All pupils study general science in the First Year and take discrete Chemistry from Second Year onwards. In the lower school, the Chemistry course has been written in-house and aims to stimulate pupil interest, developing a broad basic knowledge of the subject and enabling pupils to acquire a safe approach to the practical work that is central to our ethos. Pupils then begin some aspects of the Edexcel International GCSE course in the Third Year. In the Sixth Form, a large number of students always opt for A level Chemistry and they are prepared for the AQA specification. The Head of Department is Mr Ashley Law, who has been in post since 2003. Chemistry lessons are principally taught in the Tate Building in specialist, well-equipped laboratories.
At Yarm School, we strongly believe that developing good practical skills is an essential part of becoming an effective Chemist: we remain fully committed to this aspect of the subject. The department has excellent facilities for practical work and we would expect students to gain experience of using a wide range of apparatus in varied contexts throughout the course. Practical work is used to reinforce pupil understanding of the theoretical nature of the specifications, advancing vital observation and manipulative skills. Younger pupils will typically work in pairs during practical activities whilst A-level students will work individually. Enrichment A level classes take place, focusing on a wide range of topical research areas, and many pupils elect to take part in the demanding Cambridge Chemistry Challenge and Royal Society of Chemistry Olympiad each year