Headteacher’s Newsletter – Friday 1st December 2023
Chemistry is an exciting and vibrant science subject and the main aim of the curriculum is not only to develop excellent chemistry students, which is reflected in the exam results, but also to instil an enthusiasm and passion for chemistry. Investigative skills and techniques are at the heart of chemistry and we have embedded frequent opportunities for our learners to develop these at all stages of the curriculum. Our curriculum reflects the vast number of our students for whom chemistry will form part or all of their further studies and to this end, from year 7 to year 13, we deliver our lessons with the expectation that our students will take the skills and knowledge they have gained here on into their future careers.
At KS3 we start with a year of Science skills, this is different to a lot of schools but prepares our very academic students with the necessary skills to target the KS3-5 curricula that are introduced from Year 8. This first year allows students to focus on how to process information and develop key scientific skills without being involved with the theory. The year gives a brilliant basis for the rest of the time in Science at Tiffin and the students finish desperate to further their understanding of the topics they have been introduced to. These scientific skills are then further built upon in Year 8, a one year KS3 course, with topics covering the foundations of Chemistry. The lessons are built around the practical nature of Chemistry, employing many of
the skills learnt in Year 7, and further developing their individual and group work skills. These lessons further encourage cross-curricular links (e.g. Geography and Earth Science) to encourage lateral thinking from our pupils. The year promotes engagement and enthusiasm in Chemistry further.
Chemistry is a compulsory subject at KS4, however we aim to teach in such a way that stimulates interest and maintains enthusiasm through a three year GCSE. We choose to follow AQA GCSE Chemistry as it shows a good sequence of topics through the course. This is delivered by subject-specialists at GCSE, including our combined science groups, from teachers with exceptional knowledge of Chemistry.
Our extraordinarily high uptake and retention of students into A-Level Chemistry reflects our success with engaging pupils in KS3-KS4.