The Aims of the Chemistry Department:
- To cultivate an interest in, appreciation of, and understanding of the material world around us: both natural and manufactured.
- To make the study of chemistry enjoyable and stimulating.
- To widen pupils’ horizons and develop their intellectual skills.
- To increase pupil’s confidence in their own skills of reasoning, enquiry and imagination.
- To educate pupils as to the nature and value of science.
- To give pupils an appreciation of the history and development of scientific thought.
- To prepare pupils to play a responsible role in society, informed by clear thinking and by their understanding of chemistry.
- To develop pupils’ abilities to become independent learners.
The Facilities of the Chemistry Department
Our laboratories and equipment would be the envy of most school chemistry departments. The two laboratories have been refurbished to a very high standard allowing flexibility of teaching styles as well as first-class practical provision. Their design incorporates the best of both modern and traditional styles in a bright and fresh environment for working. Students work at work-stations equipped with all the basic equipment and have access to all the other equipment and chemicals within the rooms.
As well as the latest computer display technology for visual teaching we have all the equipment that could be needed for this level of chemistry teaching.
Planning is under way for a third laboratory as part of the school’s building programme.
Programme of Study for the Schoolrooms (Key Stage 3)
Lower Schoolroom (Year 7)
- Solutions and Separation (incorporating a project on a local industry)
- Acids and Alkalis (including a project consumer-testing indigestion remedies)
- Simple Reactions (and lots of burning!)
- Particles (Inventing our own theories and testing them)
Middle Schoolroom (Year 8):
- Atoms and Elements (lots of thinking skills)
- Rocks and Weathering (Including a trip around York)
- Compounds and Mixtures (and a chance to put scientific thinking to the test in an investigation)
- The Rock Cycle (and a trip to see rocks from the sea and from molten magma
Upper Schoolroom (Year 9)
- Metals (making fireworks?)
- Limestone and its products (testing concrete to destruction)
- Acids (and how they work)
- Energy (explosive stuff)
Programme of Study for GCSE
We offer a choice along with the other science departments:
- Three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) leading to three GCSEs
AQA Chemistry GCSE Specification 4402
AQA Biology GCSE Specification 4401
AQA Physics GCSE Specification 4403
- Double Award Science in which the sciences are taught separately, but lead to two GCSEs:
AQA Science Specification B 4405
AQA Additional Science Specification 4408
The GCSE courses are designed to train students in rigorous scientific thinking as well as opening up more of the content of each subject. We aim to make the learning relevant to modern life, enjoyable and challenging.
- experimental work
- rigorous evaluation of evidence
- pupil presentations
- model building
- more traditional methods and many others…
Good scientists are imaginative and creative as well as being clear thinkers.Topics covered by all students include:
- Products from rocks
- Earth and Atmosphere
- Structure and bonding
- Calculations of amount
- Rates of Reaction
- Energy and reactions
- Acids and Alkalis
In addition, those studying separate chemistry will study:
- The Periodic Table
- Aqueous chemistry
- Analytical chemistry
- Further studies in energy
A level Chemistry
Salters’ A level Chemistry: OCR specification 3887 (AS) and 7887 (A2).
We chose this as the most up to date A level course which is carefully designed to tap into the way our brains work best by constantly reinforcing ideas as we go along. It deals with all the traditional concepts of chemistry, but in new contexts and includes some very modern and important chemistry. Students find it engaging and stimulating and, judging from their reaction, downright exciting.
College 1 (Year 12)
- Elements of Life
- Developing Fuels
- Elements from the Sea
- The Atmosphere
- Polymer Revolution
College 2 (Year 13)
- Biochemistry: DNA, proteins etc
- The Materials Revolution
- Agriculture & Industry
In addition all students do their own piece of research counting towards their A level. Many have found this to have taught them more about real science than they could ever learn in normal lessons. This research is an opportunity to develop personal responsibility, decision making and rigorous self-evaluation.
Bootham School Chemistry Team were the UK champions in the national Chemistry Competition “Top of the Bench” run by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Visits to chemical industries.
- Entry into the national Top of the Bench Competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry (we have been regional winners and national finalists in consecutive years)
- Entry into Salters Festivals of Chemistry (we have been winners or runners up most times we have entered)
- Entry into national analytical competition (run by the Laboratory of the Government Chemist) with some extremely high placings for many of our entries.
- Visits to chemistry days or lecture demonstrations.
- Local visits to see chemistry in our local environment.
- Flashes and bangs to liven things up from time to time.
The University of Nottingham have produced an excellent online periodic table with a video of each element. Follow this link to view this online resource.
Pioneers of Social Reform
Read more about the early reformers who influenced Government thinking.
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