratories. At each level we look to stimulate interest in chemistry by giving an insight into the relevance of chemistry to everyday life. On a topic level, we aim to include teaching beyond the national curriculum, preparing pupils for further study in Chemistry.
The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to provide pupils with strong foundational knowledge in particle theory, elements, compounds and mixtures, physical and chemical change, and the history and structure of the periodic table. We use exploratory practicals to aid in the understanding of pupils, and to ensure that they develop the strong experimental procedure skills required for later key stages.
From Year 9, pupils take a conceptual step forwards when they learn about atomic structure and link this new knowledge with their understanding of particles from Year 7, to describe and explain the properties of matter through the medium of bonding – a topic which will be touched on throughout the rest of their chemistry career at School.
In Year 10 and 11, pupils either study AQA Chemistry or AQA Combined Science GCSE. Both courses allow for progression into A level study in Chemistry.
In the Sixth Form, high-quality practical work is used to underpin the theoretical teaching of the AQA Chemistry specification. Students complete double the number of practicals required by the examination board, using undergraduate-style practical handbooks and laboratory books. Students are guided into becoming independent learners by providing textbooks and online resources. This provides extensive deliberate practice, opportunities to consolidate understanding and challenge students beyond the specification. The department’s close links with the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham and the School of Education enable Sixth Formers to gain an insight into studying chemistry at university through evening lectures, visiting academics and tutoring sessions from undergraduate students.
Miss S Heath
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