Chemistry is everywhere! At Badminton, girls develop an understanding of how Chemistry works in the food we eat, in medicines, in the air, even in the water we drink.
The curriculum we follow really stretches pupils in a way that makes the Chemistry an enjoyable precursor to a wide range of university degrees and careers. The Chemistry Department at Badminton is very well resourced. Specialist subject teachers deploy excellent technical support so that girls have access to the highest quality equipment in lessons.
In Years 7 and 8, all pupils study a broad and varied science curriculum which includes Biology, Chemistry and Physics and which explores the links between them. Lessons focus on scientific processes and an emphasis on practical skills leads naturally to extra-curricular science. Girls can take part in the Flying Start challenge, where aerospace companies work with them to build and fly a glider. The British Science Associations CREST awards encourage girls to stretch their knowledge and practical experience of science still further. There are chances to analyse primate behaviour at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, and the Big Bang Fair at Birmingham’s NEC, with theatre shows and interactive exhibits in Science and Engineering is always a favourite experience.
Pupils start the curriculum for the Edexcel IGSE in Years 9-11, learning about unifying patterns and themes in Chemistry and using them in new and changing situations. Study of traditional atomic structure is accompanied by work on more recent discoveries in materials such as polymers. The practical nature of Chemistry, through experiments and investigations, enables analytical and evaluative skills to flourish and also logical reasoning, teamwork and communication skills. Alongside their GCSE work, girls take part in the Royals Society of Chemistry’s Top of the Bench awards.
At A Level, we follow the AQA syllabus, covering a wide range of chemical topics that form a sound foundation for future scientific study. This new, linear course stimulates intellectual curiosity and ensures challenges for the most able pupils. The practical endorsement component allows pupils to develop their investigative, analytical and evaluative skills, giving an excellent preparation for science-based courses at University.
Lower Sixth pupils are entered into the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and they also have the opportunity to achieve a Gold CREST award and to take part in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Analyst Competition.
Upper Sixth students have the opportunity to enter the Chemistry Olympiad. Chemistry A-level is an essential requirement for some of the most prestigious university courses, and Chemistry students have gone on to study medicine, veterinary medicine, physiotherapy, biochemistry and numerous other Chemistry-related subjects.
Those studying the Sciences at Badminton are eligible for the Boynton Science Award. Generously funded by the parent of a former pupil, this award offers an amount towards study materials for a girl who has distinguished herself in her wider engagement with Science activities and/or her contribution to Science education beyond the curriculum.