A selective school for boys and girls aged 11 to 18. Day and Boarding

Cranbrook School - Respect Aspire Achieve


Welcome to the Chemistry Department.

Chemistry, Biology and Physics at Cranbrook School are taught as their own subject specialisms from Year 7 onwards.

Chemistry is studied within a separate department from year 7 through to year 11 where it provides part of the GCSE course which all students follow.

Its study is based on extensive practical work to help student’s conceptual understanding and their grasp of the process and methods in science.

Year 7 and 8 : During these two years, students will focus on how to handle apparatus and work within a laboratory environment. They will follow the KS3 National Curriculum with an emphasis on the uses and implications of science today and for the future.

Years 9 to 11 : We embark upon the GCSE specification of study during year 9, building on the models and patterns they have developed in years 7 and 8.  In common with physics and biology we study the AQA specification with the intention of most students sitting the separate chemistry GCSE at the end of year 11.

A minority of students will switch to double award science at the end of Year 10 where they continue to study all three science disciplines but with rather less content to learn for the exams. This allows much of Year 11 to be spent on revisiting some of the harder material from Year 9 and 10.

We continue to use as much practical work as possible to aid understanding, but as ideas become more abstract and models become more complex, the theoretical side of the subject becomes more dominant. Chemistry and the study of materials and their uses, is in the forefront of all our technological and biomedical advances. We encourage students to explore these possibilities and embrace how chemistry can help to solve many of the problems facing our future world.

A level :  We follow OCR specification A for our A level course of study.

This is an important A level subject, as it is a requirement if students wish to follow medicine, veterinary medicine or physiotherapy at university. Many other courses would also like students to have studied chemistry.

It is a challenging course requiring good problem solving skills and a high level of numeracy. Students should ideally study maths to at least AS level alongside this course.

We follow a course of study which enables students to sit the AS examination at the end of year 12 if they so wish. This involves three modules:-

  • Foundations in chemistry
  • Periodic table and energy
  • Core organic chemistry

In year 13 we study two further modules:-

  • Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Organic chemistry and analysis

Throughout the course there is an emphasis on practical work in our well-equipped laboratories. Students will meet new apparatus and lean how to handle it in preparation for university. Their skills are frequently assessed in order for them to achieve a pass in their practical endorsement which is a requirement for the A2 certification.

Mr Nick Edmunds, Subject Leader – Chemistry : edmundsn@cranbrook.kent.sch.uk

Teachers: Mrs G Coulson, Mrs S Cullen, Mr M Rushton, Dr S Darby

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