"Chemistry, unlike other sciences, sprang originally from delusions and superstitions, and was at its commencement exactly on a par with magic and astrology."
- THOMAS THOMSON, 1773 TO 1852

"Every aspect of the world today – even politics and international relations – is affected by chemistry."
- LINUS PAULING, 1901 TO 1994

Subject Overview

At Kent College Chemistry is one of the most popular curriculum subjects with high levels of optional uptake at GCSE, IB and A Level. Typically there are 4 or 5 groups in each year of GCSE, 3 or 4 groups at A Level and 1 or 2 IB groups. Chemistry is an academically rigorous subject that provides great opportunities for pupils. Our five chemistry teachers aim to support, encourage and inspire pupils to pursue excitement and interest in the subject. Consistently over time the department has produced students with exceptional levels of achievement who have gone on to pursue many chemistry related careers, including medicine, veterinary science, engineering, forensics and law.

The core of the department features two purpose built, well equipped laboratories. The advanced chemistry laboratory is primarily used for sixth form experiments that can accommodate up to twelve students for practical sessions. The elementary chemistry laboratory is used principally for pre a-level experiments and can accommodate up to 24 pupils. Both laboratories are equipped with modern fume cupboard facilities. Both laboratories are linked by a dedicated preparation room with a chemical store stocked with a comprehensive range of chemicals.

  • The department maintains ties with Kent University to make use of their facilities and expertise
  • Salters Festival of Chemistry
  • Big Bang Fair
  • Engineering and Education Scheme at EES
  • Department has high expectations of our pupils and aims to support them to achieve a comprehensive and exciting understanding and knowledge base in this subject.
KS3 GCSE iGCSE Pre A level / Pre IB IB A Level Cambridge Technical Pre U

What skills will I learn?

The course specification is designed to enable candidates

  • To generate understanding of the broad scope of Chemistry in the development of universal principles and life concepts;
  • To develop essential knowledge and understanding of the concepts of Chemistry, and the skills needed for the use of these in new and changing situations;
  • To develop an understanding of the link between theory and experiment;
  • To sustain and develop their enjoyment of and interest in Chemistry;
  • To recognise the value of Chemistry to society and how it may be used responsibly;
  • To prepare the necessary skills to promote further study in Chemistry and related areas.
  • To develop a broad based knowledge of the principles and applications of Chemistry to a high level consonant with university entrance or equivalent standard.

and will encourage candidates to:

  • Develop their interest in, enjoyment of and enthusiasm for chemistry, including developing an interest in further study and careers in chemistry;
  • Appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society;
  • Develop and demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of how science works;
  • Develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other.

What else will I get to do / Trips?

The department maintains relationships with a variety of scientific bodies. The School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent, our neighbouring university, features suites of analytical equipment. The Salters Festival of chemistry is attended every year by two separate teams of year 8 and year 9 pupils frequently winning awards for their efforts. Frequently attend GCSE Science live. Chemistry Olympiad. Fundamental component in KC experience days for local primary schools and a major contributor to the school Science club.

The department encourages learning & progress with school visits by forensic experts, pyrotechnic & explosives scientists as well as external visits to lectures at the RSC, O2 etc. in all chemical fields.

The next step..

The broad-based knowledge and understanding imparted by the course provides a good grounding for any career in any technical area, especially the Sciences, but is also applicable to other degrees, including Law, Engineering, Sports Science, Psychology etc.

The qualification is particularly appropriate for such degree courses as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Natural Sciences and Human Sciences, and is especially adapted to provide a solid foundation for Medicine, Veterinary Science, Pharmacology, Forensic Science and related areas.

Meet the Department


Head of Department: Ms Rohini Chohan-Carpenter BSc(HONS), MSc, Biochemistry (University of Wales) Postgraduate Dip. In Biotechnology (University of Leicester) PGCE (University of Oxford) University Research Scientist (Bath University)

Inspirational teaching from my teachers at school is what got me interested in Chemistry from the age of 11. I loved every minute of my science lessons. My teachers were such great role models that it spurred me on to teach my younger brother at home. He gained A grades at the age of 13 in his Sciences and Maths. As I got older, I became particularly interested in Enzymology and so spent many years researching Enzymes involved with Schistosomiasis and Ischaemic heart disease. However by the time I had reached my mid-twenties I realised that it was teaching the undergraduates at university which I enjoyed the most. The fact that I had taught my brother just made me realise that perhaps teaching should be the way to go.

I have now been teaching for 26 years and have never looked back. I have been both Head of Chemistry and Science at various schools across Kent and Sussex for the past 18 years and am also an examiner for all the major exam boards.

Ironically, I started my career at Kent College many years ago and was totally inspired by my predecessor and mentor Mr Fell. He taught me how to bring Chemistry alive in the classroom and how to keep pupils interested in a subject which is perceived to be difficult. I feel honoured that I worked under such a fantastic Chemist!

As a teacher my motto is to make Chemistry fun. Make it relevant to their lives but most of all give them a special experience. Make learning achievable to all. Make the pupils believe they can do it! I am really looking forward to working in such an excellent school again.

Mrs J C Glass BSc (Hons) Chemical Sciences, Leeds, PGCE Leeds

R&D Cambridge Research Biochemicals, Process Development ICI/Astra Zeneca

Dr C McGarrity: BSc(Hons) (New South Wales) Physics & Computing Dip.Ed PhD Physics with Chemistry (New South Wales) BA English & Philosophy (Kent)

University Research Scientist
Private OEM contractor
Systems Analyst

Mr J Watton BSc (Hons) Chemistry, Bristol. PGCE, Bristol

Mr D Coleman BSc (Hons) MSc (Kent) PGCE (Portsmouth)

Chemistry degree and Masters at University of Kent. Fourteen years teaching.

Mr D Brito BSc Dentistry, University of Los Andes (Venezuela)


Have a question?

If you would like to discuss details of your child's care with us, send us a message and we will gladly answer your questions.