Chemistry - Ratcliffe College

Chemistry – Ages 16-18

Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy.  Many people think of chemists as being white-coated scientists mixing strange liquids in a laboratory, but the truth is we are all chemists.  Understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every profession. Chemistry is part of everything in our lives.

At both IGCSE and A Level, our students have achieved examination results and have gone on to study Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Architecture and Ophthalmology at university, whilst others have used A Level Chemistry to support a variety of degree choices.

Why Study Chemistry?

  • It helps you to be analytical and logical – these skills are useful for many careers, not just in science
  • It helps in lots of different subjects, can apply to everything and is a great foundation
  • It is a core subject that takes you wherever you want to go in science
  • Compulsory for medicine and other degrees
  • It is an impressive qualification to get
  • It can lead to so many careers
  • You just love chemistry!

Extra-Curricular Activities

The Chemistry Department plays a full part in the college’s extra-curricular programme through its long standing involvement in:

Royal Society of Chemistry Young Analysts Competition: Teams of Year 12 students are required to undertake various practical analytical determinations based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs.  These are judged for skill, understanding and accuracy and are intended to promote team work and safety in the laboratory.

Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad: Run annually, the Olympiad is an opportunity to challenge our Sixth Form Chemistry students, helping them to develop problem solving skills and apply familiar knowledge in new and interesting contexts.  The competition is made up of three stages, starting with the Round 1 paper and ending with the possibility of four students representing UK at the prestigious International Chemistry Olympiad.

Cambridge Chemistry Challenge: This competition aims to stretch and challenge students interested in chemistry, and will provide an excellent experience for anyone considering taking their studies further.  Set by an experienced team of teachers and university chemists, it is designed to be accessible to Year 12 students but will take them significantly beyond the syllabus and encourage them to think about science in the way they would at university.