Head of Chemistry Mr. S. Fell
Chemistry is everywhere! At Kent College we aim to show students that this statement is true in an exciting and interesting manner. Courses are taught from Year 9 to 6.2 with a large practical emphasis.
Chemistry is part of the science curriculum and therefore has a close rapport with Biology, Physics and Mathematics; there are good links with other subjects also, such as Geography and ICT. As a career choice Chemistry opens the way to many options, including not only the obvious professional research and development areas such as Medicine, Veterinary Science, Pharmacology and Chemical Engineering, but also such wide ranging courses as Astronomy, Civil and Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Studies. In addition, this subject provides excellent opportunities of delivering the top grades at all levels and can be selected as an option to assist with University and job applications in any area.
Chemistry at Kent College
The Chemistry Department at Kent College is located in the principle science block and comprises a suite of two laboratories, a prep room and a chemical store. It is equipped with audio-visual and ICT facilities and whiteboard and a wide range of materials and apparatus. The laboratories were recently refurbished with a £120,000 budget as a modern analytical teaching lab with state of the art cupboards and service equipment preparatory to the installation of a research facility.
The curriculum is delivered by a group of quality Chemists with an enthusiastic, knowledgeable and caring approach to the subject.
Key Stage 4 GCSE Chemistry now begins in Year 9 with the innovative OCR Gateway course, including extensive investigations ranging from the chemistry of fireworks, food, fertilisers and explosives, to the mechanics of a volcanic eruption and even the analysis of Smarties!
In year 10 and 11, GCSE Gateway continues as an exciting development for pupils and teachers alike, and are extensively supplemented to foment real interest, develop opportunities for basic skills and enhance higher-level abilities. It provides a comprehensive background and knowledge to facilitate entry to further study. Success is almost guaranteed. Over the last 5 years, from the school intake of wide ranging abilities, students studying Chemistry have achieved a pass rate of 97%, with 51% at A*/A grades.
At A-level, OCR AS and A2 courses are followed with additional coverage of much of the most exciting and far-reaching material, expanding the scope of the subject and the horizons of the individual. This was once considered an essential feature of the curriculum, in preparation for a University career or as a support for future job prospects. Over the last five years, many students have succeeded in applications to high level careers such as Medicine and Engineering and as Oxbridge candidates. The department's results are on a par with the national average for selective independent schools and well above the national average for all maintained schools. Uptake at 'A' level has been at a record high with up to 30 AS and 22 A2 students split into small, thriving, practical groups.
Over the last five years the pass rate at A2 has been 100% and A/B passes at 75%.
This year, we will be offering the first IB Chemistry Higher and Standard level courses at Kent College. As the Head of Department, I am relishing the challenge of teaching the comprehensive, far reaching and exciting curriculum.
Students find Chemistry a positive, enjoyable and interesting subject, providing them with exciting opportunities, considerable success and a clear insight into the workings of nature and the impact of man on his environment.