Are you curious about what the substances around you are made of and why they behave the way they do? How does soap clean, for example? Why do perfumes smell? Why does coffee wake you up? Chemistry is fundamental both to many aspects of daily life and to the industrial and technological progress that carries humankind forward. New breakthroughs in areas as diverse as genetics, the environment, and computer hardware are all driven by chemistry.

Studying chemistry at GCSE sets out the principles of what some call the ‘central science’ and explores how it makes our world work. A Level Chemistry provides an essential understanding of the scientific method and the theory underpinning the nature of matter and it builds a foundation for further studies and career development in fields such as geography, geology, forensic and veterinary science and even accountancy and law.


Harrodian pupils study the AQA GCSE course. For full details of the course and its assessment, please see the AQA Website or the Harrodian GCSE Prospectus.


Brief course description

The GCSE consists of ten topic units spread across three years as follows:

13s (Year 9) 

In our 13s GCSE pupils learn about the conceptual and theoretical sides to the study of matter and are introduced to the structure of atoms, molecules, compounds and their reactions.

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Chemical changes

14s (Year 10)

In our 14s pupils learn about the mathematics of chemistry and how to quantify the rate and extent of reactions. They are introduced to the wonderful world of organic chemistry and how medicines begin to be synthesised.

  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry

15s (Year 11)

In our 15s pupils learn how to identify substances via chemical and spectroscopic means, and how the environment can be improved by our understanding of the chemistry around us.

  • Chemical Analysis
  • Chemistry of the Atmosphere
  • Using Resources.

A Level

Students study the AQA course. For full details of the course and its assessment please refer to the  AQA Website or to the Harrodian Sixth Form Prospectus.

Pupils need to have achieved grades 7 – 9 in GCSE Chemistry. Combined award grade 8 minimum. Taking Mathematics at A Level is recommended.

Brief course summary: The course is divided into six units spread over two years

  1. Development of Practical Skills in Chemistry
  2. Foundations in Chemistry
  3. Periodic Table and Energy
  4. Core Organic Chemistry
  5. Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements
  6. Organic Chemistry and Analysis

For more specific year-by-year information, please refer to the Curriculum Handbooks/Information Booklets. 


Head of Science: Taryn Oldacre 

Head of Chemistry: Jak Cooper

Other teachers of Chemistry: please select the relevant department on the dropdown menu to view our full staff list by clicking here.