Chemistry can help explain the world around us. It can improve our understanding of how and why substances combine, change and interact with energy.
It is part of our everyday lives: we are all bags of chemicals, we carry out chemical reactions when we cook and we rely on chemical changes to travel. The subject illustrates how human activities have impacted negatively on our environment, but also shows us how understanding chemistry might help us to solve such problems in the future. Chemistry should therefore form a fundamental part of everyone’s education.
At Alleyn’s, Chemistry is taught as a separate subject from the start of Year 7. Pupils are encouraged to embrace the scientific method and use it to explore theories and models that underpin the subject. Experiments are carried out whenever relevant and possible, making full use of our well-resourced and modern laboratories. These range from an introduction to the humble Bunsen burner right up to using our infra-red spectrometer to analyse chemical samples, as part of a sixth former’s independent research project.
The subject is very popular at A level and many of our students go on to study for degrees in Chemistry and Chemistry-related areas, including Medicine, Biochemistry and Natural Sciences. We have a wealth of experience amongst our teaching staff, which includes knowledge of biological molecules and geochemistry.
The department’s vibrancy stretches beyond lesson time. Lunchtime clubs have included developing photographic images and making plastic from milk powder. The Chemistry Society has hosted various speakers from Russell Group universities, whilst the Year 12 course involves a day of lectures delivered by top chemists in central London.
Whether or not our students embark upon scientific careers, we aim to nurture their curiosity about the chemical world and its impact upon us. With an appreciation of the periodic table and all it stands for, they can make the wondrous link between us and the stars above.