Common Time 2015


Winchester Chemistry
Winchester Chemistry
Winchester Chemistry
The Chemistry Department is staffed by seven full-time teachers, one part-time teacher and two full-time technicians. It is housed in a spacious area with five laboratories, a lecture-demonstration room, a preparation room and a resources room. At the core of all the courses is experimental work and the department is fully equipped to do a wide range of experiments. We have our own infra-red and UV-vis spectrometers. There are forty-two fume cupboards in the department enabling class experiments where such conditions are needed. The department is equipped with two networked, interactive smart board and projector systems; all teaching rooms have a networked PC for accessing shared teaching resources.

All boys take IGCSE Chemistry at the end of their third year and at present we take the CIE IGCSE. In each of the last two years about sixty boys have taken Chemistry in Sixth Book - nearly half of the year group. Many boys combine Chemistry Pre-U with arts subjects.

This year, we have set up a Chemistry Club for extra-curricular study. Our
greater depth of study in Chemistry has prepared boys well for the national
tests to select four Sixth Form chemists to represent the UK in the
International Chemical Olympiad. In recent years, five boys have been
selected for the UK team; Piers Cox, 1998, gold; Donald Tse, 2000, bronze;
Chris Kerr, 2004, silver and 2005, gold; Freddie Manners, 2006, bronze; and
Tom Spence, 2012, silver. In the lower sixth, we entered the Cambridge
Chemistry Challenge again in 2012, and 13 boys earned gold awards, and 4
did even better, winning roentgenium awards. Those four have been invited
to give short lectures at the Royal Institution when they attend their
prize-giving ceremony.

In the development of the Cambridge Pre-U course, Dr Chas McCaw was part of a team of four who wrote a new Chemistry syllabus for CIE to replace the existing A-levels. Dr McCaw and Dr Follows write Pre-U exam questions. The department piloted the new Pre-U syllabus during 2007-2008. Recent results in Pre-U Chemistry have been spectacular, and much better than would have been expected from A levels, despite (or rather because of) the greater academic rigour involved.